When a marero seeks to be something other than a marero, what scripts can possibly make this transformation legible—to himself, to his gang, and to his community—and what routes can lead away from a violent death so certain that it seems like fate? This chapter details the disappearing escape routes for gang members who try to leave gang life behind. Collective conceptions of the maras and mareros as fit only for extermination mean that former gang members must find ways to “perform” this shift to convince others, often drawing on Evangelical Christianity as a means to find belonging outside the gangs. It discusses the built-in conundrums involved in how church groups, members of the Guatemalan public, and international funding organizations, among others, seek to measure and pinpoint whether and how a gang member has redeemed himself. The chapter moves through former gang member “conversion narratives” before returning to Calavera’s story of seeking to survive after leaving prison and the moments of chance and contingency that shape his struggle.
California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.