California governor denies parole to Mexican gang member

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Gavin Newsom is not totally convinced that the man who has spent 27 years in prison changed his behavior and is not taking advantage of the system

California Governor Gavin Newsom has denied parole for the fifth time to René Enríquez, a former member of the Mexican mafia, from which he defected 18 years ago and who has cooperated with authorities to incarcerate dozens of his former accomplices. .

Newsom overturned a recommendation by the Parole Board that it is time for Enriquez, 58, to leave prison, where he has been for 27 years for several murders in 1989, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

The governor sent the Board a letter last Friday letting them know his decision, in which he indicated that Enríquez’s help to the authorities, his self-help programming and other efforts to make peace do not exceed his “extensive history of violent behavior and manipulative, “adds the newspaper.

He recalls that at the height of his influence, Enriquez, known as “Boxer,” who had his first arrest at age 11, controlled swaths of Southern California and earned a reputation as a ferocious killer. Enríquez went to prison for the first time at age 18, convicted of participating in the gang rape of a drunken minor and a series of armed robberies.

He ordered murders and he committed them; he sold drugs and extorted money from traffickers who sold them in his territory; it attacked rivals of the Mexican mafia and even some of its own members, the Times also recalls.

When questioned recently in a federal case in which he testified, he admitted to being involved in at least 10 murders. Since leaving the Mexican mafia in 2002, Enriquez has testified on his own account in 40 federal and state trials.

Enríquez now spends his days in prison sorting recyclable materials for 11 cents an hour and deciphering gang communications intercepted in a special wing of Ironwood State Prison, reserved for inmates who have turned their backs on the Mexican mafia.

In his letter to the Board, Newsom maintained that he was still not convinced that Enriquez’s life behind bars, untainted by misconduct since he left the Mexican mafia, reflected a genuine change “in thought and conduct,” and not “simply an attempt to play with the system for their needs, ”the Los Angeles Times also noted.


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