Roger Vigil was a pitcher when he was a kid in La Junta.
He was out of place in Oklahoma.
In East Los Angeles, he found a home.
“It was Primera Flats this and Primera Flats that,” Vigil said, his voice deep and rough but accented by a hard edge of pain. “It was representing. The neighborhood came first.”
Unknown to his parents, the young Vigil had joined a gang, forever changing his life, committing to the Surenos for the past quarter century. That was until Vigil, freshly 40 and free for the first time in almost five years, felt he owed it to his late parents to leave the life he had embraced.
But even after deciding to leave the Surenos, he called Los Angeles to seek permission to depart.
His folks are gone Ñ his dad died in 2005, his mother last year. Vigil, who might be perceived to be potentially menacing by his pouncing, almost tiger-like posture, looks like a lost kid when he talks about making it right with his family and “growing up.”
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009