Cholo gang culture has never been more authentically portrayed than by the Northern Californian magazine Mi Vida Loca, which has recently published its eightieth issue. Editor and former gang member Reynaldo Berrios knows the culture from both sides of the prison fence. His chest and stomach, carved up from knife attacks, are testament to his violent past. Collected in this volume is the best and most compelling material from his "Life in the Barrio" serial, which has run consecutively in the past fifty issues of his magazine. Included among its remarkable contents are letters and art from gang members who have found themselves imprisoned, and wish to speak of their experiences of the violence, drugs, cops, romance and the religious beliefs all bound up with this life of the streets. A glossary of the Hispanic terms and a lengthy interview with the author himself puts this book into a context which readers of all walks of life can enjoy.
Reynaldo Berrios is a former Californian gang member and has edited and produced the magazine Mi Vida Loca for several years. He lives in California.