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Ex-Mexican Mafia alters life, inspires others

June 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A former member of the Mexican Mafia returned to his old neighborhood Friday night to speak out against gang violence and bring a message of hope. An estimated 2,000 people turned out to hear his words.

Art Blajos is living proof that it's possible to leave a murderous gang lifestyle behind. At a special event Friday, he presented a theatrical version of his book, "Blood In, Blood Out" with crucial parts acted out on stage.

Blajos was on death row in San Quentin where he acted as a hit man for the prison gang La Eme. The play portrays his return to gang life after his release. He later finds himself back in jail in a cell next to the man he planned to kill.

But that murder never took place. The inmate shared the Bible with Blajos which prompted him to turn his life around. Blajos said gang members can relate to his story.

"We want to go beyond the curtain, the veil of the gang culture. It doesn't have to end in a wheelchair. It doesn't have to end in prison or overdose. There is hope and there is an answer," said Blajos.

After the performance, Victory Outreach Ministries invited gang members in the audience to come up on stage and pray. The message hit home for Rene Vargas.

"Being from these gangs and doing these drugs, I mean, you don't get no trophies. The only trophies you get are all these wounds that I have stuck in my body for the rest of my life," said Vargas.

Victory Outreach Ministries and Blajos are planning another performance next month in Carson, but the venue has not yet been determined.

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