By: Julianna A. Mata
Gunshots. Police cars. Sirens. Blood.
These are some of the main things you would see in popular crime shows, such as Law & Order or C.S.I., but what about Santa Ana? What’s happening here in our town?
9:26 am on West Cubbon St., in Santa Ana, a 20 year-old man, named Santiago Jorge Marin, was shot to death by who police believe were gang members. Jorge was attempting to assault someone with a baseball bat. The suspects who were arrested were, Nick Torres, Manuel Saucedo and Jose Brian Heredia. OC weekly provided further information on these cases and on the suspects. It is also believed that these men were Jorge’s fellow gang members.
What are common thoughts on this story? “I think that if Jorge was to assault someone, instead of killing him, they should have reported him to the police, but, at the same time, I feel that the gang did their mistake by shooting him to death, ” says Cesar Bautista, a freshman. He took this into more of an in-depth answer, displaying what his decision would have been if he were Jorge.
“I think it's because of the way the police force has treated Mexicans, showing discrimination. Gangs were made to protect their fellow members from the police.” In Santa Ana, the prime crime around seems to be centered around the Latino race.
Sagui Doering, the student development coordinator at Samueli Academy, gave her opinion on first glances as well, “...there is a lot of violence going on in this city. There are young kids involved, making poor decisions. They were probably already exposed to negative situations during their formative and developing years, without much support and guidance.”
“Well, there are several factors, I think, that influence this culture. One, is, lack of education, economic hardships, vulnerability, they are vulnerable. They become a target for those who make a business out of taking advantage of others out of their vulnerability,” says Mrs. Doering, explaining why she thinks so many young teens, and even young adults, walk into this “Thug Life.”
It truly is saddening to hear and watch so many young people get killed when really, it’s partially their own doing, walking into a life-or-death lifestyle. “February 12th on East Pine St., 18 year old Jamie de Castilla Campos was murdered in the town of Santa Ana. This was believed to have happened during a drug deal between gangs. They, unfortunately, have no shooter description for Jamie. This story is similar to the first, and again involves a young murder. “First of all, I wouldn't buy drugs. Second, if I were Jamie, I should have thought, “who am I buying drugs from?” says Cesar, viewing it in the perspective of Jamie.
It seems Jamie de Castilla was in the black market selling drugs illegally. “Sometimes you don’t know what’s happening. They suppose it’s a drug deal, but something else could be happening too,” says Itzel, we could never really know what truly happened. Often in popular news stories, only half of the story is published. Most can also make conclusions that don’t always seem to be true, was there something else going on?
“...it is something you are putting yourself at risk every time, hanging around people like that. The fact that there was already a fight between two rival gangs, he was in the line of fire,” Doering states. Like the army, you have a chance of dying any moment, any day. But the question is to those who believe the “gang life” … is it really worth it? People all over the world are walking into this tragic life, sometimes not even knowing it.
Cesar agrees, “I would say to actually think if it's worth ruining your life for "protection" only to get shot or to be in even more danger.” Any person can get help from many organizations, schools, churches and even a family member or friend.
“You have the potential. You have the ability inside of you. Think about you, think about where it is you need to go in the long run. Life is not easy for anyone. Choose to prepare yourself, so that you can return to your home and help the young ones who are headed into this direction.” Mrs. Doering states.
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