Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Comparado con qué?

The Spanish civil wars have gone to the junkyard perros;
Javi’s fights are tough. Now he organizes them in the gym to avoid problems, but up until two months ago they were held in his junk yard. “For fun,” he says, he started organizing fights between his workers until one of them, Alexis, emerged as the undisputed champion. “I paid him 200 or 300 euros for the fights,” he says. They were recorded and uploaded onto the internet. Later word spread that Javi was paying and “outside people” signed up to the “junk yard fight.” Every Saturday night the yard turned into a ring where two trainees duked it out for the enjoyment of those present.
Until, that is, Alexis reported Javi. “He says that I was threatening to lay people off to get them to fight,” Javi says. Alexis left his job, and according to Javi, is now in Paraguay. EL PAÍS has tried to locate him but without success.The fact that two adults decide to hit each other, without anyone forcing them, does not constitute a crime, say police sources. It is another thing, however, if the fights involve animals or there is illegal betting, which Javi denies goes on. Neither can children under 14 attend unless they are accompanied by their parents.
Of course, that's if their parents are around.
Javi says he identifies with the kids he trains. “He is like the older brother I never had,” says Juan, who suddenly starts talking about his past mistakes. Raised by his mother, he is the son of Juan “El Loco,” a robber who spent 20 years in prison.
Javi, like Juan and Juan’s father, has also been inside. When he was 16 he belonged to a gang. “We got into fights with other kids. Later we took pills and stole to buy drugs. We wanted to instill fear in the others,” he recalls. Until one day he got into a “big” fight and was arrested, spending “six months in one place and six months in another.” His police record lists two, now deleted, prior offenses, and over 40 identities. Javi talks openly about the fact that he has trafficked drugs in the past and now lives a much better life as a scrap metal merchant. “They did me a favor when they put me in prison. I saw that this was not my place,” he says. And a few years later, when he was about to return to the drug trade, he stopped: “I saw the danger.”
Escuela de hard knocks.

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