HE knew how to fight with a knife before he even understood how to use his fists. Manuel Gustavo Mosquera didn’t think he’d even live to adulthood. The aim, when he was growing up in Cali, Colombia, was just to get an ID. These weren’t issued until you were 18. Gustavo thought it would be an achievement to live that long. “We believed we were born to die,” he said.
Life in Cali hadn’t always been this way. He remembered a time before the gangs. He and his family first lived in an informal settlement. There had been a community then, people had helped one another. When they were moved and built their own houses, the atmosphere began to change. “People felt envy because others had better places. My family changed as well. My father became really an aggressive person. He started being very aggressive towards me, my brothers and also my mum. So we started having difficult times,” he recalled. “The neighbourhood became a really dangerous place.”
Subscribe now to keep reading
We're chuffed you’re enjoying our website, but I'm afraid you need to be a subscriber to read this story.
As a subscriber you'll get access to all online content, including weekly issues - you can opt for digital only or print and digital - plus an online archive of weekly digital editions back to January 2012.
You'll also be helping to support our editorial independence so we can continue to get to the heart of the stories that truly matter to you, the reader. Every subscription we secure will go directly to ensuring that Boxing News retains its voice for many years to come.
If you're not ready to subscribe there are plenty of free articles on the site you can enjoy by registering
To enjoy premium content such as this story, and to get the weekly issue you will need to subscribe
Got an account? Sign in