Today I am meeting Dave for an interview. He his 33 years old and escaped a life full of drugs and crime. He went to jail so may times he can not even remember. He tried pretty much any drug out there that can be bought illegally. In his mid twenties he decided to change his identity and start over. I met him in the first week of 2014 on the Philippine island of Cebu.
Roberts: Hi Dave, nice to meet you. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. How the hell did you end up here in the Philippines? Continue reading
I am fed up with my current life. I have never been so messed up or confused and scared in my entire existence as when my life with the gang started. Before, I thought it was the solution to all my problems. The gang gave me a family; I always had a “brother” to turn to whenever things got sour; I had a social life and an identity. I had a home.
But almost as soon as I was in, what I found was the complete opposite. From the day I joined, nothing seemed right anymore. Every day was a plunge deeper into darkness, and as each day passes, my hope for redemption further wanes.
I started seeing my “brothers” as the thugs that they actually were. They don’t really care for me; they just needed another body to feed into their fight and to be used as cannon fodder. Continue reading
I am 42 years old. I was 18 when I started to work at Taco Bells. When I joined I had big dreams. The promised me if you work hard in a couple of years you will be store manager. 24 years later I am still making tacos in the kitchen.
I have two lovely daughters and a beautiful wife. I am making with overtime about $1000, we are lucky we can afford our trailer park home. I make barely enough to put food on table. If I wanted to earn the same amount our CEO makes a year, I would need to work for 930 years. Or to put it in perspective, 930 Taco Bells workers combined earn what the CEO makes. Continue reading
Undercover agent used the identities of a dead children to infiltrate all kind of political organization. More than 42 identities were stolen.
Taking on the identity of someone who has died is already highly illegal and immoral. But there are no words to describe the act of taking on the identity of a dead child. Continue reading
“I’m free” I said to myself excitedly. I had finally escaped and now I had to figure out my exit strategy. I ran as fast as I could while Diego and Pablo chased after me trying to shoot me with their 9mm rounds. I ran through the water and through the woods and up the hilly terrain away from them. Luckily, I had a ride waiting alongside the highway.
It was my girlfriend Rosa and she was eager to see me. She had gotten a text from me earlier saying things were not good and to meet me at the underpass. I had been living the life of a gangster for ten years now and needed to retire. I needed to have a fresh new start, I had been living as a thug since the age of twelve and I was no longer interested in that scene. I had seen way too much and heard way too much. I have lied for the brotherhood and almost died for them on many occasions. For the last year things have just been awkward between me and the guys. Continue reading
Have you ever experienced not being able to pay for your credit card bill or home mortgage on time? Then you would know how credit collectors tend to haunt you in every possible way from your home land-line, to work and to make sure that they can reach you wherever you are, your cell phone too.
However, the hassles of not being able to pay for your debt spans way more than that. To begin with, banks share certain information, including the names of the bad borrowers. Hence, if you are unable to pay for your debt in one bank, you can be sure that you are as good as blacklisted in all the other banks as well. Continue reading
I always found it puzzling why someone would want to change their identity after years until I needed to do it too because I had so much debt that I could not repay.
One thing that I can assure you is that the decision to change my ID was a culmination of not being able to continue living under pressure like a fugitive. Ultimately, the process of changing my name to escape from debt meant making sacrifice. I am sure at this point you want to know if the decision to get a new identity and starting all over was more risky compared to facing my debtors. The truth is yes; therefore, I needed to be smart to succeed in this venture because there are consequences for such a move hence the need to ensure utmost discretion. Continue reading