Carlos la Sombra and Neta association
For many years inmates’ rights were violated in all the Puerto Rican prisons until the Neta association was born in the sixties and seventies. In 1979, the association for pro inmates’ rights, Neta, was founded by its creator and leader Carlos Torres Irriarte (La Sombra). Carlos la Sombra notices how inmates’ rights were being violated by the administration and other inmates as well. These inmates were referred to as insects. Many inmates were killed before the NETA association was founded and organized. Other inmates were raped, stabbed, punished, robbed, and abused in general. Carlos la Sombra started to educate them on creating consciences. Carlos told them that the only way to stop all the abuse was by being united in peace, harmony, and respect. So they fought for all.
Carlos la Sombra and his Neta warriors spilled their blood fighting for the peace, harmony, and respect we have in Puerto Rican prisons today. In the year 1978, the war exploded. At that time, they were renovating el presidio so our warriors were transferred to Bayamon. Our warriors continued to fighting in Bayamon, which turned into the most horrific war of all. This is why Bayamon is now know as “La cuna de la lucha” or the cradle of war.
On July 27,1980, Carlos declared war on the insects. By august of 1980 the renovation of el presidio was complete, our warriors were returned only to run into another problem, the administration. They continued to fight against the insects (group 27), from Manuel a Perez (a building in el presidio)led by Manota. Our people were called “monacillos” for the town that the leader was from.
Carlos was killed on the basketball court in el presidio on March 30, 1981. He was shot in the head by Chino Pinela and stabbed by Baroso. The order was given by Raymond Ayala Ortiz (Manota) the leader of the insects. Sammy Serrano a.k.a Sammy Floco took over after his death. The Netas kept fighting until they won the jail war.
On September 30,1981 the Netas took el presidio. On November 30,1981 our rules (normas) were born. The Neta association is in the United States jail, now because there are a lot of inmates’ rights being violated and we have an obligation to stop it. The word Neta by definition means the celebration of a newborn baby. Carlos found the word Neta in a book called Puerto Rican culture. When a child is born to the Taino Indians the parents would take the child up to the mountains and scream “neta,neta,neta”. Today we celebrate el grito neta on the thirtieth day of each month in honor of Carlos La Sombra and the rest of the Neta warriors that die in jail war. We shout three times on the thirtieth of every month at 8 o’clock pm. On March 30th, we shout neta six times to remember the day our leader was killed.
The Neta association (also known for “neta gangs”) was created and organized to stop the violation and abuse of inmates and their rights. We respect the races, color, cultures, sexes, and religious beliefs of all inmates. This means that black, white, Hispanic, orientals, as well as Europeans are all welcome in the Neta association, only if they have good hearts and respect for the rights of all. Troublemakers, slickers, and abusers are not welcome in our association. We have rules, principles, and ideas that we live by and very much respect.
Unless we learn to live together as brothers, we will surely die apart as fools. It is time to stop the abuse and violations of our rights. We have to stop those inmates who like to take advantage and abuse. Let them know that what they are doing is wrong, but if they don’t listen, then they will feel the full weight and power of the Neta association. The only is by getting organized and united as one with peace and harmony among ourselves. United we stand, divided we fall. We know that sooner or later we are going to have to fight, but we are ready for anything only because we are Neta warriors and gave our lives for freedom.