This program began with the cooperation of the InterAmerican Restoration Corporation (IRC) and Programa de National, supported by the Honduran government. Its purpose is to serve rehabilitated gang members who have a desire to give up their past life and start a new life. Part of this process includes having their tattoos removed that mark them and make it impossible for them to reintegrate into society. With the tattoos removed, they can then become productive members of their communities. If a gang member is caught after leaving their gang, he will be killed, and so will members of their biological family. If a member of a different gang finds the former gang member, they will kill him. If the police finds them, they are thrown in prison and don’t survive the process. A tattoo-marked gang member may not be employed in Honduras.
Many tattoo removal programs have taken place in the past in Honduras and have failed due to poor techniques and lack of follow through with the clients.
The inception of Borron y Vida Nueva began on March 2, 2006. In 2006 alone, 139 people had tattoos removed. Out of the 139 people, 67 have been repeat customers. This is an equivalent of 1,451 procedures, each measuring 10 cm. In general, the laser procedure was required every six weeks for 24 weeks to completely remove a tattoo.
The goal was to make the program self-sufficient and self-sustaining by training Honduran physicians to perform the procedures. The program was initiated in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. It now includes six cities in the country of Honduras and is running full time. Removing Tattoos from 600 rehabilitated gang members a year.