This is how Latino gangs act: their zones, their codes, their weapons, how they capture children and how they force them to follow

The phenomenon of youth Latin gangs is still very much alive in Madrid. The National Police has detected some 400 young people as “active” members of these criminal organizations. A police report known as OPEN CASE states that the gangs have been involved in 35 violent incidents with machetes, white weapons and all kinds of objects (ball guns, screwdrivers, hammers, mallets, broken bottles…) since the beginning of the year.

Two groups, the Dominican Don’t Play (DDP) and the Trinitarios (Trinis), the latter allied with a third party, the bloods, various areas to the east and south of the city are disputed. “Gang gang members are usually kids from families where the fathers are not there and the mothers work a lotall day, away from home & rdquor ;, explains a police investigator who has spent years fighting against them and helping their families.

The majority they are Spanish by nationality and many of them have dominican origin, the country of the founders of the DDP and the Trinitarians. Almost all of them live with their mothers in the neighborhoods and districts of the southeastern arc of the capital., where houses are cheaper. Some temporarily leave their families and settle as squatters.

Three “macheteos” per week

Members of these groups meet and machet each other “two or three times a week” in Madrid. The hottest areas right now, according to police sources, are Usera and Villaverde, where the two rival groups rub shoulders and fight for control of the territory. Something similar is already happening in other districts of the capital, such as America and Linear City. The Central district has more presence of the Bloods, a gang with numerous members Spaniards of Moroccan origin.

The gangs offer young people “access to alcohol, drugs and even sex with girls close to the group.” Some minors have reported sexual abuse

Until a couple of years ago, the trinitarians they dominated areas of Villaverde, Cuatro Caminos, Vía Carpetana and Puente de Vallecas. Their color is green, their number is 7 and they shout “Homeland”. Now they fight for control of the territory with the DDP, who use the color black and their number is 3. “Low country & rdquor; it is one of his favorite shouts to threaten and attack a rival when they locate him. The two groups are already involved in incidents in all these districts. Even in the last month youth gangs have occasionally jumped to other more affluent neighborhoods of Madrid, in areas where they had never operated.

12 year old recruits

The recruitment of kids It starts when they are 12 or 13 years old. In the physical, traditional world, when a young person goes to the park in those areas of Madrid, that park may already be “assigned” to a choir (group or cell) of a band. But they don’t pick just any guy. must be someone available 24 hours of the day for any order that they make, immediately. In exchange, the gang offers “access to alcohol, drugs, membership in a group, also defense, they tell him: Nobody is going to touch you if you are with us. Even access to sex with girls who approach the band or want to join it & rdquor ;, indicate sources of the fight against these groups.

The police have even received complaints from some minors who claim to have suffered sexual abuse by members of these groups, but it is something very complicated to prove.

mother’s bag

Members of a youth gang of Latino origin must pay between three and ten euros each week. Money they never have. Police experience shows that rookies “start by stealing money from their mothers’ purses or wallets to pay these fees. Later, when they find out, the first incidents arise at home, discussions. Later, if they progress in the gang the intermittent disappearances arrive, the kids get involved squats in empty house. Then, they begin to commit robberies with violence in parks and streets, drug dealing…”. In the first steps of this escalation towards the gang, there are increasingly frequent episodes of truancy.

Getting out of a gang is very difficult before you’re in your twenties. Choir leaders (group) can turn green, which means the permission and almost the obligation for any member of the gang to hit and crush whoever wants to leave it. Some families have had to move in Madrid to try to keep their children away from these groups.

school of delinquents

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The gangs are also a “criminal school” for those who stay and progress in them. When they become adults, “the most skilled go to organized crime; the most clumsy, to common crime,” police sources explain.

But this is not just an issue for gang members and police. “We come to the end, to stop them. First, there is work to be done with families, in schools, institutes, administrative sanctions, fines & rdquor ;, explain those who are on the front line against the macheteros. Of course, they have insisted, for almost two years, on changing the Weapons Regulation so that it cannot be so easy and cheap to buy and carry a machete through the streets of Madrid. A young man can buy one for between eight and 25 euros. With the current legislation, if a policeman sees him on the street he can only take it off and let him go on his way.

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