The Latin Kings (aka, the Almighty Latin Kings Nation) are based in the city of Chicago, and it's both a gang and a policlub. Which is the oldest gang in North America, being over over 120 years old as it was established in 1954 in the former United States (Illinois).
The Latin Kings gang was founded in Humboldt Park in the city of Chicago in 1954. It was originally established to preserve and protect the identity of their culture and to help the economic, social, and personal needs of their people. Due to their neighborhood being surrounded by gangs and the racism that Latinos faced, they earned a reputation for being violent in defending their territory and each other. As time went on, the Latin Kings became immersed in the gang wars of Chicago and gradually but inexorably like many other similar neighborhood protection groups became involved in various criminal activities. It grew by recruiting and expanding to new territories, establishing other chapters throughout the city of Chicago and eventually expanding to other states in the former United States (especially in the MidWest and Northeast).
In 1978, the Gangster Disciple Nation (black gang) formed an alliance of street gangs called "Folks Nation" which also included the Black Disciples, the Simon City Royals (white gang), Maniac Latin Disciples, Spanish Cobras, La Raza, and various minor gangs. Which led to a counter alliance being established in the streets of Chicago known as "Folk Nation" by El Rukns (later Black P Stones, a black gang), the Latin Kings, Vice Lords (black gang), and various minor gangs. On the streets of Chicago and inside prison, the gangs would side with those of its alliance in the gang wars. These two gang alliances would spread to other states where gangs that were founded by expatriates from Chicago or natives emulating the Chicago gangs, would align themselves with either "People Nation" or "Peoples Nation", mostly in the Midwest and the South.
The gang was into a variety of criminal activities, mostly drugs, extortion, and the sex trade. It's main source of income was the street-level distribution of cocaine, heroin, crack, and marijuana. In some cities the gang also generated revenue via prostitution in the form of streetwalkers (teenage girls). The gang also taxed independent drug dealers and sometimes other criminals active in their territory who had some type of illicit business. As the gang spread to Texas, it established connections with the Chicano prison gangs of Texas (e.g. Texas Syndicate, Barrio Azteca, and Mexikanemi). It bought drugs from them and distributed those drugs across the MidWest.
The Latin Kings gang survived into the Sixth World and as recently as 2058 there was still at least one chapter left. It appears to have been greatly diminished as neither the FBI or Lone Star appear to list them as a first-tier gang. The chapter in Miami was a racist Latino gang of humans which hated metahumans. It was known for attacking metahumans and collecting trophies (e.g. tusks from Trolls). That chapter's territory was adjacent to that of their bitter enemies the troll go-gang known as the Slammers.
The gang had a hierarchy at multiple levels. It had a national hierarchy, followed by the regional hierarchy (state specific) and then the local hierarchy (chapter or tribe). The aforementioned hierarchy was replicated inside the prison system with officers in each cell house that had Latin Kings. The rank one held inside prison didn't automatically carry over to the streets.
It would hold regular meetings, usually every quarter. Known as "universals, ball games, church, juntas, or 360" it is where the officers of the various factions (regionally or nationally) would elect their leaders. The most important faction was the one in Chicago which was called the "Motherland" and many chapters in other cities and states answered to it, but not all. The second most important faction was the one in New York City which was known as "Bloodline" and became a rival of the one in Chicago.
At the national level there was the Sun-King who was assisted by "The Crown" (executive committee) which wrote the laws for the Latin Kings. It served as the judicial and legislative branch of the Latin Kings. The national level was dominated by the Chicago branch, though as noted earlier not all acknowledged its authority. Each state had its own representative whom oversaw the chapters, tribes, branches, or sections within that state.
The Inca was in charge of his or her region, state, chapter or prison, and was assisted by a council of 7 members. He was in charge of deciding the punishment for any violations and was responsible for the general welfare of his chapter. Under the Inca were the officers whom consisted of the cacique (chief), enforcer, crown chairman, investigator, treasurer, and secretary. The Cacique was the one who gave orders to the non-officer members of the gang. Enforcers collected the funds from drug sales and placed them in the "Nation Box", to be used to purchase weapons for the gang and to assist the incarcerated members of the gang.
It was a mostly Latino gang, but they accepted Caucasians (Italians and Portuguese). The gang was a mostly male gang which accepted females but they were a minority though a good sized one. Members were mostly teenagers and those in their early to mid twenties. The male members were called Reyes (Kings) and their wives and girlfriends were the Reinas (Queens). In the gang there was membership dues to be paid every month which ended up in the pot known as the "Caja" (box). Members would announce their arrival to another Latin King by saying "Amor De Rey (King's Love) or ADR.
Tattoos, Colors, & Beads
Members wore black and gold, with black representing death and gold life. They also carried beads of black and gold, similar in design to the prayer beads of various cultures. How the beads were sequenced had meaning in which five black and five gold were for members, five black and two gold were for executives, and all black were for enforcers and assassins. The Latin Kings used a five pointed crown, five pointed star, a lion's head with a crown, and a code of armor in the imagery. The five points on a crown represented love, respect, sacrifice, honor, and obedience. Members sported tattoos of which the common ones were crown, ADR (Amor De Rey - King Love, hand sign, lions, 3 dots (Mi Vida Loca), and LK (Latin Kings).
Laws & Regulations
It was a highly structured gang, complete with regulations and laws. The gang had three dates which were commemorated by it's members; January 6th (Kings Holy Day), March 1-7th (Kings Week of Sun), and October 25-31 (Week of Blood). It had a charter which was part Bible and part constitution, by which the gang members lived by. The Charter had within it the 10 Commandments, royalties, guidelines regarding the establishment of chapters, the election of officers, and disciplinary procedures.
Members were not permitted to use drugs or gamble, as the gang saw addicts as a threat to the gang. The gang did not allow homosexuals among its ranks nor does it permit members to disrespect the wife or girlfriend of another Latin King. Violate the gang's orders or rules and depending on the violation the member would be written up, receive a suspension, get kicked out of the gang, receive a beating or in the case of the worst violations they were killed.
Due to the Latin Kings being a super gang of up to 50,000 members prior to the Awakening and having chapters in many states in the former United States, it's likely the gang still has a presence in various cities (especially in the UCAS). It is likely involved in protection rackets, prostitution (streetwalkers) and the drug trade (distribution and street retail sales) as it was in the late 20th century.
The Latin Kings are also likely to still be a power within the prisons of the Midwest and Northeast (UCAS). Based on it's history, it's membership would likely be mostly Mexican (Aztlaner) in the Chicago sprawl with some Puerto Ricans, mostly Puerto Rican in the NY City sprawl, and Cuban in Miami.
- Novel: Shadowboxer