Latin Kings Gang is now in the Philippines (Filipinas) and Worldwide
Latin Kings graffiti of the King Master along with the abbreviations “L” and “K” on the sides.
Founding location Chicago, Illinois
Years active 1940′s — present
Territory Nationwide, in predominately Hispanic neighborhoods in Chicago, New York City as well as other
cities throughout the United States
Ethnicity Hispanic / mainly Puerto Rican and Mexican
Membership King Motherland Chicago faction – 20,000 to 35,000
Bloodline faction – 2,200 to 7,500
Criminal activities Racketeering, battery, arms trafficking, drug trafficking, extortion, identity document
forgery, robbery, and murder
Allies People Nation, Vice Lords, Bloods, United Blood Nation
Rivals Folk Nation, Maniac Latin Disciples, Spanish Gangster Disciples
The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (ALKQN, ALKN, LKN) is said to be the largest and one of the most organized Hispanic street gang in the United States of America, which has its roots dating back to the 1940s in Chicago, Illinois.
The Latin Kings street gang was formed in Chicago in the 1940s and consisted predominantly of Puerto Rican males. Although it was created by Puerto Ricans, most factions of the gang are now dominated by Mexicans, specifically in the Midwest—including Chicago, the city with the second largest Mexican population in the United States.
Originally created with the philosophy of overcoming racial prejudice and creating an organization of “Kings,” the Latin Kings evolved into a criminal enterprise operating throughout the United States under two umbrella factions—Motherland, also known as KMC (King Motherland Chicago), and Bloodline (New York City). All members of the gang refer to themselves as Latin Kings and, currently, individuals of any nationality are allowed to become members.
Latin Kings associating with the Motherland faction also identify themselves as “Almighty Latin King Nation (ALKN),” and make up more than 160 structured chapters operating in 158 cities in 31 states. The membership of Latin Kings following KMC is estimated to be 20,000 to 35,000. The Bloodline was founded by Luis Felipe in the New York State correctional system in 1986. Latin Kings associating with Bloodline also identify themselves as the “Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (ALKQN).” Membership is estimated to be 2,200 to 7,500, divided among several dozen chapters operating in 15 cities in 5 states. Bloodline Latin Kings share a common culture and structure with KMC and respect them as the Motherland, but all chapters do not report to the Chicago leadership hierarchy. The gang’s primary source of income is the street-level distribution of powder cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. Latin Kings continue to portray themselves as a community organization while engaging in a wide variety of criminal activities, including assault, burglary, homicide, identity theft, and money laundering.
LeadershipLatin King documents reveal that Gino Gustavo Colon (a.k.a. “Lord Gino”) is considered the leader or “Sun” of the Chicago Latin Kings. They also refer to him as their “Corona”, which means “Crown”. Currently he is serving a life sentence in federal prison due to a 25-count indictment, which includes charges of murder and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and other drugs.
Organizational structureThe Latin Kings have a hierarchical organizational structure: they have numerous “chapters” or “tribes” across the country, which adhere to a regional, state, and a national system. Officers (Inca, Casique and Enforcer) are supported by a “Crown Council” of seven members which set rules and regulations and holds disciplinary hearings. The hierarchy leads to regional officers and ultimately to the Supreme Inca ruler based in Chicago. The head (or heads) of the entire criminal organization are known as ”Coronas” (crowns in English). One retired detective said “When you compare them to other street gangs like the Bloods and the Crips, none compare to the organization of the Latin Kings.”.
Latin King gang member showing his gang tattoo, a lion with a crown, and signifying the 5 point star with his hands An example of common Latin Kings’ vandalism – showing a crude depiction of a five-pointed crown and the saying, “Amor de Rey”.The Latin King colors are black and gold; gang markings consist of a 5 or 3-point crown, writings of LK, ALK, ALKN, ALKQN abbreviations (or the whole words); and drawings of the Lion and/or the King Master. Latin King symbolism is usually accompanied with the name and number of the chapter, region or city of the gang. The Latin Kings are of the People Nation, and therefore, represent everything to the “right” in opposition to the “left”, which is representative of the Folk Nation.
According to John H. Richardson in the February 1997 issue of the New York Magazine, “What also made the Kings different was their unique mixture of intense discipline, revolutionary politics and a homemade religion called “Kingism”–adding idealism and a bootcamp rigor to the usual gang camaraderie—a potent mixture for troubled ghetto kids whose lives lacked structure and hope”.
The Latin Kings operate under strict codes and guidelines that are conveyed in a lengthy constitution, and they follow the teachings of the King Manifesto.In this manifesto you can find traces of Marxism, Christianity,Confucianism and other revolutionary/historical world-views, which when combined make up the ideology and morality of “KINGISM”.
According to the Latin King Manifesto, there are three stages or cycles of Nation life that constitute Kingism. They are:
1.The Primitive Stage: wherein the neophyte member is expected to be immature and to be involved in such activities as gang-banging and being a street warrior without the full consciousness of Kingism.
2.The Conservative or Mummy Stage: which is where a member tires of the street gang life but is still accepting of life as it has been taught to him by the existing system that exploits all people of color, dehumanizes them, and maintains them under the conditions and social yoke of slavery.
3.The New King Stage: where the member “learns that his ills lie at the roots of a system completely alien to his train of thought and his natural development, due to the components of dehumanization that exist therein”.According to the Manifesto, “The New King is the end product of complete awareness, perceiving three-hundred and sixty degrees of enlightenment; his observations are free and independent; his thoughts are not clouded by any form of prejudice…For him there are no horizons between races, sexes and senseless labels”, including gang labels for recognition. The New King no longer views the rival warrior as the cause of his ills; instead, he fights against the Anti-King System (social injustices and inequality), a system which seeks to deny and oppress his people: the Oppressed Third World Peoples.
King Motherland Chicago Latin KingsThe Chicago faction of the Latin Kings is recognized as the largest Hispanic street gang, and the largest Chicago-based street gang, in the United States. Although the original Chicago members were of Puerto Rican descent, most members are now Mexican-American. Unlike MS-13 and 18th Street gang—whose great portion of gang membership exists in Central and South America—the Latin Kings have a heavier presence within the United States. The gang has over 25,000 members in the city of Chicago alone and have organized chapters in over 41 states and several Latin American and European countries, including: Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Canada, Italy, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Portugal, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, United Kingdom and others. The Latin Kings are mostly of Latino descent, with some Black, White, Asian and Middle Eastern members as well.Violent HistoryViolence is the hallmark of the Chicago Latin Kings. In their beginnings, when they were not great in size, their brutal history and propensity for violence distinguished them from other Latino gangs in Chicago, making them equal players with the larger Black “Super Gangs”, such as the Gangster Disciples, the Almighty Vice Lord Nation and the Black P. Stones. The ALKN is the largest and most violent Hispanic street gang in Illinois. For example, in 2000 there were approximately 1600 self-admitted Latin Kings in the Illinois prison system, and these accounted for over half of all the recorded violent acts on prison personnel and other inmates, making the Latin Kings the most violent prison gang in Illinois(FBI Fiscal Report 2000).