The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Latino Gang Members Indicted for ‘Cleansing’ Operation

By Brentin Mock on October 18, 2007 - 4:46 pm, Posted in Racist Street Gangs

More than 60 members and associates of a Latino street gang carried out a campaign of racially motivated violence targeting African Americans in South Los Angeles, according to a 53-count federal racketeering indictment unsealed Oct. 17.

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Leaders of the Florencia 13 street gang, which operates in a racially mixed district of South Los Angeles, engaged underlings in “cleansing their neighborhood of … members and associates of African-American street gangs,” according to federal prosecutors.

“The most disturbing aspect of the case is that … gang members allegedly engaged in a series of attacks on rival African-American gangs that extended to innocent citizens who ended up being shot simply because of the color of their skin,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien.

Like most Latino street gangs in Southern California, Florencia 13, or “F-13,” swears allegiance to the Mexican Mafia, a prison-based criminal syndicate. The Intelligence Report revealed in January that Mexican Mafia shot callers have issued a “green light” for Latino gang members to harass and attack any African American found in a neighborhood claimed by a Latino gang.

Four members of the Avenues, a Latino gang in the Highland Park neighborhood, were convicted of federal hate crimes in 2006 for terrorizing and murdering black residents.

According to the latest indictment, in one case F-13 leaders ordered attacks on African Americans in retribution for black gang members supposedly shooting at Latino children in the neighborhood. The L.A. Sheriff’s Department attributes 80 shootings — 20 of them fatal — to warring between F-13 and black gangs since January 2005.

An Oct. 18 Los Angeles Times article by Sam Quinones, headlined “Gang rivalry grows into race war,” details how gang wars and increasing racial tension in a working class neighborhood that was once predominately black but is now mostly Latino have merged to create “a gangland version of racial profiling.” The article quotes one Florencia gang member describing how the Mexican Mafia ordered his gang to “kill this black guy just because he’s black.”

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Thom Mrozek said he couldn’t yet comment on whether federal prosecutors would charge F-13 gang leaders with hate crimes in addition to racketeering.

According to gang expert Alex Alonso, F-13 is the largest single Latino gang in Los Angeles, “in terms of turf size and membership.”

  • Wetto

    The industrial prison complex is out of control. The, “Big Brother” to blame is the, “EME”. The other family member to blame is, “Uncle Sam”. I suppose by blame I mean, dissect. I agree that it’s a community issue and a poor community that will get pushed under the rug. Where do these individuals get there weapons? Racism is natural aspect of survival. These caged animals are reacting like neanderthals and spreading their bitter attitudes to their loved ones on the outside.

  • SHAWDY

    white ppls se la pelan because la unica cosa que saben aser es rasicm and judge the mexican for being in gangs we get in gangs to protect each other and show eachother the love of brother hood and sister hood

  • http://www.myspace.com fabian

    yea thats right blame it on the white house and white ppl because george bush is rascist and latinos and blacks can even walk to schoool withought getting called a rascist name i no this from expiernces white ppl just need to chill out thats what makes latinos and black wanna be in gangs for protection.

  • Joe

    A bunch of hispanics target and kill blacks (as is happening all over America) and the first two comments blame it on George Bush and white people. Good for you. Nice to know that the anti-white racist paradigm can never be broken.

  • Carrter

    The above statements are absolutely incorrect. The issues are local and problems of this sort are generally best solved on the local level. The biggest mistake we make is to look for “big brother” or the government to sort out issues which local civic and or religious leaders are closest to.
    First of all it is imperative to know the facts of a case. If, indeed, there was a selection and shooting of children, the perpetrators must be brought to justice. Knowing what really happened is the decisive element.
    I will not comment on the seeming vigilantism of this issue but I will point out that it is very EASY as well as ineffectual to point at government and blame or for that matter believe that federal government sets a “standard” for abuses. If that were the case we would have never had a Civil Rights Movement!

  • Demi

    That’s true that the racism orginates from the White House. Both black and Latino peoples are victims of white racism, and people must unite against the racism of the federal government, and stop hating each other.

    Peace and love (except for George Bush, Butcher Of Iraq and Neglector Of New Orleans).

  • unlucky 13

    When the president behaves like a racist thug towards Muslims everybody gets into the mood.We all need to step back a little and think out ethnic and racial prejudices and how these notions play into our actions.The Latinos need to back off a couple steps but then so do a lot of us.Bloodeshed always leads to still more bloodshed in retaliation as the president now sees in places like Iraq.no one wants to on the receiving end of any of these things.Ï