'West Los Angeles was traditionaly inhabited by Anglos and other white Europeans. It has always had hispanic residents living in it, but not always in as large a quantity as East Los. The first barrios, and oldest, in WLA were as traditional as ELA, but were shunned for being gringo wannabes or sell outs. It was inconcievable to the ELA barrios that anyone would be proud to claim WLA. They saw them as a trend wich would dissapear, and boy were they wrong. WLA barrios were cutting edge and had a different mentality on what a barrio should be. They were proud to call themselves gangsters, while in ELA only blacks and lowlifes were considered gangsters. ELA barrios considered themselves as being socially superior to gangs, and were proud of there comunity. In WLA the new barrios developed into bands of juvenile delinquents and criminals. They had less respect for their comunity and had many richer people to target. What modern gangs are today in LA is truely the product of the WEST SIDE. Gangs from San Diego to Seattle are now trying to imitate things wich the W Siders were pioneers of
' Every thing from the destructive grafitti to the hard core gangster rap were first tried on the West Side. In traditional ELA barrios, rap was all but banned, and oldies were the only music they listened to. Gangs in WLA were also the first to really try to expand anywhere they could.
' The biggest gang in West LA and the whole U.S. is the notorious Eighteenth Street. They were formed in 1969. It is said that the originator of 18th St originally tried to join Clanton 14 St. Clanton had rigorous criteria for its members and didnt let in new imigrants or anybody that wasnt chicano or youngsters.C14 is clearly a very old barrio and may infact be older than the barrios of EastLos. One old gang in WLA is Frogtown, who doesnt even claim West Side but Riverside because of the street that runs through their neighborhood, Frogtown claims North East LA.
There is an anomly between West Side and South LA wich is South Central LA. It is divided between WLA and SLA and in some sense is actually its own side, hence SCSIDE. There is a quirck, wich is Primera Flats, who has an ES, and a WS wich is really in South Central. They claim WSC or West Side/South Central, even though they are clearly East Side South Central. They claim WS because it is west of the LA river, and their ES is East. Some barrios like Harpys wich has always claimed WS now claims South Central. And some barrios wich have claimed both WS and SS decided to consolidate under South Central. Then South Central developed Sides. West of the 110 freeway is WS/SC, East of the 110 is ES/SC, and the part of LA city wich is South of like Slauson is either plain SS or plain SC. 18 street TLS is caught in a paradox. They are East of the 110, mainly South of Slauson, yet claim WS18st or SC18ST. There is SS18ST near by but they are totally different.
I will describe as much as I presently know about these gangs in order, EIGHTEEN STREET, CLANTON FOURTEEN ST, FROGTOWN RIVERSIDE, VENICE, CULVER CITY BOYS, SANTA MONICA, MARA SALVATRUCHA, HARPYS, SOTEL, PLAYBOYS, REBELS, TEMPLE ST, ECHO PARK.
' La Dieciocho is the biggest gang in WLA, the biggest gang in LA county, the biggest gang in California, and probably the biggest street gang in the USA. They are the most documented and prosecuted gang in LA making it very easy to follow the crimes and fear they cause. The not often documented part of this gang is how they got to be so big. Allegedly 18st started on the corner of Rampart and 18st in around 1969. As I said above, the original members of 18th street were people that were discriminated by the members of C14, so they formed their own gang with their own rules. They were a small group of vatos, who were more about letting people in to get big, than forming an elite group of chosen few. 18street is and always has been one of the most liberal gangs in LA. They claim allegiance to 18st no matter how far away they move or were they live. They have historicaly let in people who other barrios dont take making them the proverbial under dogs. By this method they were able to become the strongest gang, size wise, in the U.S.. They openly recruit members and join whole gangs to their barrio. Most modern day 18st cliques used to be other barrios, and aspiring barrios. Hoover Locos is one example of this. By this method they were able to spread throughout the country. Their North Side in the valley was originally another gang and many of its members used to be from tagging crews wich chose to join 18st. In their South Side they have apparently forcefully clicked up many barrios and crews. It would not be a surprise if their East Side used to be its own barrio as well. They are the only barrio in LA wich has four succesfull sides and cliques in every region of the city, and California. They have succesful cliques in San Diego, Las Vegas, Inland Empire, the Bay Area, Chicago,Texas, Florida, and allegedly even a clique in New York. They have whole towns claiming allegiance to them in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico with large cliques in Mexico City DF and Tijuana. Yet contrary to popular belief, they are not one cohesive unit by far. They are divided into myriad cliques and sides and preferences and degrees of valor. Some members only claim 18 because they are forced to due to the neighborhood they inhabit. Other mambers merely hang around for popularity and unearned notoriety. Some were jumped in by people wich are so far in the chain from the original 18st that it is hard to consider them legit members. Others clearly are not original cliques and therefor are actually considered enemies by the OG 18st. Allegedly 18st has a comittee wich decides who are real cliques and who are just wannabees. Their large sides make them hard to control and highly beurocratic. They have never fully united to achieve one common goal or against one common adversary. They will most likely continue to grow and prosper because of their enormous popularity.
'Clanton 14st may be the oldest surviving barrio in WLA. They too once enjoyed tremendous succes and popularity. You can say they were the 18st of the eightees. They territory in North Hollywood, a South Side in South Central, an East Side in east south central and a click in Glendale wich may date back from the mid eightees. The well known chicano rapper MC BOULEVARD is from C14st. In the veterano age group they are probably the largest gang in LA. I have seen veteranos from Clanton everywhere from Pacoima and VanNuys, Las Vegas, Colorado, IE, and most likely they are throughout the US by now. Clanton has a deep history of being an elite barrio, with very rigorous rules and standards of honor, respect, and valor. Most veteranos I have met either are from Clanton or speak of Clanton as being one of the most active gangs back in the 70s and early 80s. They have gradually been shrinking, and some say it is because of their use of the number 14 wich is associated with Northern California. They like 18, once had many cliques throughout the state, but many died out or are midgets compared to their former glory. I have heard that they were the first LA gang to have a clique in San Diego, yet I dont think this clique still exists. The name Clanton 14th Street is a combination of the location of their original barrio and the name that 14th St had, before the city of Los Angeles reorganized and named the streets by number. They have only three sides, WS SS ES, but also have a large and old clique in NHlywd. It may now be its biggest side due to the decline of the others. The East Side and South Side are almost non-existent. I have now confirmed that the C14 in the North Hollywood is indeed older than NS18ST and is older than most barrios in that area. Their clique in Glendale is slowly dieing out and has now moved to Eagle Rock were it is also being pressured. Their North Hollywood will do fine as long as it stays close allies with North Hollywood Boyz, or else it too will dissapear. The West Side is close allies with Mid City wich helps it stay around. They seem to be in bad shape, but like all WLA gangs it can bouce back and be bigger than it ever was in 2 years.
'Play Boys. WSPBS is a barrio located in WestLos and was started on the corner of Pico blvd and Fedora ST. They were originally a car club in the mid 50s called "Southern Califas Latin Playboys Car Club." They later started ESPBS in East South Central with its original click being 49st Cyclones. They also have South Side PlayBoys in Southern LA County. They are known fot using the PlayBoy trademark bunny, and there for have always tended to be more promiscuos than traditional vatos, even early in their history. Their associatino with the playboy bunny has become so popular that they now even claim rabbit town and conejos trece, even though their barrio name technically doesnt have anything to do with the bunny, and is in fact older than playboy magazine.
'WSR13.West Side Rebels, wich is located in Western Hollywood and West Hollywood, originally was a click from Temple Street. They were know as Diablos, and started in 1959, and were the original barrio in Hollywood High. Temple Street is also a very old barrio in WLA. They also have a South Side in SC. They also have a click in Tujunga.
'Echo Parque was highly documented in the movie "Mi Vida Loca", and I believe their enemy barrio River Valley represents Frogtown. One thing the movie was right about is that the Locas run the neighborhood. Echo Park has declined greatly in size. Originally it was called Echo Park Ave, and later came to be called just EXP, symbolizing they own more than just the street. It is now being pressured greatly by WS Crazys, and Big Top Locos. They still own EXPAve though.
' FROGTOWN RIVERSIDE is one of the oldest gang in WLA except they never claimed West Side. They allegedly started in 1956 in a meeting in the LA river. The facts of this barrio may be the most obscure and twisted out of all the barrios in LA. They are not a very large or famous gang, but they were once among the largest and most feared in LA. It is clear they were named frogtown for the large amounts of frogs that inhabit their barrio, but were and how they exactly started is a mystery. Some claim they were one of a group of cliques who broke off of White Fence and formed a confederation known as Toonerville, for the trolly line wich ran through its neighborhood. Others say Toonerville was the one who broke off Frogtown. I have heard from members of Toonerville that they were started in a meeting in the LA river in 1942, wich would allegedly make them older than Frogtown, and that they were a group of cliques wich united under the common name of the trolley wich ran through all the cliques neighborhood. It is unclear weather these cliques were from White Fence or independant. When asked to name some of the original cliques some of the answers have been AZTECAS, LATIN SOULS, MIDGETS, ELMWOOD, and some have said FrogTown used to be a Toonerville clique called Riverside Locos. Others say Frogtown was already around when the Riverside Locos clique was around. I know there used to be troley line wich used to run from Echo Park through the north part of Frogtowns neighborhood and to Glendale along San Fernando Road through to Burbank, wich Toonerville claims was at one point all its neighborhood. Yet older people in Glendale that are not from Toonerville speak alot about Frogtown being around in Glendale back in the seventies and never even heard of Toonerville back then. Other people say the CLANTON clique used to virtually own all of Glendale. Other members of Toonerville say that Atwater is the original barrio of Toonerville and not Glendale. This would mean that Frogtown was a very large barrio and the first barrio to be on both sides of the river. In south Atwater I have met very old veteranos of Frogtown who claim that that region,wich is now The Rascals barrio, was once their barrio, and infact most the veteranos in south Atwater are from Frogtown and a few Clantons and 18s. If this is true then that means that The Rascals either started off of Frogtown, or like some claim, Toonerville. Others say that Frogtown started Cypress Avenues and the less popular Eagle Rock Avenues. If this is true it is still hard to say what the whole story is. It could mean that Frogtowns original neighborhood was along the whole trolley line and that it was from Toonerville, or vice versa. If Rascals was from Toonerville it doesnt make a difference, but if they were from Frogtown then it would show a pattern of Frogtown being all around Glendale and practically in Glendale. These barrios are so hard to decipher because they are old and have actual names wich were made up for some reason. Avenues obviously got started around the numbered Avenues wich its neighborhood is in, wether it was a clique off Hazards or not. But why would Frogtown be in Eagle Rock and Glendale, cities with no frogs in sight. And how could they be on both sides of the river at the same time? And why would so many sources point to White Fence? Did any of these gangs infact used to belong to White Fence? If so then White Fence was once a very large gang, and maybe other modern barrios broke off of them? Members of Toonerville claim that SS ELMWOOD, WS LOCOS, WS RASCALS, and even that SANTA MONICA LOCOS, a seperate barrio from SANTA MONICA 17th STREET, all were once part of them.They also have a clique in Tujunga called Dukes that I know for a fact used to be its own gang. I have also seen WS and ES Toonerville in grafitti but have never met or heard of an actual neighborhood for these cliques. Some say that the WS used to be Santa Monica Locos and a barrio in WLA proper also called WSLOCOS. This would make sense bcause I know that these two gangs are really close with eachother and neither one presently get along with Toonerville. SSElmwood, WSLocos, WSrascals, and Frogtown dont get along with Toonerville either, and that would explain why. Frogtown and Avenues dont get along and that would also explain why. The reason they all dont get along is because thats the reason they split up to begin with. Frogtown had completely dissapeared for a while and apparently was brought back by just three kids whose fathers had been from from Frogtown. They still are small and may never reach their former glory. I believe that Frogtown is RiverValley in the movie MI VIDA LOCA, and Glendale in scotish means River Valley. This could either be used to represent Glendale or just Riveside wich Frogtown claims. Except the Frogtown I know is traditionally a poor barrio, not some players like in that movie. I heard a story from a Frogtown veterano that one time in the seventies, the police raided a Frogtown meeting and killed all the members present and threw them in the river, I wonder if that really happened?
' One of the most unique barrios, wich came out of LA, but is now all over the world is MARA SALVATRUCHA. Some people, wether from MS or not, may believe that MS started in El Salvador and was imported to America. This is false... MS is as American as apple pie. Where exactly it got started and were exactly they are now is very hard to pinpoint. MS may be every where and nowhere at the same time. It is hard to say wether it is the second largest barrio in or from LA, for it has relativily few definite territory. It has definite territory in the West Lake region, Hollywood, North Hollywood, North Hills, and allegedly in Hawthorne. It is definitly the most spread barrio, having sattelite cliques in at least seven countries, and maybe much more. Just inside the US they have the most satellite cliques, having at least one in every major, and sometimes otherwise, city. I know for a fact they have a clique in Vancouver, and I am almost positive they have a clique in Montreal and Toronto. The only city where they not be succesful in is New York, but they have atleast one clique there. There most notable satellite cliques are: San Francisco, Washington DC and greater Virginia/Maryland, Houston, Miami, Seattle and greater Washington State, Chicago, and I heard even in Alaska. There cliques in other countries are: every region of El Salvador, most regions of Guatemala, border regions with Honduras, most of Southern Mexico, to the dismay of many MS is the third largest LA barrio in Mexico DF, and now have semi reformed members in Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, and perhaps other regions of Spain were there is high prostitution rates. There are many misconceptions about MS and barrios in general. Some Mexicans believe all Salvadorans are from MS, and that can not be members of 'Mexican' barrios. Many Salvadorans may think that all MS is Salvadoran. These are both false. For one, Salvadorans are most likely in every last 'Mexican' barrio, and even started or spread many 'Mexican' barrios. I know of many traditional Mexican barrios wich are now more than half Salvadoran, and some are clearly more Salvadoran than even MS. 18th street, MS' main rival, has many Salvadorans in all its sides, and is the second biggest barrio in El Salvador, also being in every region. because of this 18th street may also be in many of the places Salvadorans have spread to, but in far less numbers. It now may be true that Salvadorans may not join 18 street, and perhaps that some 18 street cliques no longer allow them. The history of MS is hard to trace. Some will say that it started in more than one place at the same time. Members of the NS MS in North Hills claim they were one of the original, if not the only original clique. Members of WS MS will say the same thing. I believe they started at the same time. MS' relationship with 18 street is also very confusing. I have heard that they were once great friends, and that they had even fully cliqued up. This will explain why they have alot of the same cliques, and are always right next to each other. The most important one of these cliques is Hawthorn Criminals, wich both barrios have. I heard that MS had a clique called Hoover Locos too, but have never seen them. MS started in the early 80s or late 70s. There members were already dispersed, with the majority of them not living in the territory that they claimed back then. MS has always had phantom cliques, wich tag alot, but are never seen. That is why I said that they were every where and nowhere. This by no means suggests that they do not have active members. They have some of the most active members in any barrio, only needing one or two to cause a whole cliques worth of damage. They do not always play by the rules, and sometimes it seems that they have no rules. When Mexicans insult Salvadorans as a race, this causes Salvadorans to in turn dislike Mexicans. This will cause them to start an MS clique just to counter the Mexicans, whether the Mexicans are from a barrio or not. The difference between Mexicans and Salvadorans or Central Americans in general is this: Mexicans usually come from states like Michoacan or Zacatecas, or densly populated states in Central Mexico. They live a small town life, and are mainly agricultural. They do have violence from feuds, drug wars, or now LA barrio violence. They, generally speaking, are not initially violent when they come to the US. El Salvador and Guatemala is another story. In El Salvador they used to have volunteers pile truck loads of rigormortised bodies and dump them in barrancos or cliffs an a daily basis. It was comon to walk to the tienda and see a street splatered with brain particles and blood. People in Guatemala were getting kidnaped and tortured to the point of insanity, and later found to not even have been involved in anti-state movements. In the main university in Guatemala City, students were forced to give classes due to the fact that all the proffessors had got smoked, one by one. People wouldnt even apply to be teachers or proffessors, and had a better chance of living if they ran in front of a bus. In El Salvador, if you reached the age of 15 without having to identify a relative, you were blessed. These people saw carnage that even Faces of Death chose not to use. South Central is like Disney Land compared to the Salvador and Guatemala of the early 80s. If that wasnt true then why is there so many Salvadorans in LA and all over the world. San Salvador is one of the most modern cities in Central America, and if you go to El Salvador today it is hard to tell that a civil war ever took place. But just ask one person who lived that era and you will see. They will tell you about brains splattered on a wall while eating a sandwich. They have a whole soccer team of people that only have one leg. There was so many land mines set, that both the guerillas and the government has lost track of some of them. Little kids are dieing to this day because of this war. This is the reason my family came to LA. The word mara is the Central American word for gang, or mob. Before MS started, Guatemala and El Salvador were already dense with maras. MS did something wich I find is truly remarkable. They were deported from LA and came back to there former neghborhoods, and most of them were probably from a mara before they left. Instead of the Mara in LA taking the name of a big Mara already in El Salvador or Guatemala, the opposite happened. The big and little maras in Guatemala and El Salvador took on the name Mara Salvatrucha, wich in El Salvador trucha means slick, actually it means the same thing in MExico, only in El Salvador it is usually a trait, not like keep trucha holmes. Obviously what happened was that when all these Salvadorans, who were members of maras from El Salvador and maybe even Guatemala,but wich most likely did not get along, decided to form like a peaceful union. Then when they were deported back to El Salvador they performed the miracle of uniting the Salvadoran maras as well. It is obvious that MS started in LA because why would a mara in El Salvador call itself Salvatrucha... thats like a barrio in Mexico calling itself barrio Mexico. In El Salvador the maras did not get along and had bitter rivalries. When the vatos from MS came back they conviced members of there former mara to convert to la Mara. They did this even though former enemies were now also converted to la Mara. After they had a little success they either forced the other maras to join or eliminated them old school style... one by one. It is my belief that Salvadorans were already members of 18 Street and other barrios in LA long before the the Mara started. Because of this 18 Street can actually claim to be the first LA barrio in San Salvador, and probably every other region on El Salvador, wich is ironic. There may be dozens of barrios from Los that started little cliques in Salvador before MS did. These barrios either did not try, or couldnt acomplish, making former maras join. Even if they did, it would have been insane for them to even think of trying to unite enemies, this is as unorthodox as it gets. Now 18 street and Crazy Riders have started larger cliques in El Salvador, and this is probably because there was some maras that hated MS so much that they chose to side with 18 or Crazy Riders. I visited Guatemala and El Salvador last in 92. There were alot of maras, as usual, but virtually no MS. Now both El Salvador and Guatemala have been overrun by MS. It is still a street level gang, and maybe even a lower level of street than the LA gangs. The activity they do the most, perhaps, is pipming hoes. Prostitution is a very lucrative raquette in El Salvador and everywhere. Salvadoran women are also exported world wide as hookers as well. This is perhaps one of the brightest futures certain Salvadoran women may have, and are not ashamed of it all. This has caused MS pimps to now be on the world market. They are in the red light districts of Northern Europe, and pimping like crazy. They are also in the slums of Spain, and I assume Italy and France, trying to act like their on Leeward and Western, or 6th and Grandview. They took Macarthur park world wide, and these guanacos are loving it. They got a little El Piojito right in Amsterdam. They slanging micas out there too, old habbits die hard. If you ever need auto insurance in Malaga just hit them up. They pimp alot of Dominican hoes too. They got a treaty with the Cossa Nostra right now, they call it twos and fews. I hope them fools dont catch on to this illegal cigar trade in Europe, or else them fools are gonna try to Platinumize their bodies. The same as with most barrios, however, saying MS is not saying one thing. Even if it was, what good would it do them to be the deepest barrio or mara in El Salvador, and all these other cities. MS is more like a franchise, without the quality control. Its just a way for all Salvadorans to be able to claim one thing, instead of dividng themselves. A comon belief is that Salvadoran members of other barrios hold some favor for MS. I have personally seen at least one member of a barrio wich did not get along with MS hop. I have seen whole cliques off barrios wich were bitter enemys hop too, however. I have also seen affluent members of MS hop to a bitter rival. Its like if a barrio was called Michoacanos, and thought themselves to be superior to other barrios wich were not from Michoacan, it is my assumption that members of other barrios will not just dislike them, but be their most zealous contras. Now MS has a West Side and a North Side for sure, and possibly a South Side, but I have never heard of an East Side. The reason may be that cliques that start in other regions still carry the West Side, but I doubt there is absolutly no MS clique in the East and South Sides of LA. The thing with MS is that they will overlap another barrio regardless, unless they jump in Mexicans who live in their barrio, assuming that any Mexican wants to join MS. I know Guatemalans and Hondurans and other Central Americans join MS, but not exclusively. They may choose to join MS more than other barrios, but on the same token may choose to join other barrios. It all depends on if they feel Mexicans or Salvadorans have done something against them. Ther is a barrio wich is for Guatemalans, called Chapines Trece, but few people know that other Guatemalans, and they therefor have many Mexican members who think that Chapines means something else, or is made up for another reason. Chapin is the nickname Guatemalans use on themselves. And by the way, the traditional nickname for Salvadorans is guanacos, not truchas or salvatruchas. They probably want to use this name more now since it has a better connotation, implying that their slick or smart. Guanaco on the other hand may imply that you are slow or dumb, so by calling them salvatruchas you are actually complementing them. Either way Chapines trece is very small, and I doubt it is still around. Now Guatemalans just join another barrio and call themselves Chapin from that barrio, or just use a regular name with no one ever assuming they are Guatemalan. The thing with Guatemalans is that there in between Mexico and El Salvador, yet have no real allegiance to either one. They also have relatively no allegiance to each other as far as barrios and maras, wich is also the Guatemalan word for gang. Guatemalans dont acustom to braging about there nationality or making a big deal out of it. There is however alot of Guatemalans in the USA, and Canada, and some estimates say as much as Salvadorans. But Guatemalans are evenly distributed between LA, NY, and Florida and Texas. They do not concentrate in any one place, except near Macarthur park with the Salvadorans and other Central Americans. In LA they act like Mexicans and in the East Coast they act like Puerto Ricans. Salvadorans are equally distributed too but they have much more nationalism. Guatemala had a civil war equally as bloody as El Salvadors, yet they are not as violent as MS'. Most Salvadorans dont join barrios either, but the few that do. The difference between MS and other barrios, or traditional barrios is that MS will use any means necesary. Traditional barrios went by a code of honor, in MS world staying alive is more important than honor. In an old barrio, like in many cultures, dying for your barrio made you a hero and a legend. To MS living to kill another day is more imporant, much the same way as the Vietnamese or South East Asian gangsters. It is more likely for someone in MS to claim to be from no barrio, and then creep from behind with a cohete. This is not true for all members of MS, but there is a great number of MSers that arent even official members going and taging, jumping or even smoking another vato. This is what makes them so dangerous. If they wore a tag that said MS, like some do, thats one thing. To dress like a paisa and act like one but tag and jump or even smoke people, thats something else. They use the surprise element like there back in the selva.
'Other barrios in WLA are: WS CRAZYS, DIAMOND ST, BIG TOP LOCOS, SILVERXLAKE, DESCANSO TINY WINOS, LOS FELIZ VILLAGE, LA MIRADA ST LOCOS, THE MAGICIANS CLUB, VIRGINIA LOCOS, WS WHITE FENCE, ROCKWOOD ST, DRIFTERS, CRAZY RIDERS, EASY RIDERS, WS LOCOS, BLACK DIAMONDS ST, ARMENIAN POWER, SOTEL, HELM ST, MID CITY LOCOS-STONERS-HOBART GRANDES, 5TH AND HILL
' If any body wants to contribute or correct any thing from this whole sight... Email me
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