Vatos Locos: The Crazy Dudes of Chicano Culture
Vatos Locos is a term that means “crazy dudes” in Chicano slang. It is also the name of various street gangs that originated in East Los Angeles, mostly composed of Mexican Americans or Chicanos. The gangs are known for using the colors red, black, green or brown, and for having tattoos of the phrase “Vatos Locos” or “VL” on their bodies.
The term became popularized by the 1993 film Blood In Blood Out, which was written by poet Jimmy Santiago Baca and based on the experiences of gang members of a fictional Vatos Locos gang. The film depicts the lives of three cousins who are involved in the violent and criminal underworld of East L.A. The film has become a cult classic among Chicano and Latino audiences, and has influenced the image and style of many Vatos Locos gangs.
Vatos Locos gangs are not only found in the U.S., but also in Canada, Mexico, and even France. They are often involved in drug trafficking, robbery, extortion, and murder. They are also rivals with other gangs, such as the 18th Street Gang, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), and the SureÃ±os.
Vatos Locos is more than just a gang name, it is also a way of life and a cultural identity for many Chicanos and Latinos who feel marginalized and oppressed by the mainstream society. Vatos Locos represents a sense of loyalty, pride, defiance, and resistance to the dominant culture. It is also a form of expression and creativity, as seen in the music, art, and fashion of Vatos Locos.
However, Vatos Locos also has a dark side, as it involves violence, crime, addiction, and death. Many Vatos Locos end up in prison or in the grave at a young age, leaving behind families and friends who suffer from their loss. Some Vatos Locos try to escape or reform their lives, but face many challenges and obstacles along the way.
Vatos Locos is a complex and controversial phenomenon that reflects the struggles and aspirations of many Chicano and Latino communities in the U.S. and beyond. It is a term that can evoke fear or admiration, depending on who you ask. It is a term that can mean homie or gangster, depending on how you use it. It is a term that can inspire or destroy, depending on how you live it.
One of the most famous and influential Vatos Locos gangs is the San Fers, or the San Fernando Valley gang. The San Fers was founded in the 1950s by a group of Mexican immigrants who settled in the valley north of Los Angeles. The gang grew in size and power over the years, and became involved in various criminal activities, such as drug dealing, car theft, and murder. The San Fers also developed a reputation for being fierce and ruthless fighters, who would not hesitate to kill anyone who crossed them.
The San Fers have been featured in several films and documentaries, such as American Me, Colors, and Bastards of the Party. The gang has also been the subject of several books, such as Always Running by Luis Rodriguez, Monster by Sanyika Shakur, and The Black Hand by Chris Blatchford. The gang has also influenced the music and culture of many Chicano and Latino artists, such as Kid Frost, Cypress Hill, Psycho Realm, and Brownside.
The San Fers are still active today, with an estimated membership of over 10,000 members. They are considered one of the most dangerous and violent gangs in the U.S., and have been involved in several high-profile crimes and conflicts, such as the 1992 Los Angeles riots, the 1998 North Hollywood shootout, and the 2005 prison riot at Pelican Bay. The gang is also involved in a long-standing war with the Mexican Mafia, a powerful prison gang that controls most of the Latino gangs in Southern California. The San Fers have refused to pay taxes or follow orders from the Mexican Mafia, and have fought back with assassinations and attacks.