The Civil Guard has struck the heart of the Latin Kings with the arrest of its founder -in prison since 2003 for raping a woman at gunpoint- and 15 other people in a device developed in Madrid and Galicia that is still open.
According to sources from the Armed Institute, Eric Velastegui continued directing the organization from the Teixeiro prison (A Coruña), where he was informed of his arrest. All those arrested are accused of belonging to a criminal organization and drug trafficking, among other crimes. The operation has been developed by the Information Headquarters of the Benemérita.
Eric Velastegui, nicknamed 'The Godfather' by his people, was arrested in 2000 for raping a woman in Madrid after handcuffing her boyfriend. He sexually assaulted her along with another man. That same year, he had founded the Latin Kings in Spain and imported the practices of this band from Ecuador.
The behavior patterns of its members include robberies, fights, and even rape of young people who deviate from internal discipline. They maintain a fierce fight for the control of the territory with other local gangs, according to the people who have left the organization and have dared to denounce and collect a multitude of police reports over the last 20 years.
In addition, its members profess absolute loyalty to the leader, who calls himself supreme. His orders are unanswerable. Submission is total. There are entrance fees as tests of courage. Blood crimes help to climb the ladder and this test helps the leader to know how far his subjects are willing to go. According to the police reports, the applicant has to demonstrate a series of attitudes to be accepted. One of the tests, for example, is to burn the genitals. Sexual assaults also find his way.
The Latin Kings are characterized by exacerbated machismo. When a girl wants to join the group, she must inevitably go through the leader's bed. In the event that she wants to leave, things are much more bloody, almost heartbreaking. The last favor she has to do is to sleep with all the members of the group. If they resist, "they hold them against their will and rape them."
The name of the group is also associated with drug trafficking (especially marijuana and cocaine), wide and colorful clothing, a specific greeting and crucifixes.
But, what makes these young people group under these conditions? What do they want with this? It is necessary to delve into the origins of the band.
One of its germs are the marginal neighborhoods of Latin America, where the law of the strongest prevails. Accessing the Latin is synonymous with protection against other threats. However, in Spain this leitmotiv is illogical. Here the sense of controlling the streets is lost. Some experts attribute this behavior to uprooting.
The fact of arriving in a different country, with diametrically opposed customs and another way of seeing life influences. They group together and the feeling of belonging to a group helps them to face the new reality in a different society, explain the experts consulted.
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