| Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES – In a murderous quest aimed at “cleansing” their turf of snitches and rival gangsters, members of one of Los Angeles County’s most vicious Latino gangs sometimes killed people just because of their race, an investigation found.

There were even instances in which Florencia 13 leaders ordered killings of black gangsters and then, when the intended victim couldn’t be located, said “Well, shoot any black you see,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said.

“In certain cases some murders were just purely motivated on killing a black person,” Baca said.

Authorities say there were 20 murders among more than 80 shootings documented during the gang’s rampage in the hardscrabble Florence-Firestone neighborhood, exceptional even in an area where gang violence has been commonplace for decades. They don’t specify the time frame or how many of the killings were racial.

Los Angeles has struggled with gang violence for years, especially during the wars in the late 1980s and early ’90s between the Crips and the Bloods — both black gangs. Latino gangs have gained influence since then as the Hispanic population surged.

Evidence of Florencia 13, or F13, is easy to find in Florence-Firestone. Arrows spray-painted on the wall of a liquor store mark the gang’s boundary and graffiti warns rivals to steer clear.

The gang’s name comes from the neighborhood that is its stronghold and the 13th letter of the alphabet — M — representing the gang’s ties to the Mexican Mafia.

Federal, state and local officials worked together to charge 102 men linked to F13 with racketeering, conspiracy to murder, weapons possession, drug dealing and other crimes. In terms of people charged, it’s the largest-ever federal case involving a Southern California gang, prosecutors say. More than 80 of those indicted are in custody.

But eliminating the gang won’t be easy. It’s survived for decades and is believed to have about 2,000 members. Its reach extends to Nevada, Arizona and into prisons, where prosecutors say incarcerated gang leaders were able to order hits on black gangsters.

According to the indictment, F13’s leader, Arturo Castellanos, sent word in 2004 from California’s fortress-like Pelican Bay State Prison that he wanted his street soldiers to begin “cleansing” Florence-Firestone of black gangsters, notably the East Coast Crips, and snitches.

His followers eagerly obeyed, according to federal prosecutors.

In one case, F13 members came across a black man at a bus stop, shouted “Cheese toast!” and fired. “Cheese toast” is a derogatory name for East Coast Crips, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin S. Rosenberg said.

The victim, apparently targeted only because of his skin color, survived being shot several times, Rosenberg said.

F13 isn’t the only Latino gang linked to racial killings. Last year, four members of The Avenues, a gang from the Highland Park area east of downtown Los Angeles, were convicted of hate crimes for killing a black man in what prosecutors called a campaign to drive blacks from that neighborhood. And last January, authorities announced a crackdown on the 204th Street gang following the killing of a 14-year-old black girl.

The violence goes both ways, said Adam Torres, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department gang detective whose beat includes Florence-Firestone.

During a recent patrol on the east side of the neighborhood, he pointed to a cinderblock wall peppered with bullet holes. Torres said the Crips still control that area and any Hispanic there is at risk of being shot.

Despite the wave of violence, George Tita, a criminologist with the University of California, Irvine, said racially motivated gang killings are an exception. Latinos and blacks are far more likely to be murdered by one of their own.

“You don’t see these major black-brown wars, either within the context of gangs or outside the context of gangs,” Tita said.

Residents of Florence-Firestone are loath to discuss gangs, fearful they might end up as targets, but there are signs of change. Murders in the neighborhood dropped from 43 in 2005 to 19 in 2006, Baca said. For 2007, there were 19 murders as of Dec. 24.

Jose Garcia sees the difference. The security doors on the store where he works aren’t covered with graffiti as often and he hasn’t heard a gunshot in two months.

“It used to be at least once or twice a week,” he said.


Filed under Uncategorized


  1. Everybody wants to make people of African descent the targets for their resentment and inferiority complexes and hangups. The Latino gangs targeting African American communities is one example. The other one is the white man in Maine threatening to kill every Black person attending the NAACP meeting in Bangor because he doesn’t want us to live there.

    Black humanity is denied once again and people want to tell us to get over it or telling us that we recycling a broken record. History is full of records of Black and Brown ethnic cleansing and genocide. And yet, these people tell us to “shut up”, “it’s all in the past”, etc. Well, it’s not in the past. It’s also in the present. These incidents are occurring as I type this commentary and are not reported to any authorities.

    My prayers go out to the families of the victims of hatred in L.A., Troy, Ohio, and Bangor, Maine.

    Yours truly,

    Stephanie B.

  2. orvillelloyddouglas

    This is really shocking I heard about this going on in Los Angeles. I guess this just proves that there is also racism between people of colour too. I wonder why do these Latino gang members resent black people so much? Why go after and kill innocent people that’s just not right.

  3. Ann


    “Shocking” if you do not know the racist history of America.

    This type of racist hatred of black Americans is nothing new.

    It was seen in the racist viciousness of Irish-Americans against black citizens during the Civil War (1863 in New York City) in race riots in the North against defenseless black people.

    Other groups showed racist hatred against black citizens as well, most notably Italian-Americans, Polish-Americans, Greek-Americans in lynch mobs and race riots in cities across America.

    New immigants who came to America saw that if they did not wish to continue to be relegated to lower-caste status with blacks realized that siding with white supremacy and its worship would solidify their status in group inclusion of “whiteness”.

    Therefore, many new immigrants through the early decades of the 20TH Century (the Chicago Riots of 1919 are a good example) felt that if they could vicously attack with barbarism and destroy as many blacks as they could, that this would convince native-born whites that new immigrants were not only on the side with whites, but also were against creating and maintaining any kind of alliance with black citizens.

    This adherence to whiteness gave new immigrants carte blanch card-carrying status into becoming “white” where only a few decades before, they were considered sub-human and not white.

    What the Latinos in Los Angeles are doing is no different.

    They were once considered “white” in Texas in the 1940s-50s. Then in the 1960s they were considered Latino/Hispanic. They too will do what ever it takes to become “white”, even if it means killing many black citizens by shooting them in the head. Asians have already become “white” in the eyes of white-run America through the lies of the Myth of the Model Minority.

    It won’t be long before Latinos make their way back to being white, only this time for good.

    Many non-blacks started out as less-than in the eyes of white America, but, those same groups (Irish-, Italian-,Greek-American) have much blood on their hands to get to their cherished “whiteness”.

    I can only ask the Irish/Italian/Greek-Americans the following questions:

    “Was it worth it to get to where you are at the murderous, bloody expense of black people’s suffering? Was it worth it to have your little house in your white ethnic suburb? Was it worth it to have blood on your hands just because you wanted to be white so bad that you were willing to tear to pieces your fellow black citizens who never did any of you (Irish/Italian/Greek-American) any harm?

    “Was. . .it. . .worth. . .it?”

    Obviously many Latinos care nothing for blacks either.

    I wonder how long will it be before many Arab-Americans start to attack and destroy their fellow black citizens?

    Everyone else has done it to curry favor with white-run America.

    Everyone has come to this country and become “white” at the expense and destruction of black people.

    In the case of those Latinos shooting defenseless black citizens in the head, they might as well join the rest of the crowd and get on the “A-Train” of anti-black hatred.


  5. This is happening only in sanctuary cities.

    So, how does that playout for sanctuary states? Mr. Bill is our governor and he has made our whole state a sanctuary state. There are a lot of murders but it’s usually Mexican on Mexican. We’ve definitely noticed an increase in gang activity all over NM.

    This is really no surprise. They’ve been doing so for years.


    Understandably, the mere mention of the term, racial profiling conjures up all kinds of negative images, with just as many definitions. There was a time when it was standard operating procedure for police to pull over drivers based solely on race. Some will argue the practice still exists.AND IT DOES!!!! Besides the intrusion, annoyance, financial inconvenience, and injustice, many times those random stops ended up tragically. I THOUGHT HE OR SHE HAD A GUN”“” BLACK PERSON DEAD!!!! It is more commonly called “Driving While Black,” DWB because a disproportionate number of the illegal police stops were of black drivers. If a police officer is challenge in court they just respond he or she look suspicious! CASE LOSTS!

    A black person that is seen as suspicious by American police officers can end in death of that black person! WWB-(Walking While Black) can be the reason for suspicious black person! Even black people that are seen as suspicious ( by non-authority white people) may end in murder by white civilians! George Zimmerman the self appointed “Watch Captain” told the police dispatcher that Trayvon Martin. A 17 year old black male walking home from a store looked suspicious! Later Zimmerman stalked and murdered Trayvon Martin. Suspicious is all it takes for someone white to call police or kill a black person. Amadou Bailo Diallo was a 23-year-old black immigrant from Guinea who was shot and killed in New York City on February 4, 1999 by four white New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers:

    Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss, who fired a combined total of 41 shots, 19 of which struck “UNARMED” totally innocent Diallo, outside his apartment at 1157 Wheeler Avenue in the Soundview section of The Bronx. The four were part of the now-defunct Street Crimes Unit. All four officers were acquitted at trial in Albany, New York. Their mistaken identity of Diallo was excuse. Which all started because one officer claimed Diallo look suspicious! Now check out how suspicious whites are handle in America READ ON:

    Charles Edmund Cullen is a former white male nurse who is the most prolific serial killer in New Jersey history and suspected to be the most prolific serial killer in American history. White on white crime is an understatement for the likes of Cullen! He originally told authorities he killed up to 40 patients during the course of his 16-year nursing career. But in subsequent interviews with police, psychiatric professionals, and journalists Charles Graeber and Steve Kroft, it soon became clear that he had killed many more, whom he could not specifically remember. Experts have estimated that Charles Cullen may ultimately be responsible for some 400 murders, which would make him the most prolific serial killer in American history. Being white greatly helped Cullen. Just about every where Cullen worked he was suspicious of wrong doing. But law enforcement was “NEVER” called or informed!

    In America white people are seen as less likely therefore whites get away with killing stealing etc….Many white crimes are not recorded white Doctor nurses police officers that are irresponsible or abuse their authority. Seldom are fire discipline or reprimand and allowed to be re-hire! Five hospital fire or asked Cullen to leave! Even after catching him red handed stealing drugs. Cullen was given the opportunity to resign from “Saint Luke Hospital and get re-hire at another institution and murder again! There is a big different when blacks are seen as suspicious then whites seen as suspicious!

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