Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Gang offers opportunity for troubled youths

   Gays and gamblers are not welcome.

   Users of hard drugs are not welcome, but it is all right to sell hard drugs.

   If you belong to the organization, that membership is more important than friends, family and even God.

   It's all part of the written code of the Almighty Latin Kings and Queens Nation, a nationwide gang whose West Side chapter is under investigation by the FBI, State Police, Buffalo Police and other law enforcement agencies.

   According to the feds, the Latin Kings have more than 50 members in Buffalo and are actively recruiting young people to join up and sell drugs.

   The big problem is this: some young people on the West Side believe joining a street gang is about the best opportunity available to them.

   Several organizations, including Hispanics United of Buffalo, are trying to provide better, safer alternatives for young people. That organization's executive director, Lourdes Iglesias, said education -- and not crime -- is the best route for young people to fight their way out of poverty.

   But more opportunities are needed, said Jacob Corchado, a West Side electrician.

   "There's more gang opportunity for these kids right now than there is job opportunity," Corchado said. "So you do the math."

   Do readers have any thoughts on how to put young people on a better, safer path in their lives?

  -- Dan Herbeck


comments powered by Disqus