|Founded||Founded in 1970 by Butler in or near Pilsen (Lower West Side)|
Founded in the Pilsen section of Lower West Side neighborhood near 17th and Racine
|Formerly known as||
Latin Brothers 1970-?
2000 or later;
|Colors||Black and Purple|
|Primary ethnicities||Latino (Mexican)|
|Symbols||Spear, 5 Dots, and Trojan Helmet|
Spear with 5 dots
The Latin Brothers may date back to the 1960s but at that time they were known as the Unicorns. I do not know much of anything about the Unicorn days but I know it was a short lived and by 1970 they changed their name to the Latin Brothers.
The Latin Brothers formed in the year 1970 in the Pilsen section of the Lower West Side neighborhood at the intersection of 17th and Racine. The founder of the organization was “Butler” and some of the first members were Wino, Big Foot, Dizzy, Player, and Mr. Lucky. The Latin Brother originals were closely related to the Latin Counts and were in consideration for joining the Counts but for some reason it was decided for these guys to not be part of the Counts, therefore, these guys started the Latin Brothers, a decision that was honored by both the Counts and Brothers. Once the Latin Brothers formed they became very close allies with the Bishops and Latin Counts as they joined in their fight against the Ambrose street gang from 18th and Throop. A big power struggle was going on between Ambrose, Latin Counts and several other gangs along 18th. The Latin Brothers laid claim to the biggest intersection in Pilsen at 18th and Ashland which was basically the heart of Pilsen which was a great accomplishment for any gang to have this territory.
The Latin Brothers adopted the colors of black and purple and their own symbols as a Trojan helmet instead of a knight’s helmet. The LBs also adopted the spear as their symbol and this angered the rival Ambrose gang. Ambrose viciously gunned for the LBs trying to force them to give up the spear but the LBs refused to comply and instead fought viciously back against Ambrose. Another big enemy of the Latin Brothers was the Satan Disciples of West Pilsen that ruled the west side of 18th Street.
In the same year the Latin Brothers formed they began a section in the Little Village community at 26th and Lawndale started by Darrell, once again taking bold territory. At this section the Latin Brothers were fighting with Ridgeway Lords and Latin Kings but mostly Ridgeway Lords. This section closed in 1971 when Darrell moved back to 18th Street.
In the summer of 1978, the entire Pilsen area called for a major gang truce that even caught the attention of the news. This was colossal because Pilsen was well known to be a violent neighborhood and there were several different gangs in the neighborhood. Rivals now stopped all their wars and shook hands for the first time. The truce all came to an end in the fall of 1978 when Ambrose shot up the founder/leader of the Latin Brothers Butler. After Butler was slain, “Mr. Lucky” took over leadership of the Latin Brothers. Latin Brother operations in Pilsen would never be the same again after the death of Butler.
In the year 1979 some members of the Latin Brothers moved out of Pilsen and into the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s west side. They settled on the north side of the Austin neighborhood north of North Ave which was a neighborhood very friendly to newly arriving Hispanics and still for whites too. The first Latin Brothers to come here from 18th Street were the Burgos brothers. Mike “Mr. LB” Burgos was the founder of this new section in Austin. Some of the original Latin Brothers of North Avenue and Latrobe were Godfather, Professor, Slick, Green Eyes, He Man, Harvey, Tank, Taco, Jeckel and Hyde, Toto Alex, Jr., Oscar and Clemente. The rest of Austin south of North Ave was becoming an all African American neighborhood fast. The Latin Brothers settled at the intersection of North and Latrobe in 1979 and soon found new allies and new enemies. The Latin Brothers mainly slugged it out with gangs that occupied nearby Hansen Park that was in the nearby Belmont-Cragin neighborhood and right across the train tracks, such as the Taylor Jousters that were building up a strong presence there. The Latin Brothers also fought with the Gaylords from nearby Belmont-Cragin and Sayre Park in the early 1980s before the Gaylords had fully embraced the fact that they were People Nation too. Other major rivals of the Brothers became Simon City Royals from Belmont-Cragin and Imperial Gangsters from over there too. Eventually the Latin Brothers would open turf at North Ave and Lockwood and Bloomingdale and Laramie in Austin as well.
One of the biggest enemies of the Latin Brothers in Austin was the Latin Stylers that arrived in the same year. These two groups would have violent gang altercations. The rivalry with the Sayre Park Gaylords was intense too.
During the 1980s as Traveling Vice Lords colonized more of Austin they connected with the Latin Brothers. The two groups became tight allies and began doing lots of business together along North Ave. This established a close relationship with TVLs as Latin Brothers also hung out with Four Corner Hustlers and Mafia Insane Vice Lords. Eventually black members of the LB would flip to one of these Vice Lord gangs as the north side of North Ave became more black.
The Latin Brothers remained a significant presence in the Pilsen neighborhood throughout the 1970s and they were invited into the People Nation alongside Bishops and Latin Counts in the year 1981.
In the year 1984, the Latin Brothers had a vicious war with the North Ave and Harding Spanish Cobras that cost Hector his life and the Latin Brothers killed “Chaci-C” from the Spanish Cobras.
In the year 1985 Carlos, also known as Penguin opened up Belmont and Cicero “Brother City” in the year 1985 in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood which became the LBs first piece of territory in this community. From Belmont and Cicero the LBs would eventually open Lockwood and Barry “Trojans Point,” Lamon and Barry “LB St,” Natchez and Palmer, Lamon and Fletcher, Belmont Ave and Kilpatrick, Cornelia and Lavergne, Cornelia and Long (Chopin Park), Wellington and Kilpatrick and having members stationed all throughout Belmont to Wellington and Kilpatrick to Knox “Evil Side.”
On April 19, 1989 Steven O’Callaghan, also known as Pyro of the Latin Brothers was gunned down outside of Steinmetz High School that made the news. Pyro, was the son of police officer Thomas O’Callaghan. Pyro was shot to death by a 15 year old Imperial Gangster at a time when Imperial Gangsters were trying to push their way into the neighborhood.
By the early 1990s, Latin Brother activity slowed more in Pilsen on 18th Street but they were still in operation until the early 2000s when they closed for good on 18th Street.
The year 1996 was the last stand for the Gaylords in Austin as they fought a vicious gang war involving many shootings against the Latin Brothers. In the end the war was very costly for both sides causing Gaylords to become more of an underground group around Sayre Park. Many can see this as a victory for the LBs.
In the year 2002 both Pilsen and Austin operations closed. Austin closed because the northern part of Austin became majority black and the Latin Brothers stood out too much to the Chicago Police. Pilsen perhaps closed because of retirement. The stronghold of the Latin Brothers then moved to Barry and Knox in 2002.
At some point the Latin Brothers closed Chopin Park, Lamon and Fletcher, Natchez and Palmer and Cornelia and Lavergne; however, they maintained the rest of their Belmont-Cragin turf and have been known to protect Belmont and Cicero very tightly. Big Mando Garcia also known as Big Flaco helped take over Barry and Knox in the year 2002 after having a strong presence there in the 1990s. Now Barry and Knox was completely ran by LBs and it became a major stronghold and investment. They also have been known to have serious operations at Belmont and Cicero and many gangs have tried to take this turf but it is always no dice for the rivals that come there.
Please send in old school pics. 1970s pics will be especially appreciated!
- What happened to Mr. Lucky? What years was he running it?
- What was the time line of leaders up until 2000?
- What year did Pilsen close down? What was the reason?
- What year did war start with Latin Kings? Why did the war start?
Known sections of the Latin Brothers past and present
Austin neighborhood Established 1979
Sections of Austin
Bloomingdale & Laramie
North Ave & Lockwood
North Ave & Latrobe Established 1979
Belmont-Cragin neighborhood Established 1985-present years
Sections of Belmont-Cragin
Roscoe to Belmont, Lavergne to Cicero (Brother City) Established 1985-present years
Barry to Wellington, Lotus to Laramie (Trojan’s Point) Established 1985-present years
Belmont to Wellington, Lavergne to Knox (Evil Side, LB St) Established 1985-present years
Eddy to Cornelia, Lavergne to Cicero
Cornelia & Long (Chopin Park)
Palmer & Natchez Established 1985-1990s
Little Village neighborhood Established 1970-1971
Sections of Little Village
26th & Lawndale
Pilsen neighborhood Established 1970-2000s
Sections of Pilsen
18th & Ashland Established 1970-2000s
Portage Park neighborhood 90s, 2000s
Sections of Portage Park
Berteau & Central Ave 90s, 2000s