La Raza
La Raza

La Raza

Founded Founded in 1980 by Micobrio in or near Pilsen (Lower West Side)
Founding story

Founded in the Pilsen section of Lower West Side neighborhood at 17th and Racine

Affiliations Folk Nation — 1980 – 2000 or later;
SGD / La Tabla;
Colors White, Red, and Green
Primary ethnicities Latino (Mexican)
Symbols Eagle's Head, Mexican Flag, Cross, and 3 Slashes
Symbol usage

Brown Eagle head from Mexican flag, cross with 3 slashes above it

Status Active

In the year 1980, Mexican migration picked up significantly in the United States as many came to this country to take up labor jobs.  Many Mexican people arriving in the United States were often ridiculed and discriminated against even by their own people that were Americanized, this is something that happened in Pilsen back in these days.  Mexican youths and laborers were often bullied and robbed of the cash they carried by neighborhood gangs after they had labored all day.  Eventually some of these Mexican youths at 17th and and Racine grew tired of being harassed especially by gangs like the Latin Counts, Bishops, Latin Brother, Laflin Lovers, Stone Heads, Party Masters, Damen Boys, Tokers and Latin Kings.  The youths got together under the direction of “Micobrio,” and Ruben.  Micobrio was the founder of La Raza.  The name “La Raza” was chosen along with the Mexican flag colors because La Raza was showing their pride of the country they came from and were ready to fight for those colors and name to the death.  The rival gangs in the neighborhood were upset with the name and tried to take it from them but were met with fierce resistance from La Raza.

La Raza tried to avoid gang activity in the early 80s and just tried to be a hang out group that protected each other but rivals continued to harass them and La Raza had to fight back.  La Raza youths tried to remain mostly law abiding kids that hung out in Dvorak Park by Cullerton and Racine, but even playing in that park brought them harassment from the gangs fighting over that territory.

In the year 1981, the fights with neighborhood gangs got worse for La Raza and they made the decision to join the Folk alliance alongside their closest allies the Party People.  Just like the Party people La Raza joined the Folk alliance under the sponsorship of the Little Village Two Sixs but La Raza did not adopt the moniker of “Gangster” like the Party People did, instead La Raza adopted “Insane” which was the moniker that the Satan Disciples used but La Raza had no direct ties to the SDs except for being Folks too.

La Raza and Party People were close allies since they both started in the same year of 1980 as party crews.  Both groups also consisted of mainly Mexican youths fresh from Mexico that were struggling with gangs in the neighborhood trying to take advantage of them.  There may have been a friendship with the Brazers too as they were going through the same thing but La Raza was NOT born out of the Brazers as many think.  There were also stories that La Raza was born out of the Party People, this isn’t true either.  Many other stories try to claim La Raza was born out of other various groups but those are not true either.  Many just seem to have a hard time grasping that La Raza started independently and have always been lone wolves that sometimes have allies.  Many seem to want to believe La Raza was once owned by other gangs upon their inception but this isn’t true, La Raza is all original.

In the year 1982, a younger group of La Raza started up called “Tiny Raza” that was situated by 21st and Throop.  This was the slow progression of how La Raza was becoming more and more known in the neighborhood as they were now growing.

Things got real serious in 1982 when the first La Raza named Martin was gunned down, this is when La Raza began to gravitate more into being a gangbanging crew than ever.  After the killings of “Mando” “Snake” in 1984 and “Micobrio” in 1984, who was killed by Racine Street Latin Counts, hardened La Raza more into a hard core gangbanging crew as now they were targets by rivals more so than ever.

In the year 1985, La Raza expanded into new territory in the Back of the Yards community.  “Beto” was the founder of the 48th Street La Raza branch as he connected with a gang called the 48th Street Boys that made alot of noise in the early 1980s.  This section was started at 48th and Laflin.  This sections would become legendary as this section would eventually become one of the largest and most dominating gangs in Back of the Yards.

Around 1985 was a big time period of expansion for La Raza as they opened up multiple new territories all over the city.  This was the time period when La Raza opened in West Humboldt Park, Hermosa, Ashburn and Rogers Park.  The Rogers Park, West Humboldt Park and Hermosa sections were some of the most legendary.

La Raza was always hard for law enforcement and the general public to identify because of their name and colors.  Anybody who is Mexican can wave the Mexican flag and say they are “La Raza” which means “the race” in Spanish.  If Chicago police were to harass someone based upon them claiming they are “La Raza” and wearing the Mexican flag colors and emblems they could be accused of violating the civil rights of that individual and this is how the La Raza gang blended in until the late 1980s.

By the mid-1980s, everyone was starting to hear about La Raza as they became more violent in their gangbanging as now members were beginning to shoot their rivals dead.  Since many of these older members didn’t have too many ties to the United States they could just pack up and leave for Mexico after committing a murder.

In the year 1988 La Raza went to war with Ambrose along 18th Street.   In March of that year some Ambrose jumped a member of La Raza and according to the court case of People vs. Quiroz, La Raza gang members Martin Quiroz and Jose Anaya shot and killed Ambrose gang member Jesus Sanchez (referefnce: People vs. Quiroz).   At Cullerton and Loomis, Laraza was always in very close proximity to allies the Two Two Boys, and now that Two Six and Two Two Boys were at war and La Raza was still allied with Two Six, a war erupted with the Two Two Boys by the end of 1986.

In the late 1980s, La Raza aggressive measures grew as they continued to be implicated in more and more shootings.  La Raza would often deal with their enemies quickly without any hesitation giving them the reputation as one of the more violent street gangs in the Pilsen area and perhaps on the top list for the city.  This gained them much notoriety and brought them more expansion in Pilsen and now they progressed to growing into other neighborhoods especially the Back of the Yard neighborhood between 47th and 49th Street from Ashland down to Racine (48th Side).  La Raza also grew into a large area in Pilsen between 19th Street and 21st Street and Loomis to Racine. At this point they likely close 17th Street to focus more on the 19th Street zone.  It was at this time when La Raza landed along the Gage Park/Marquette Park border between 57th street down to 62nd street and Fairfield, the heart of this region was 61st and Fairfield.

In the earlier 1990s La Raza would pioneer the suburbs of Streamwood, Rockford, Carpentersville and Cicero at 14th and 49th in the Grant Works section.

By 1990 or sooner the war with Ambrose died out and would not resume until the mid-1990s.

In Cicero 1992 war with Two Two Boys erupted in Cicero.  Two Two Boys originally were on the corner of 14th and 49th since 1980 and now over a decade later La Raza was settling there, this kicked off a major gang war as these two gangs were just too close to each other.

In the year 1994, war began with long time allies the Party People.  At 61st and Fairfield three members of La Raza flipped to Party People which caused the 61st street branch anger.  The leader of this section then complained to the La Raza of Pilsen about this causing the Pilsen leader to become enraged, he then visited the Party People at 17th and May and began expressing his dissatisfaction.  The Party People took this as disrespect and a member of the Party People pulled out a shot gun and shot the La Raza leader in the chest killing him.  This started a vicious war that never ended.  Warfare was real bad at 61st and Fairfield causing this territory to no longer be beneficial for La Raza so they left in 1995 after fighting the Party People violently.

Throughout the 1990s La Raza fought several vicious and bloody gang wars yet they continued to multiply in size and seemed to become increasingly violent.  La Raza remained close allies with Two Six until a territorial dispute happened in 1998 over 42nd and Mozart which was in Two Six territory and La Raza was taking from their drug business, La Raza did not want to give up the territory so they both went to war for about 1 year, then a truce was called because both gangs were having issues with the Saints, and La Raza left that territory and put more soldiers on 48th Street for investment reasons and to keep relations with Two Six.

Cortland and Kedvale was eventually left behind for more investment at Harding and Wabansia.  La Raza has not lost much territory over the years and only lost one suburban investment in Carpentersville because of the police.  The organization has ran strong since 1980 and is known for being one of the more vicious, aggressive and violent organizations.

Please send in old school pics.   1970s pics will be especially appreciated!


  1. What year did war start with SDs in the 90s? What started it?
  2. What year did war start again with Ambrose in the 90s? What started it?

Sections of La Raza past and present

Ashburn neighborhood 80s, 90s, 2000s

Sections of Ashburn

76th & Ridgeway 80s, 90s, 2000s

79th & Pulaski 80s-1990

79th & Lawndale 80s-1990

Back of the Yards neighborhood Established 1980 as 48th Street Boys, 1985 as La Raza

Sections of Back of the Yards

47th to 49th, Ashland to Racine (48th Side) Established 1980 as 48th Street Boys, 1985 as La Raza

50th & Hoyne

Brighton Park neighborhood

Brighton Park neighborhood

43rd & Mozart

Gage Park neighborhood

Sections of Gage Park

Fairfield from 57th to 59th

Hermosa neighborhood Established 1985-2000s

Sections of Hermosa

Cortland & Kedvale 1985-2000s

Cortland & Tripp 80s

Marquette Park neighborhood Established 1985-1995

Sections of Marquette Park

Fairfield from 59th to 61st Established 1985-1995

Pilsen neighborhood Established 1980-present years

Sections of Pilsen

18th to 22nd, Throop to Alport (Murder Town)

19th & Racine

Cullerton & Racine

Rogers Park neighborhood Established 1985-present years

Sections of Rogers Park

Clark & Estes (North Pole) Established 1985-present years

West Humboldt Park 1985-present years

Sections of West Humboldt Park

Wabansia to North Ave, Kostner to Kildare 1985-present years

Bloomingdale to Wabansia, Keystone to Pulaski (DK Town) 1985-present years




Cicero Established 1992 14th to 16th, Cicero to 50th Court in Grant Works

Glen Ellyn (7 Blocks)


Streamwood (Spook Town)