Author biography

 

Reymundo Sanchez

 

The name of the author of My Bloody Life, “Reymundo Sanchez,” is a pseudonym to insure anonymity of the author. Reymundo Sanchez, while not the “Lil Loco” that he writes about, is a former Latin King who draws from his own experiences and those of his friends to write about the life of Lil Loco. He no longer lives in Chicago, but his current whereabouts are not known beyond that.

Sanchez wrote a sequel to My Bloody Life, called Once a King Always a King: The Unmaking of a Latin King. This sequel is much more about Sanchez himself: “In Once a King, Always a King the eulogy of Lil Loco ends but my life continues.
I still draw from the experiences of others in the beginning as way to assure my anonymity, but tell totally about my life once the story no longer revolves around the Latin Kings” (Sanchez, nogangs.com). Sanchez is currently working on a book, coming out in 2008, called Lady Q, that he says is based on the story of a real individual.

Reymundo Sanchez has a MySpace and runs a website called nogangs.com, pushing survival “outside the hood” and strongly discouraging people from joining gangs.

 

The Latin Kings

The Latin Kings first originated in the 1940’s. The Latin Kings were created originally to help Puerto Ricans in Chicago overcome and combat the racism that was so strong in the city. Ironically, they were created with the purpose “to better serve themselves and their communities” (knowgangs.com). As the gang continued to exist, however, its members turned to drugs and violence, and it soon became the largest Latino/Latina gang in Chicago. Although the gang originated in Chicago, there are chapters of the Latin Kings in multiple states across the nation. While the gang originally required members to have Hispanic bloodlines, they now accept members of other races.

The Latin Kings do have both male and female members. Male members are referred to as the “kings” and female members are the “Latin Queens.”

Latin Kings have multiple ways to identify themselves. Probably one of the most obvious identifications is the gang colors – Latin Kings wear black and gold clothing: “Black represents death; gold represents life” (www.segag.org). Their main symbol is a five pointed crown, like the one pictured on the front of My Bloody Life. Other symbols include a five pointed star, and a bulldog with a crown.

Like Reymundo Sanchez references in his book, the Latin Kings are organized. They have a specific hierarchy and organizational structure:

 

“The typical street chapter of the Latin Kings has the following organizational arrangement from top down: Inca, Cacique, Enforcers, Treasurer, Investigator, Secretary, Cleaners, Throwers, and the basic rank and file member. There may be a female associated group, called the Latin Queens, but must be attached to a male driven chapter, they do not exist on their own as independent operators. There may also be “pee wee” members, but they are not privy to the secret operations of the chapter of the gang and are not normally allowed to attend its weekly meetings” (Knox).

 

“Lil Loco,” in the Latin Kings, is one such pee wee member towards the beginning of the novel.

 

 

 

Works Cited

Aronson, Bart. “Crown of Blood: a Review of “My Bloody Life: the Making of a Latin King”” FindLaw. 20 Nov. 2007 <http://writ.news.findlaw.com/books/reviews/20001013_aronson.html&gt;.

Knox, George W. “Gang Profile: the Latin Kings.” National Gang Crime Research Center. 20 Nov. 2007 <http://www.ngcrc.com/ngcrc/page15.htm&gt;.

“Latin King.” Independent Publishers Group. 20 Nov. 2007 <http://www.ipgbook.com/showbook.cfm?bookid=8495764474&userid=9A879972-803F-2B7A-700777A4C9097691&gt;.

“Latin Kings and Queens Information.” 20 Nov. 2007 <http://www.segag.org/ganginfo/frlkings.html&gt;.

“Latin Kings.” Wikipedia. 20 Nov. 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Kings&gt;.

“Latin Kings.” Wikipedia. 20 Nov. 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Kings&gt;.

“Latino Gangs.” 20 Nov. 2007 <http://www.uic.edu/orgs/kbc/latinkings/latindex.html&gt;.

“Once a King Always a King.” Diesel E Books. 20 Nov. 2007 <http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/cgi-bin/item/1556527403/Once-a-King-Always-a-King-The-Unmaking-of-a-Latin-King-eBook.html&gt;.

Sanchez, Reymundo. “NoGangs.Com.” 20 Nov. 2007 <http://www.nogangs.com/ngpages/books/books.htm&gt;.

“The Almighty Latin Kings Nation.” Know Gangs. 20 Nov. 2007 <http://www.knowgangs.com/gang_resources/profiles/kings/&gt;.

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