|In||Chicago, New York City|
|Years active||1940 – present|
|Territory||United States, Canada, Latin America, Italy and Spain|
|Criminal activities||Racketeering, assault, drug trafficking, extortion, identity document forgery and murder|
|Allies||People Nation, Nortenos, Bloods|
|Rivals||Folk Nation, Sureños, Crips, Trinitario|
The Latin Kings are said to be the largest and most organized Hispanic street gang in the United States of America , which has it's roots dating back to the 1940's in Chicago, Illinois . The Almighty Latin Kings first emerged in Chicago in the 1940s after several young Puerto Rican (on the Northside) and Mexican (on the Southside) males organized into a self-defense group to protect their community and to unite "all Latinos" into a collective struggle against "oppression". Their goal was to help each other overcome the problems of racism and prejudice that newly arriving Latino immigrants were experiencing and to serve as a vanguard for their people.
Like the Black Panthers, the Young Lords, and so many other groups that struggled against social injustices, the Latin Kings were broken as a movement . They lost touch with their roots and grew into one of the largest and most infamous criminal gangs in America. The group's members became involved in crimes including murder, drug trafficking, robberies and other organized criminal activities.
Latin King documents reveal that Gino Gustavo Colon (a.k.a. "Lord Gino") is considered the "SUN" of the Almighty Latin King Nation in Chicago—and has been for a long time. Currently he is serving a life sentence in federal prison due to a 25-count indictment, which includes charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and other drugs. Latin King headquarters is located on Beach and Spaulding in Northwest Chicago.
Luis Felipe (a.k.a. King Blood) started his own chapter of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation with the permission of his superiors in Chicago, the "motherland". He designated himself as Inca and Supreme Crown of New York State. In 1995 Antonio Fernandez (a.k.a. King Tone) was designated Inca and Supreme Crown of New York State and New Jersey, and the ALKQN once again began a transformation.
The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (ALKQN, ALKN, LKN) is the largest Hispanic street gang, and the largest Chicago-based street gang, in the United States. Unlike MS-13 and 18th Street gang—whose great portion of gang membership exists in Central and South America—the majority of Latin Kings reside within the United States. The ALKN has over 25,000 members in the city of Chicago alone, with another ten to fifteen thousand members in the surrounding suburbs of Illinois. They also have organized chapters of Latin Kings in over 41 states and several Latin American and European countries: Mexico, Spain, Dominican Republic, Canada, Italy, Ecuador, Peru, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom and others. The Latin Kings are mostly of Latino descent, with some Black, White, Asian and Middle Eastern members as well.
The Latin Kings have a hierarchical organizational structure, and they have sets in numerous states across the country. These sets are referred to as "chapters" or "tribes", with each reporting to an Inca, Cacíque, Enforcer and Regional Officer. The head (or heads) of the entire criminal organization are known as "Coronas" (crowns in Spanish).
Violence is the hallmark of the Latin Kings. In their beginnings, when they were not great in size, their brutal history and propensity for violence distinguished them from other Latino gangs in Chicago, making them equal players with the larger Black "Super Gangs", such as the Gangster Disciples, the Almighty Vice Lord Nation and the Black P. Stones. They also played an equal role in the formation of the People Nation. In recent times, the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation has grown to be the second largest gang within Chicago and has hitherto been recognized as the most violent street gang in the Chicagoland area.
The Latin King colors are black and gold; gang markings consist of a 5 or 3-point crown, writings of LK, ALK, ALKN, ALKQN abbreviations (or the whole words), and drawings of the Lion and/or the King Master. Latin King symbolism is usually accompanied with the name and number of the chapter, region or city of the gang. The Latin Kings are of the People Nation, and therefore, represent everything to the "left" in opposition to the "right", which is representative of the "Folk Nation".
The Latin Kings teach Latino pride and all members are encouraged to live in accordance with the principles of KINGISM (a moral driven awareness of social oppression and the desire to uplift their people to their rightful place: "amongst the thrones of Kings and Queens"). The Latin Kings operate under strict codes and guidelines that are conveyed in a lengthy constitution  and follow the teachings of the ALKQN Manifesto , which was written by highly intellectual Latin Kings (these documents are referred to as the "King Manifesto/Constitution" or "KM/C" for short). In this manifesto you can find traces of Marxism, Christianity, Confucianism and other revolutionary/historical world-views which when combined make up the ideology and morality of "KINGISM". These teachings are centered around the upliftment of the poor (the "Oppressed Third World People") and the struggle against the oppressive social, political and economic existing order of things.
To begin their meetings, members may face the East, which is where the sun rises, and recite one of the various Latin King prayers to Yahve (The Almighty Father and King of Kings) and pledge to be ever faithful to the Nation. These meetings are also used by members to discuss recent events, dues, retaliation, position responsibilities and elections. When compared to most street gangs, the Latin Kings are generally more structured and organized. The gang's rules are strictly enforced and some members celebrate January 6 as "King's Holy Day" and the first week in March as "King's Week" 
Due to the organization's contradictory history, it is often debated about whether they are strictly a criminal organization or a positive force in the community (as they have obviously taken on both roles at different points in time, as well as simultaneously). For example, in 2000 there were approximately 1600 self-admitted Latin Kings in the Illinois Department of Corrections, and these accounted for over half of all the recorded violent acts on prison personnel and other inmates, making the ALKN the most violent prison gang in Illinois (Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fiscal Report, 2000).
But their "apparent contradictions", the Latin Kings may argue, can be better understood when viewed through the lens of their teachings. Once a member of the Almighty Latin King Nation, according to the "Latin King Manifesto", a member naturally passes through three stages of consciousness:
(1) the Primitive Stage, wherein the neophyte member is expected to be immature and to be involved in such activities as gang-banging and being a street warrior without the full consciousness of Kingism ;
(2) the Conservative or Mummy Stage, which is where a member tires of the street gang life but is still accepting of life as it has been taught to him by the existing system that exploits all people of color, dehumanizes them, and maintains them under the conditions and social yoke of slavery;
and (3) the New King Stage, where the member recognizes the need for a revolution of the "mind". According to the Manifesto, "The New King is the end product of complete awareness, perceiving three-hundred and sixty degrees of enlightenment; his observations are free and independent; his thoughts are not clouded by any form of prejudice...For him there are no horizons between races, sexes and senseless labels", including gang labels for recognition. The New King no longer views the rival warriors as the cause of his ills and seeks world unity for the sake of humanization and freedom for all the "Oppressed Third World Peoples".
Therefore, as appropriately expressed by their own teachings, a great majority of Latin Kings live a criminal lifestyle while a select few seek to better their communities and fight against social oppression and injustices.
The Latin Kings rose to be one of the most feared and revered gangs inside and outside the penal system in the state of Illinois. The Latin Kings ordered "hits" against correctional officers, killed disobedient members and did not hesitate to commit violence against rival gang members. Latin King gang members would follow orders and vowed to lay down their lives for their "Nation". Unfortunately, this also meant extreme internal discipline and organized fear. One such story goes as follows:
In 1983, an inmate by the name of Carlos Robles was considered an escapee two days before he was scheduled to be released from the Illinois Department of Corrections. Years later, a high-ranking Latin King, who turned informant, gave the FBI critical information about the location of Carlos' skull and the bloody tale of how the Latin Kings butchered him and fed him to the Stateville Prison inmate population for dinner.
According to the informant's account, Carlos Robles was a northside Latin King who had disrespected the leader of the Southside Latin Kings, one Raul Gonzalez (AKA "Baby King"). After receiving approval from Gustavo Colon, the hit was ordered against Carlos Robles.
The two Latin Kings that were chosen for the hit were heavy PCP users, and they basically told him they were throwing him a "going away party". The two hit-men got permission from the cellhouse guard to use the basement for the going away party—the basement of the cellhouse unit also contained the shower area. When Carlos entered the basement of the cellhouse with the Latin Kings they decapitated him and then chopped his body up into smaller pieces with heavy gauge steel machetes. First they cut off Carlos' head; Then one arm, then the other arm. With a little hacking, off went one leg, then the other. They chopped at the torso, cutting it into smaller pieces. The head was the only body part that could not be sliced up into smaller pieces.To eliminate evidence, they turned on the showers to drain the blood and wash off the body parts. Members of their own gang, according to the informants testimony, cooperated upstairs in the cell house by staging a diversion fight. Meanwhile the two Latin Kings placed the body parts into plastic bags and went through a tunnel which led to what was then the butcher shop area of the prisons kitchen.
The two Latin Kings paid a rival gang member, who was in charge of the butcher shop, to grind up the body parts in the older meat grinder that was there, a very large commercial grade meat grinder. On the menu for the evening meal that night at Stateville Penitentiary was meat loaf. The rival gang member agreed, and grinded up the body parts with the pork and beef that was also going into the meat loaf for the evening meal. The skull was incapable of being ground; therefore, the killers buried the skull in the basement of the cellhouse.
No traces of the skin, bones, teeth, or blood of Carlos Robles were found for years. That is until the skull was dug up in 1995 in Stateville  when an informant offered information of its whereabouts to federal authorities in 1995. No one was ever charged for his murder.
On July 1, 1989 a correctional officer at the Stateville Correctional Center, Lawrence Kush, Jr., was assassinated by the Latin Kings while on the job . Officer Kush was known to be very thorough when conducting "shakedowns" of prison cells at Stateville to find contraband such as drugs, makeshift weapons, and money. During one of these "shakedowns", the other correctional officer, who was conducting the "shakedown" with Kush, overheard inmate Gino Colon say that both Kush and the other officer were going to get what was coming to them. Colon was one of the two highest-ranking members of the Latin Kings "nation."
Testimony at trial indicated that Colon ordered a "hit" on Kush because his "shakedowns" were interfering with the Latin Kings' drug business. On July 1, 1989, two Latin Kings put on prison jumpsuits, gloves, and stocking caps with holes cut in them such that the stocking caps looked like ski masks. They ambushed Kush and beat him about the head and body with pipes. When other prisoners and prison officials discovered Kush and came to his assistance, he was vomiting and bleeding from the top of his head. By the time Kush arrived at the hospital, he was brain dead from the injuries he sustained in this beating. The pipes, jumpsuits, gloves, and ski masks used by the assassins were later recovered by investigators on the prison grounds. Through further inestigation it was discovered that Officer Lawrence Kush was just one of 30 officers on a "hit list" prepared by the Latin Kings .
Alex Arellano, 15 years old, was beaten, shot and set on fire on the city's Southwest Side on May 1, 2009. His burned body was found in a gangway. According to prosecutors, Arellano was on his way to a party with some girlfriends on May 1 when he was confronted by two men on bicycles. They asked him what he 'was about,' which referred to his gang affiliation, prosecutors said. The victim says he wasn't about anything, he wasn't in a gang.The individuals rode off on bike. Within a very short period of time a Mustang pulled up with known members of Latin Kings street gang (they) got out with baseball bats and beat the victim.
Police said Arellano got away, but then was run down by the driver of the Mustang. Arellano escaped for a second time as he fled into the yard of a vacant home, but the alleged gang members caught up with Arellano a third time. While in the backyard the beating continued. Arellano was shot one time in the head before the offenders left. Hours later the Latin King members returned and set his body on fire.[]
According to prosecutors, Martin Ybarra, an alleged longtime Latin Kings gang member who was recently acquitted of a 2005 murder, is now being charged with a triple murder that took place in Chicago's far southside. A Cook County judge ordered Ybarra, 20, held without bail for the shootings near 87th and Exchange.
An Eastern European AK-47 has been linked by firearms testing to casings recovered on the spots where the three teens were killed Feb. 20, 2009. The weapon was purchased years ago at an Indiana pawn shop and investigators are checking whether it has been used in other shootings, a law enforcement source said.
Cook County prosecutors said Ybarra fired the assault rifle in two spots -- both times in the apparent direction of a 24-year-old rival Black P-Stone. Ybarra began his alleged assault on foot, chasing victims through gangways and alleys before getting into a car, sources said. Eleven bullets struck the three teens near 87th and Exchange.
Johnny Edwards, 13, was shot once and apparently died next to his brother, who cried out for help. Also killed were Bowen High students Kendrick Pitts, 17, and Raheem Washington, 15. Witnesses have identified Ybarra, known as "Slim," in lineups, Cook county assistant state's attorney Thomas Darman said. Ybarra also was allegedly seen firing an assault rifle during the shootings, Darman said.
The shooting allegedly stemmed from longtime gang aggravations between the Latin Kings and Black P-Stones in the neighborhood. Ybarra, of the 8300 block of South Buffalo, was called to the area to "assist his fellow Latin Kings," Darman said. According to witnesses Ybarra was allegedly seen leaving his home with an assault weapon in a dark car. []
As part of a three-year investigation called "Operation First-Degree Burn" and a multiple-agency task force, 31 Latin Kings gang members were charged by a special Kane County Grand Jury related to 22 murders going back two decades in Aurora, Illinois.
All the deaths were believed to be the work of the Latin Kings street gang. Aurora Police Chief William Powell said many of those killed were members of rival street gangs, but that some were innocent victims. Several of the killings were from drive-by shootings.[]
After spending a quarter century in prison on a murder conviction, Gustavo "Gino" Colon, co-leader of the powerful Latin Kings street gang, was charged with a 25 count indictment. Gang underlings were so sure that Colon would be released that they had already arranged for him to be squired from the Downstate Menard Correctional Center to Chicago in a limousine, according to law enforcement officials. Instead, 24 hours before his release, Colon was awakened by prison officials, who handcuffed him and then escorted him out of the prison, where he was handed over to federal agents. Colon was driven to Chicago in a van under tight security. He and 13 other members and affiliates of the Latin King street gang were charged with running a drug operation that is alleged to have distributed $6 million worth of crack and powder cocaine, marijuana and heroin throughout Chicago between 1995 and 1996.
According to the 25-count indictment, Colon—known as "Lord Gino"--used prison telephones and meetings with visitors at Menard to direct the gang's massive drug operations, including the purchase of cocaine and the wholesale distribution of drugs from an apartment building in the 2400 block of North Kedzie Avenue. The "Sun King", Gustavo Colon was given a "Life Sentence" in federal prison after a two month trial .
A three-year investigation of the Latin Kings by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), entitled Operation Broken Crown, ended with the arrest of Fernando "Ace" King, who was suspected to be one of the highest-ranking members of the gang and at least 20 others. The operation was conducted in various areas in Chicago and the suburbs.
Prosecutors said the crack in the case came from an informant named Jesse Guajardo, the alleged "Inca" or leader of a southwest suburban crew of the Latin Kings, from whom the witness purchased cocaine on about 10 occasions between 2000 and 2003. In just 18 months alone in 2003 and 2004, Guajardo, arrested in February, allegedly purchased 150 kilograms of cocaine -– including as much as 50 kilograms at one time for about $1.8 million -– from his alleged supplier, Jose Estrada, according to federal charges.
The investigation by ATF and various local, state and federal law enforcement partners when authorities began executing 10 federal search warrants and arresting alleged leaders, members and associates of the Almighty Latin King Nation (ALKN) street gang and individuals who supplied them with and purchased narcotics.
About 10 kilograms of cocaine and 87 firearms were either seized or purchased previously during the investigation, authorities said.
Fernando "Ace" King, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern Judicial District of Illinois before Judge David Coar to 240 months in federal prison for Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance, and 120 months for Conspiracy to Possess a Controlled Substance. Judge Coar allowed the sentences to be served concurrently.
Some 400 agents and officers fanned out into the Little Village Community to arrest many of the 40 Latin Kings hit with federal or state charges. Among those charged in the operation were the "Supreme Regional Officer" as well as 32 "Incas" and "Casiques,": top leaders in the gang's block-by-block organization.
Among those charged in the drug conspiracy case was Vicente Garcia, 30, of Bolingbrook, identified by authorities as the gang's No. 2 leader. Garcia, succeeded Fernando "Ace" King as the gang's "Supreme Inca" after King was convicted in another federal prosecution
The undercover recordings captured Garcia issuing a decree that each Inca in the 24 Latin Kings sections controlled by the Little Village region of the gang sell a quarter-ounce of cocaine twice a month to generate revenue for the "Nation Box," a kitty the gang used to pay for guns, drugs, funerals and legal fees, authorities said. Investigators methodically built a case as the wired informant made the rounds handing out drugs and collecting money from gang supervisors month after month. Investigators dubbed their work Operation Pesadilla, Spanish for nightmare .
Augustin Zambrano, alleged to be a "Corona" of the Latin Kings, making him the highest-ranking leader outside of prison and responsible for overseeing the illegal activities of all factions of the powerful Chicago Latin Kings, is among 18 defendants charged in a sweeping new federal indictment against the gang's alleged hierarchy. Zambrano and other alleged leaders of the 26th Street Region of the Latin Kings were charged with racketeering conspiracy for allegedly running a criminal enterprise to enrich themselves and others through drug trafficking and preserving and protecting their power, territory and revenue through acts of murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, extortion, and other acts of violence .
To enforce the Latin Kings’ grip on the community and control over its members and associates, defendants charged in the racketeering conspiracy (RICO) count allegedly kept victims in fear of the gang and its leaders by enforcing what it referred to as an "SOS" — or shoot on sight — order against Latin King members who cooperated with law enforcement.
As part of the racketeering conspiracy, defendants and their associates allegedly:
1. conducted the gang's affairs through a series of laws and policies, some of which were codified in a constitution and a series of laws. The rules included a three-page list of 25 rules establishing procedures for homicides, "security," and the sale of counterfeit identification documents;
2. attended regular meetings, known as "demos" – or, when held by Nation officers, "Nation demos" – at which they discussed, planned, and otherwise engaged in criminal activity, including murder, attempted murder, narcotics distribution, and obstruction of justice;
3. initiated members by causing them to endure physical assaults conducted by other members at various gang-related gatherings;
4. engaged in a system of "violations" in which they and others enforced discipline and the rules by attempting murder, conspiring to murder, physically beating and threatening those members who violated rules, questioned authority, or posed a threat to the leaders or purposes of the gang;
5. committed illegal acts known as "burns," including murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery, intimidation, and assault against individuals who posed a threat to the gang or jeopardized its operations, including rival gang members and witnesses to illegal activities. Latin Kings members and associates were required to participate in such "burns," received standing orders to shoot rival gang members, and were instructed to retaliate for gang-related attacks upon fellow members and associates;
6. managed the procurement, transfer, use, concealment, and disposal of firearms and dangerous weapons to protect gang-related territory, personnel, and operations, and to deter, eliminate, and retaliate against competitors and other rival gangs and individuals;
7. monitored law enforcement radio frequencies to detect and avoid law enforcement inquiry into their activities, including during gang-related missions;
8. acquired automobiles, which were known by several names, including "rammers," to use them during missions against rival gangs;
9. earned money for their members and regularly financed their activities through funds obtained in the illegal trafficking of narcotics, including the possession and distribution of cocaine and marijuana;
10. and operated a "Box" system in which section and region leaders and others controlled and maintained a stash of money for the gang. Gang members and associates paid required monthly dues into the Box which, in turn, the gang used to bail its members out of jail, to send money to incarcerated members, and to purchase and sell firearms and controlled substances. Members their associates at times paid money into the "Box" by selling narcotics supplied by Nation-level members of the gang .
The charges result from a sustained, coordinated investigation by multiple federal law enforcement agencies, working together with the Chicago Police Department and other state and local partners, to dismantle the hierarchy of the Latin Kings and other highly-organized, often violent, drug-trafficking Chicago street gangs. Nevertheless, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have yet to do much in terms of eliminating, but simply to diminish, the Almighty Latin King Nation's power and control over Chicago's illegal drug trade.
To avoid imprisonment for his criminal activities in Chicago, Luis Felipe moved to New York, where he was later convicted of killing his girlfriend, which he claimed was a drunken accident. While in jail, he got permission from his superiors in Chicago to start the New York chapter of the Latin Kings which grew very rapidly. Using hand-written letters, he gave members orders to kill enemies, as well as disobedient Latin Kings, in order to preserve discipline. Felipe's gang was highly organized.
In 1991 Felipe was returned to prison after a short release for parole violations stemming from the receipt of stolen goods. Felipe would continue however to guide the ALKQN members who now totaled about 2000 members both incarcerated and free. In 1994 with the rapid growth of the Latin Kings, an internal power struggle erupted and violence within the Kings ensued. Between June 1993 and February 1994, seven Latin Kings were murdered. Following the outbreaks of internal gang violence Luis Felipe and 19 others were charged with murder and racketeering, the indictments would end in 1995 with 39 Latin Kings and 1 Latin Queen indicted under the RICO Act.
The details of the charges against Felipe would later become known. Felipe was charged with ordering the killing of William (Lil Man) Cartegena. Cartegena was taken to an abandoned Bronx apartment where he was strangled, decapitated, mutilated and his corpse set on fire. Felipe allegedly murdered Cartagena for theft from the organization.
In 1996, following the trial of Luis Felipe, Antonio Fernandez  who was recently blessed as the Inca and Supreme Crown of New York State and New Jersey , kneeled with other Latin Kings in front of the Federal District Court in Manhattan and is quoted as stating: It's time for a fresh start ... Now they can't hold our past against us. 1996 is believed to be the beginning of the ALKQN's transformation from a street gang to a "street organization."
Latin Kings and Queens begin appearing en mass at political demonstrations in support of the Latino community. To further its transformation and efforts to legitimize, the organization begins to hold its monthly meetings (universals) at St. Marys Episcopal Church in West Harlem. At this time the membership of the Latin Kings is believed to have swelled to 3,000 incarcerated and 4,000 free. The monthly universals are drawing in an attendance of 500-600 regularly. Internal changes to the organization begin to take place as Fernandez amended the ALKQN manifesto to include parliamentary elections and new procedures for handling inter-organizational grievances and removing death as a possible punishment, replacing it with "vanishing", the act of being banished from the movement.
For the ALKQN, 1997 begins with Felipe being sentenced to the harshest penalty passed down since World War II, Felipe is sentenced to 250 years in prison, the first 45 to be spent in solitary confinement. The other 39 members were sentenced to an average of 20 years in prison for their roles in the crimes. The year would bring further legal troubles as Fernandez and 31 others are arrested in a raid in the Lower East Side and charged with disorderly conduct. The Special Commissioner of Investigation for Schools soon after charges the ALKQN with infiltrating the school system, a school security guard with five years of service is dismissed on charges of unprofessional conduct for his association. The year comes to a close with Fernandez being arrested in December by the FBI for domestic abuse.
The pending charges against Fernandez were dropped in early 1998. Following the release of Fernandez, a joint operation of the FBI, New York City Police Department (NYPD), Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), New York State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) comes to a close with the arrests of 92 suspected ALKQN members. The Latin King leadership insists over half of those arrested are not members. The operation, dubbed Operation Crown, cost the city over one million dollars and took 19 months to complete.
Fernandez was released after four days on $350,000 bail, which was paid for by contributions from community members. Over half of the arrested were charged with misdemeanors, other were charged with weapons possession and drug trafficking. Fernandez was eventually permitted, though on house arrest, to attend monthly universal meetings. It was during his time on house arrest that the Latin Queens underwent a shake up in leadership, dismissing many of the leaders in order to bring in more politically focused members.
The Latin Kings during this period begin to gain legitimacy. First, Lolita Lebrón, who was a member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, appointed the New York State ALKQN to protect her during a demonstration in front of the United Nations. Following the UN demonstration, Rafael Cancel-Miranda, a Puerto Rican nacionalista who spent 25 years in federal prison, attended a monthly universal. Before years' end, Adelfa Vera, Puerto Rican activist, attended a monthly universal and was given sacred ALKQN beads by the present leadership. Adelfa was praised during the meeting and stated "These kids are hope for our liberation struggle. I can die in peace, because we found the continuation"
In 1998 Fernandez  pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sell and distribute heroin. In 1999 he was sentenced to 13 years in prison, which he is serving at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas and was placed in solitary confinement. He was eventually transferred again and placed in general population.
While originally the Latin Kings are thought to be a male organization, it eventually began to absorb women and give them an equal share. The Latin Queens constituted the female half of the ALKQN.
The Latin Queen agenda is composed of self-respect, independence, family support, ethnic identity and self-empowerment. Seeking such goals has attracted a wide variety of females who had been drug addicted, victimized and/or neglected by families, spouses and partners. Sociologists studying the Latin Kings and Queens have observed the different methods in which both groups attempt to "reclaim and regulate" their environments. The Latin Queens are believed to focus more on their private space issues such as home life and protection and nurturing of their bodies, as opposed to the Latin Kings, who are more concerned with loss of public spaces in their own communities.
The evolution of the ALKQN has been viewed by outside sources as being assisted by the addition and greater role in which Latin Queens have played, exposing the ALKQN to a greater range of cross-class supporters than would have been possible prior to their integration. In regions such as Spain, Latin Queens are helping to legitimize the ALKQN through integration with government sponsored programs. In Catalonia, the 200 person Latin Kings and Queens tribe was designated as the Cultural Association of Latin Kings and Queens of Catalonia. The "cultural program" designation was bestowed through government sponsored programs to assist gangs with integration into society and is led by Latin Queen Melody, Erika Jaramillo.