Cuauhtemoc discovered singing Mexican ballads known as corridos as an escape from the gangs and violence in his neighborhood. He is now enrolled in a singing class at Stevenson Middle School, which for years had no arts classes for most students. The Los Angeles Unified School District is trying to enlist Hollywood executives and music studios to "adopt" LA Unified schools and provide them with equipment, mentorships and training. LOS ANGELES — At first, the teacher didn't believe the year-old kid known for habitually missing school and making trouble in class when he said he wanted to become a professional singer. What happened next stunned them both: Lara began singing Mexican ballads known as corridos. And he was good.
It is one of the largest transnational criminal gangs in Los Angeles, with 30, to 50, members in 20 states across the US alone and is also allied with the Mexican Mafia. They were originally part of Clanton 14 but wanted to make a separate "clique" called Clanton 18th Street and allow immigrants the opportunity to join. This proposal was rejected by the Clanton 14, which led to the formation of the 18th Street gang. The two gangs have been bitter rivals ever since. The 18th Street gang grew by expanding its membership to other nationalities and races, and it was among the first multiracial, multi-ethnic gangs in Los Angeles. Although it started as a Mexican gang, 18th Street quickly became mainly Central American as it started to recruit more members of other ethnic groups. Members of 18th street are mainly Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Honduran, but the gang does have members from other parts of Central America.
WNYC, the local public-radio station, reported that one of the attributes that can get teens tagged as gang members are Nike Cortez sneakers. In June, a group of gang members beat up two men in Maryland because they believed one of them was affiliated with a rival faction, thanks to his Cortez sneakers. The Cortez has a long history of notorious ties. The gang brought a form of protection in a landscape filled with criminal groups. In most prisons, inmates are issued shoes that inmates frequently complain about as uncomfortable and unsafe.
Skip to content. Vladi, center, is from El Salvador. He says the gangs try to recruit you when you turn 14 or He's