The World’s Most Hardcore Street Gangs

20 Years Since The Rodney King Verdict Sparked Infamous L.A. Riots

It’s one thing to see a street gang in a movie.  We almost look up to these gangs in a weird kind of way.  Not to say we’d go around murdering people and committing crimes everyday, but clearly when you see a cool gang in a movie you are in awe of how cool they come off.  Well, what might be enviable in a movie certainly isn’t cool in real life.  Gangs are a big part of society and are extremely dangerous.  I would not, in any way, be affiliated with any of these guys.  If you ever think that you’re tough, think again.  These are are the true tough people.  However, not entirely intelligent if you ask me. Here are some of the world’s most hardcore street gangs.

Mara Salvatrucha – MS 13

When I heard the term MS-13 a long time ago in my own hometown in Long Island I never thought anything of it.  However, 10-15 years later I read about these guys and I realize how hardcore they are. Turns out that Mara Salvatrucha formed in the 80s as a result of a civil war in El Salvador.  The number 13 is supposedly in honor of the Mexican Mafia.   Gang members have tons of tattoos and initiation consists of taking the hardest beating possible for a given length of time.  Apparently it’s over a minute which is way longer than you think.  For female inductees, they have to have sex with a whole bunch of members in a “train.”

The Crips

This group was formed in 1971 in Los Angeles by 15-Year Olds Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams.  There are an estimated 30-35,000 members today in loosely affiliated sets, whereas back in the 80’s and 90’s there were two “giant” gangs.   If there is a crime to name, the Crips were involved in it.  In the 80’s they had a large involvement in drug trade but also got involved with murder, robbery, and extortion.  They’re known for deleting letters in the alphabet (I’m not kidding).  Initiation involves committing a crime in front of a group witness called “Loc-ing.”  Women can either commit a crime or have sex with older members.

The Bloods

These guys were initially form as a rivalry against The Crips back in the 70s.  Currently the bloods operate in a number of sets independent of each other.  The Bloods claim to fame came in the 80s when they were featured in the movie Colors.  They are involved in all kinds of crime but mostly drug sales.  Initiation is similar to that of The Crips.

Los Zetas

You don’t want to mess with these dudes.  This is a gang of criminal mercenaries or “hired army” of the Mexican Gulf Cartel.  The group is comprised mostly of former soldiers who can basically beat the crap out of you.  It is believed that many were trained in the United States and there are apparently 200 members.  Think if this as the Navy Seals of drug cartels.  These guys are hired killers and contract out murders for one cartel to kill members of another.  They are extremely secretive and highly undercover.

Mongrel Mob

The Mongrel Mob is a New Zealand gang formed and organized in Hastings, largely from the 1970s. The group offers a surrogate family for disenfranchised young men and is known to be increasingly active in organized crime. Mob members are notorious for their tattooed faces and red bandanas.  Also known as Maori Gangs.

The Triads – Yakuza is the biggest

Triads is just a word for Underground societies.   It refers to all of the sordid stuff associated with the Japanese.  You can read the entire history here.  The most well known of all of these?  The Yakuza.

Any “Mafia”

It’s tough to pinpoint any one kind of mafia here.  However, when anyone thinks of the toughest dudes, it’s usually the Irish, Italina, and Russian Mafia.   Think John Gotti.


  1. David Bell July 16, 2014
  2. Wardaddy July 22, 2014

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