To a lot of people, gangs are considered the scum of the earth. A gang is a group of individuals who claim a certain territory as theirs. More often than not, these gangs come together to commit illegal acts. Some of the most powerful gangs in the world are capable of influencing the political climate of their territory. They’re able to almost literally control every aspect of their territory, much to the horrors of the innocent people who already live there. In this article, I’m going to be talking about the top ten most dangerous gangs in the entire world. Each of these gangs are seriously powerful, and they’re capable of doing a lot of damage. Without further ado, let’s jump right into this list of dangerous and powerful gangs.
#10 – Cosa Nostra
We’re kicking things off with Cosa Nostra, which is also known as the Sicilian Mafia. The mafia originally began in Sicily during the 19th century, but it was eventually able to spread to other countries through emigration. Cosa Nostra has been involved in a wide variety of criminal activites, including racketeering, weapons trafficking, loan sharking, money laundering, robbery, and even murder. Cosa Nostra primarily consists of Italian men, and most of those Italian men are Sicilians. Cosa Nostra has been known to buy votes in order to manipulate politicians, and they are known to support politicians who assist their operations. Typically, the Sicilian Mafia supports more center-aligned politicians. Cosa Nostra is always willing to commit murder, typically against members of other mafia families.
#9 – Crips
If you live in the United States, I’m willing to bet that you’ve at least heard of the Crips. The Crips were founded by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams in 1969, and it was meant to bring together various street gangs that operated in South Central Los Angeles. (Rampant poverty and racial segregation is South Central Los Angeles led to the formation of these street gangs to begin with.) It’s estimated that there are around 35,000 members of the Crips, and most of those members are African-American men. The Crips originally were involved in drug production, but today they’re more known for violent crime. Most violent crime committed by Crips are against their rivals, which they have many of. Although most Crips live in California, there are also members in California and Illinois.
#8 – Wah Ching
Next I wanted to talk about Wah Ching, which is known more as a secret society than a gang. This gang was founded in San Francisco, California, during the 1960’s. Most members of Wah Ching are young Chinese men. In their prime, Wah Ching was known to control various criminal groups that operated out of Asian American communities in both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Over the years, this gang has been involved in a lot of different acts of violence against other gangs, most notably the 1977 Golden Dragon Massacre which ended in five dead and eleven injured. Although there are probably only about 7,000 members of Wah Ching, they’re still very much involved in criminal activites such as software piracy, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, and extortion.
#7 – Yakuza
Although yakuza consider themselves to be honorable, they’re vilified by the Japanese police. The Yakuza have been around for centuries, and it’s been said that they originated from Kabukimono, who were gangs of samurai who lived in feudal japan. That means that the yakuza have technically been around since the 17th century. This gang is huge, consisting of over 100,000 members across the entire world. (Although they’re concentrated in Japan, they also have a strong presence in the United States, North Korea, and even Brazil.) There are three yakuza organizations: Yamaguchi-gumi, Sumiyoshi-kai, and Inagawa-kai. Yamaguchi-gumi is the largest of these three organizations. It has been around since 1915, and it consists of about 23,000 members.
#6 – Bloods
I already talked about the Crips, so it only makes sense that I would also mention the Bloods. The Blood and the Crips are notorious rivals. Both gangs operate out of Los Angeles, and they’re comprised primarily of young African-American men. There are less Bloods than there are Crips, with membership being estimated somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000. The Bloods were originally founded as a way to combat the formation of the Crips, and keep other street gangs safe. During the 1980’s, this gang was largely affiliated with the distribution of crack cocaine. In order to compensate for their smaller size, they behaved much more violently, arguably more violently than their rivals. Murder is commonplace among the Bloods. Like the Crips, although the Bloods are based out of Los Angeles, they still have a presence throughout the entirety of the United States.
#5 – 18th Street Gang
I’ve talked about several California-based gangs in this article, and I’m not done quite yet, The 18th Street Gang, also known as Calle 18, is a criminal organization founded in California during the 1960’s. The gang’s membership is multi-ethnic, but it primarily consists of Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondruans, and other members of the Latin American community. It is suspected that in the United States alone, there are as many as 50,000 members of the 18th Street Gang. This gang is rivals with both the Bloods and certain sets of the Crips. They’re considered one of the most violent street gangs in the world, and they’re known to regularly steal cars and burglarize homes. This gang isn’t above violent crimes like kidnapping and murder, either.
#4 – Los Zetas
Los Zetas haven’t been around for all that long. They were only just founded in 1999. But they’re still considered one of the most dangerous and violent crime syndicates in all of Mexico. The United States government has classified them as a major threat, and they have good reason to say so. While many gangs prefer to bribe others to get their way, Los Zetas often just goes for violence right off the bat. They even go so far as to behead their rivals, just for the sake of intimidation. Over the years they have been involved in a variety of different criminal activities, including drug trafficking, torture, assassinations, murder, rape, kidnapping, arson, and even outright terrorism. I think it goes without saying that this is one of those gangs that people really shouldn’t mess around with.
#3 – Aryan Brotherhood
Next on the list is yet another California-based gang, and this one is known more as a prison gang. There are about 10,000 members of this gang, which primarily consists of incarcerated white supremacists. It has been reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the Aryan Brotherhood is responsible for around 30% of the murders in the federal prison system. This gang, which is allied with the Ku Klux Klan, has involved itself in a lot of different criminal activites, including inmate prostitution, racketeering, drug trafficking, and human trafficking. Although the idea of a prison gang may seem less threatening than a street gang, I assure you that you have a lot of reasons to be intimidated by the Aryan Brotherhood.
#2 – Latin Kings
The Latin Kings, also known as the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation, is the oldest Hispanic street gang in the entire world. It was originally founded in the 1950’s, out of Humboldt Park in Chicago. The gang was originally formed in an attempt to help Latinos in the area improve their quality of life and combat the racial discrimination that they often experienced in the city. Since then, the Latin Kings have branched out all over the country and even the world. Members can be found everywhere, from Oklahoma to Peru. The Latin Kings have an elaborate system and structure, and if someone commits a wrong, the gang doesn’t hesitate to kill them on sight. This is a gang intricately involved in criminal activites like drug trafficking, auto theft, robbery, and murder.
#1 – Mara Salvatrucha
Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS, is an international gang that was formed out of Los Angeles, California. However, it has since spread across the entire world, and it consists of around 70,000 members. Most members of Mara Salvatrucha are Salvadoran, Honduran, or Guatemalan. This gang has engaged in numerous drug wars, and they’re well-known for being incredibly violent. They’ve committed a ton of different crimes, including human trafficking, money laundering, and kidnapping. Fairly recently, Mara Salvatrucha was implicated in a child prostitution ring. They’re an incredibly brutal and immoral group of people, and I don’t think they have much contest in terms of being the most dangerous gang in the entire world.