MADRID – The Guardia Civil arrested 15 people on Tuesday allegedly associated with the Latin Kings. The alleged leader of the gang, Eric Javier Velastegui, has also been arrested in prison.
He is accused of continuing to direct the gang’s criminal activities from Teixeiro Prison in A Coruña. Those arrested are accused of belonging to a criminal organisation, drug trafficking, injuries and threats, among other things.
Velastegui, aka ‘El Padrino’, is serving a sentence for robbing at gunpoint, a couple who were in a car at Madrid’s Casa de Campo. Subsequently, the leader of the Latin Kings allegedly put the couple’s husband in the trunk to sexually assault his girlfriend. Velastegui’s partner and two other men have also been arrested.
Operation Torcido, began after three young men were stabbed with a machete in June 2021 in Galapagar (Madrid). This was during a fight between members of the Latin Kings and the rival gang ‘Trinitarios’.
A “reactivation” of the gang in Madrid
Moreover, in recent times, there have been several violent confrontations between warring factions within the Latin King. This, therefore, enabled the Guardia Civil to track down the organisation. Specifically, they had discovered a “reactivation” of the gang in several places scattered throughout the Madrid region. This is also the case in Galapagar, where the anti-gang action plan is still active. On September 2, national police arrested six suspected members of the Latin King. Four of them were minors at the time. They allegedly took part in a brawl during festivities in the city of San Sebastián de Los Reyes. A gang member and a neighbour were injured by two gunshots.
Dominican Don’t Play (DDP)
In addition, the police continued to monitor Velastegui because, despite being in prison, he was still at the head of the gang. This gang currently competes with other, more powerful groups, the Trinitarios and the Dominican Don’t Play (DDP). As in a trial in 2007, the Public Prosecution Service considered it proven that in 2000 Velastegui founded the ‘Holy Tribe America Spain of the Almighty Nation’ of the Latin Kings in Galapagar.