Maniac Latin Disciples
|Founding location||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Territory||Midwest, Southwestern United States|
|Criminal activities||Drug trafficking, assault, auto theft, carjacking, drive-by shooting, home invasion, homicide, money laundering, weapons trafficking|
|Rivals||Latin Kings, Insane Spanish Cobras|
The Maniac Latin Disciples (MLD) are the second largest Latino street gang in Chicago and the largest Latino gang in the Folks alliance. Originally known as the Latin Scorpions, the gang was founded by Albert "Hitler" Hernandez in the Humboldt Park community in approximately 1966.
They are one of the original gangs in the Folks Nation. In the late 1990s, the Maniac Latin Disciples began to spread their influence into the south side of Chicago along with several Chicago suburbs.
The gang, which originated in about 1966 in the Humboldt Park community, was founded by Albert "Hitler" Hernandez. They were initially known as the Latin Scorpions in 1966 as a neighborhood baseball team in Humboldt Park; because the club was constantly harassed and attacked by resident Caucasian street gangs, such as the Simon City Royals, and Harrison Gents, they began to fight to protect themselves. By approximately 1966, they themselves had turned into a full-fledged gang. Albert “Hitler” Hernandez would position himself as King of the club. From the beginning, the Latin Scorpions engaged in battle with the Latin Kings.
The Latin Disciples' first corner was Hirsch & Rockwell. Later, they would open up shop on Potomac & Rockwell, a set that would be dubbed “Twilight Zone”.
In or around 1970 the Latin Scorpions established a relationship with the Black Gangster Disciples (now split into the Black Disciples and Gangster Disciples) in prison, eventually changing his gang's name to Latin Disciples (later in 1983, Maniac Latin Disciples). That same year, Albert Hernandez was stabbed and killed by the Latin Kings. He asked the Latin Kings to remove their gang colors while walking through Latin Disciple turf and ended in a brawl with the Latin Kings and Hernandez being stabbed. Several other leaders filled the void.
In the mid-1970s, the Latin Disciples formed an alliance with the Latin Eagles, Spanish Cobras, and Imperial Gangsters street gangs; this alliance was called the United Latino Organization. The Latin Disciples joined the "Folks Alliance" in 1978 They were the first Latino Folks and due to the Latin Disciples joining Folks alliance the Imperial Gangsters, Spanish Cobras and Latin Eagles followed after due to the United Latino Organization alliance they had on the street.
The now Maniac Latin Disciples grew at a tremendously rapid pace, recruiting many members from the Illinois correctional facilities. They established bases of operations throughout the North and West sides of the city, using brute and violent force to eliminate rival gangs. In 1983, Zayas was incarcerated on murder charges. However he has been able to control his gang's day-to-day activity since being incarcerated, though some factions have broken away from his leadership. Zayas is currently in Tamms maximum security prison.
In the early 1990s the MLDs formed the “Maniac family”, a group of allied Latino Folks gangs aside the umbrella of the Disciples. Among the initial gangs to join were the Maniac Campbell Boys, Milwaukee Kings and Latin Lovers. By the mid-1990s the MLDs were one of the largest and most organized gangs in the city.
- Backward Swastika
- Black and blue
- Heart with horns
- Initials M.L.D.
- Maniac Monks
- Old English "D"
- Raised pitchforks
- Six-pointed star
- "History". National Young Lords. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- National Drug Intelligence Center (April 2008). "Appendix B. National-Level Street, Prison, and Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Profiles". Attorney General's Report to Congress on the Growth of Violent Street Gangs in Suburban Areas. United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- Main, Frank; Art Golab; Josh McGhee (12 August 2012). "More than a year in, police war on gang having an impact". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Two Homicide Suspects Arrested". U.S. Marshals Service. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Street Gangs — Chicago Based or Influenced". Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved 16 August 2013.