|Colors||Black and red|
|Primary ethnicities||Latino (Puerto Rican)|
|Symbols||Spanish cross with a heart in the middle, a staff with a ruby on it|
|Affiliation||People since 1978|
|Founding neighborhood||Wicker Park section of West Town neighborhood, North Ave and Claremont|
|Main neighborhood||Bucktown section of Logan Square neighborhood|
Photo from 1980s Chicago Police manual, you can see they tagged with Latin Kings, showing the strong alliance between Latin Kings and Spanish Lords
The Spanish Lords likely formed in the year 1964 once Puerto Rican street gangs came to the Wicker Park area. One of the first gangs to arrive were the Young Lords who migrated from the Lincoln Park community.
For some reason “Cortez” who may also be known as “Lord Ace” split from the Young Lords in 1964 and started his own gang at North Avenue and Claremont. The Young Lords were fighting a war with the Latin Kings in the mid-1960s just before the Division Street riots in June of 1966 but the breakaway Spanish Lords became allies with the Latin Kings after the Spanish Lords formed in 1964.
At some point in the 1970s Cortez stepped down as the leader of the Spanish Lords or he was perhaps forced out of the position due to his heavy alcoholism that eventually killed him in the 1990s. After Cortez came “Curky” as the leader.
Somewhere in the 1970s the Spanish Lords established a group of young members called “Future Spanish Lords.” In 1978 the Spanish Lords were allied with the “Unknowns Players and Kings” or “UPK” alliance that was an alliance created by the Insane Unknowns, Latin Kings and Chicago Players. Spanish Lords and Warlords were able to be loosely connected to this alliance. Later in that year, the Spanish Lords were allowed to join the People Nation alliance because they were really close to Latin Kings and Insane Unknowns. Over time the Spanish Lords developed a deep hate for Latin Disciples and Disciples became their arch enemies. In 1979 Curky died then “Rico” took over the organization.
Eventually, the Spanish Lords at some point spread all over the Bucktown section of the Logan Square neighborhood at Armitage and Western, Charleston and Western, Mclean and Oakley, Shakespeare and Oakley (Holstein Park), Armitage and Oakley, and Damen and Dickens. They also opened turf at Diversey and Artesian just north of Bucktown but still in Logan Square. Spanish Lords also opened at Berteau and Damen in the North Center neighborhood. All the way on the south west side, the Spanish Lords opened at 87th and California which is on the border of the Ashburn neighborhood and outside the city limits in the suburb of Evergreen Park.
In the year 1992, the Spanish Lords erupted into a vicious gang war with the Insane Unknowns and Latin Kings who were previously close allies. The reason for the Spanish Lords warring with Latin Kings is because the Kings took the side of the Unknowns in a dispute with the Unknowns or maybe it was the other way around, I am not sure. In 1994, the Spanish Lords and Latin Kings stopped warring with each other, but the rivalry with the Unknowns never stopped to the point where they became Arch enemies.
The Spanish Lords would eventually lose their satellite chapter in North Center. The Lords would also eventually lose their original Wicker Park hood along with some of Bucktown because of gentrification in the area of yuppies and hipsters buying out the neighborhood for top dollar rates. This is all I know about Spanish Lord history.
Please send in 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s pics!
- Who were the earliest enemies of Spanish Lords in the 1960s?
- What year did SLs open Bucktown?
- What year did 87th and California open?
- What year did North Ave and Claremont fall?
- What is the time line of leaders starting 1979 up to the year 2000?
Zook Published: Updated: