Altar with candles in the Madrid neighborhood of Usera in homage to one of the young people who died due to fights between gangs. David Expósito
A young man receives several stab wounds while waiting at a bus stop in Seseña (Toledo), 44 kilometers from Madrid.
He is attacked by a group of adolescents and young people who shout "low country!"
There is no doubt about what is happening: that cry is a hallmark of youth gangs like the Trinitarios and the Dominican Don't Play (DDP).
And, in that violent gangster microcosm, you belong to one or the other.
You are a friend and deserve loyalty, or an enemy and you must die.
The assault occurs on April 20, 2021. The young man is badly injured, but survives.
Civil Guard investigations lead to a 25-year-old man named Ayrton CA, alias
, leader of the DDP choir (group) that carried out the attack.
He ends up arrested and enters provisional prison.
This attack is no different from others, except in one detail: he has been executed in the province of Toledo, which raises the suspicion that gangs could be emerging outside of Madrid, his usual territory.
Tolín receives a mobile phone in his cell in the Ocaña prison, which he jealously guards and which will end up providing a lot of information about the internal dynamics of such an organization.
It is his most precious possession inside the prison, along with seven printed photographs in which he appears with his bandmates, a deck of letters, a rosary, press clippings that inform about his arrest and two pieces of paper on which he has several notes. telephones, so as not to save them in the mobile phone book.
Tolín speaks via WhatsApp and by phone with his lieutenants and his soldiers —conversations that are part of the police investigation and to which EL PAÍS has had access— and this allows the agents to understand the operation of the group, which is no different of so many others.
Obedience and submission to the leaders, use of minors to sell drugs, payment of contributions and missions to attack rivals, now with firearms in some cases.
The Police and the Civil Guard have identified 800 members of youth gangs in the Community of Madrid;
40%, minors, according to data from the Government Delegation this year.
The gang leader does not lose his authority by being imprisoned.
His lieutenants are Héctor (29 years old, Dominican) and Alejandro (23, Colombian), nicknamed
, who lead the gang abroad, following Tolín's orders from prison.
This is how the chief expressed it, alluding to a compañero from Alcobendas who was detained: “That bastard will continue to run in jail.
He is like me.
His dick sweats, the nation is the nation”.
Running means staying active.
Youth gangs exert a fascination among some adolescents, not necessarily Latin Americans, who have in common living in a vulnerable family environment, school failure and drug use, according to the researchers.
That is your market.
The applicants are minors, but not all are suitable.
“More than 30 children want to be DDP,” Tolín tells a member of the group.
“Of those 30 only four are worth it.
Some will be able to develop, but those who don't, let the
(the drug) move us.
Maybe more than one of them wakes up, but they are going to have to do things, because nobody gets in here for free”.
Those who want to be part of the gang must prove it with contributions, loyalty and actions.
They have to regularly pay a fee - in this case it is 10 euros a week - and if they have to steal, they steal.
In a conversation, Tolín asks Lomina, his second in command, if the minors are paying the fees.
"If not, you bust them," he orders her.
For Tolín, complying with the rules is essential, as can be seen from his words about one of the minors: "If the kid doesn't learn, he doesn't contribute anything and he's doing everything... Here if they want us to respect them as brothers, they have to respect like brothers.
Those who don't are treated as one of the street”.
Three of the minors who accumulate several delays in the quota have decided to rob a betting establishment to correct the debt.
Tolín comments with his second with pride.
And he proposes that the robbery be a reason to move up the ranks of the gang;
that "the blood test" is not necessary, that is, to injure or kill someone.
But sometimes it is necessary for them to "pinch" (stab) to show that they are worthy of promotion.
“The A. has already spilled?
If you send him a mission after January, he is already a soldier, ”writes Tolín.
“That those children get active, that if we have risked being of legal age, those kids have to do something in honor of me.
They have to go to Almendrales or Alto (del Arenal), but let them do something”.
Minors have to ask permission for everything, almost as if the gang leader became their owner.
If they contravene their orders they can be punished with a beating.
The agents intercepted a conversation between one of these soldiers, Ramses, with his girlfriend, in which she reprimands him for his blind submission to the gang leaders, who have ordered him to be beaten on the day of his 18th birthday. birthday.
Devotion to bosses is what makes soldiers follow orders and attack enemies.
They mobilize them in one place or another depending on the needs.
"I tell you, brother, that if Leyen [Leyenda, one of Tolín's two lieutenants] tells me you have to go down to Madrid to report [introduce yourself], or whatever, I do it, to
mocha a toto
[to stab someone] I go from one, I am with Legend to death and now, whatever he sends me ”, reads one of the conversations.
But many times there is no reason for the outbreak of a brawl.
Monchi, a teenager with the category of soldier, confesses it in another message: “I don't even know why we hit each other, I know that they were some Romanians and that they had a car and they ran over people and everything.
One flew out and out of every kid, a friend from Tolín.
But it's that I even have blood on my sweatshirt.
I know that I kicked one of them in the mouth and I saw how he fell to the ground and his head bounced against the ground and I said mother, and then I told myself, he has stayed there for the rest of his life”.
However, the leaders take care to maintain a balance between devotion to themselves and to the group, to that idea of family with which they attract minors.
This is what Tolín replied to a soldier: “You have to run for the nation, brother, never for the people.
Although I am from Villaverde, you are from Seseña, another Camp [another Madrid neighborhood], we are all the same”.
The nation for the members of the gangs is a symbolic concept that does not understand physical territories, but rather groups all those who identify themselves and fight for their power.
This includes Colombians, Spaniards, Moroccans or Dominicans: the place of origin does not matter.
Ending up being a Trinidadian or a DDP only depends on who approaches you first to capture you.
Detention by the Civil Guard of a member of the Dominican Don't Play in Seseña (Toledo), in February 2022.
During the leader's stay in jail, comes Saturday, February 5, 2022, a particularly tragic weekend in gang society.
Two members of these groups were assassinated in Madrid.
Pepe, 15 years old, in Atocha, and Diego, 25 years old, in Usera.
There was also an attack in Parla and another in Montecarmelo, north of Madrid.
A few days later, the members of the Seseña choir were arrested, and the Civil Guard had indications that three of the lower echelon members of that group had participated in Diego's murder.
In WhatsApp conversations before and after that tragic night, the leaders of the gang in Toledo talk about "the mission."
This was recorded four days before the night of the homicides:
- Lomina (lieutenant): On Saturday, the mission
- Tolín: Let them go with machetes.
Is everything alright in Seseña?
- Lomina: Yes, and on Saturday they go there.
- Tolín: Also those of Seseña?
- Sheet: Yes
- Tolín: That they go with
The night after the murders, a member of the gang whose name begins with A and Lomina discuss the mission and are surprised by the rest of the brawls that have coincided in the same weekend:
- A: Have you seen Atocha?
- Lomina: Yes.
- A: Who is that kid?
We don't know him, do we?
- Lomina: No.
- A: And the one from Usera either?
- Lomina: More or less.
Faced with the ambiguity of the answer, A. insists and his lieutenant responds:
- Lomina: Imagine, I don't want to talk here.
- A: Oh it's the kids.
- Lomina: Damn, man, yes.
- A: In Carmelo they have killed another.
Yesterday was crazy.
[This assault was not fatal, the victim ultimately survived].
Tolín is also very interested in what happened, given the seriousness of the events, and he also writes to Lomina the day after the murders:
The conversation continues:
- Tolín: Bastard, there have been two and the other was surely the tigers.
Has it all been a coincidence?
- Lomina: Yes.
- Tolín: The tigers are prominent, Madrid is going to get hot, you are Toledo, don't go down or let them go down.
- Lomina: He was Colombian.
- Tolín: The one who died?
- Lomina: Usera's.
- Tolín: I think the one from Atocha was from Lavapiés.
What is the name of the Colombian?
- Lomina: Diego.
- Tolín: The kids have been crowned, I think so.
The Atocha thing confirmed that it was the tigers [the kids], Montecarlo also because they told me they stopped at that park.
Three in one night, this isn't even planned.
- Lomina: Above the A. when he comes home with the knife all bloody, he sends me the photo and tells me how clean it is or what [Asencio is one of the soldiers of the Seseña choir, who had been ordered on the mission of blood so that he would be promoted on the ladder].
- Tolín: But you were hesitating?
Well of course bastard, clean it and put it away.
Things are hot, let no one come down, but not because of the pencos [as they call the Trinitarians, the rival gang] but because of the monkeys [the police], who are cold cold.
- Lomina: I'll make the bracelets for you.
- Tolín: One for a soldier and one for mourning.
The bracelets and necklaces are the decorations.
They symbolize the missions that the members of the band have been overcoming and the rank that they occupy in it.
A gang member has more or less rank depending on the color of his bracelet.
If they wear a black one, in mourning, it means that they have killed someone.
In other intercepted conversations it is seen that the beads to make the bracelets are bought through Amazon or Ebay.
In another chat, Tolín makes the rules clear: "The necklace is earned with four homicides."
All this symbology is not as evident as it was a decade ago, when the Latin Kings and the Ñetas were the predominant bands.
In fact, in the analysis of Tolín's mobile phone, this search was found in the history: "How to dress so that the police do not stop you."
Belonging is hidden, but it does not disappear.
In the searches of their houses, the agents find pages with the decalogue of the DDP, bracelets that indicate their rank and types of machetes.
Modified Blank Weapons
Police investigations confirm two worrying realities.
One is the risk that the gangs will expand to other locations in Spain, in this case bordering Madrid.
The second has another aspect: the increasingly frequent use of firearms.
The sale of weapons is a means of financing and represents an escalation in the violence with which they perform.
Two of the six murders committed as a result of the gang confrontation in Madrid in 2022 were carried out with firearms.
The sale of pistols is a fact.
There is a market where they stock up.
They are mostly blank weapons that are modified to shoot with bullets.
Tolín is shown in his conversations obsessed with the issue of guns.
He dreams of trips to Romania to buy packages of weapons and then resell them, he talks about theft of
who then goes to "drill" (modify), looks for constant businesses to buy them... Several video tutorials on how to modify a blank weapon so that it fires live fire are extracted from the seized devices.
For example, in one conversation, Tolín sends several photos of a gun to a man from Valladolid.
They have contacted a page for the sale of second-hand items.
The boss often dives on this page to find users who sell weapons, both real and
The main supplier of the gang leader is a Romanian man who has a notice from a court in Alicante.
It is possible that the leader of the group made contact with this supplier in a prison stay, because he has it saved as "Frate Meco" (For the Meco jail).
In the Tolín terminal, dozens of photos of pistols were found, most of them modified blanks, which he sells for between 200 and 600 euros.
“I have one that goes through body armor and bulletproof vests,” he offers.
Weapons are also a symbol of power and a means to avenge fallen soldiers.
Tolín talks to a member of his gang and offers him a modified weapon that has "enough strength to go through a wall."
"Buy one this month and another next month to honor Enrique," suggests Tolín.
The ringleader refers to Enrique Martínez Reyes, DDP murdered in 2016 in a park in Alcobendas.
The use of guns is a step in the degree of violence.
The possibility of summary execution.
There is no more face to face.
A teenager with his face covered approaches another from behind and shoots him in the back of the head.
This last happened on December 4 in Villaverde, when a hooded man approached William, a 15-year-old boy who was in the square in front of his house, and murdered him without saying a word.
The killer had probably accomplished a mission and now he deserves a promotion.
Who knows if he's about to get a necklace.
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