FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Richard Valdemar

Richard Valdemar

Sgt. Richard Valdemar retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after spending most of his 33 years on the job combating gangs.
Gangs

Do You Speak Nahuatl?

The gang myths of the Aztec warrior super race, Aztlan, and Nahuatl can cost lives.

January 18, 2011  |  by Richard Valdemar - Also by this author


The tattoo on this man's head is an Aztec shield symbol for eternal war.

Like all other racist recruiters, Latino Gangs appeal to the prospective individual's desire to believe that his race is superior to any other race. Although most Mexicans are of mixed race -- a blend of native Indian, Spanish and European colonist, and African slave -- gang members refer to theirs as "La Raza" (the Race).

Spanish is the official language of Mexico, but Mexican-American or "Chicano" Gangs that evolved from the 1940s Zoot Suit Pachucos speak "Calo" - the other Spanish. Calo is not really Spanish or English but the slang corruption of both languages. Probably originating in Texas, it is also called "Spanglish."

For more information on Calo, I recommend "Barrio Language Dictionary - First Dictionary of Calo" by Dagoberto Fuentes and Jose A. Lopez.

Until the influx and tidal wave of illegal immigrants into the traditional Chicano Gangs of the 1980s, most gangs spoke "pocho" Spanish (poor Americanized Spanish) or Calo to one another. Many of these words have crept into other languages and many have become part of common jail and prison slang.

Co-opting Aztec Mythology

During the radical 1960s, some activist college professors taught against the American Anglo European influences. They taught that pre-Columbian natives were generally peaceful noble savages who were enslaved by white colonists. These professors persuaded universities to have "Chicano Studies" curriculum and in particular glorified the Aztec culture.

They encouraged groups like MEChA and other campus radical groups to push this philosophy. Mexican and Chicano students were told to put away their colonial master's culture and to return to their Aztec blood and cultural roots. After all, the Aztec civilization was the most advanced civilization in Meso-America.

Latino racist teachers and gangs like the Mexican Mafia and the Nuestra Familia teach their disciples to read from authors like anthropologist Carlos Castaneda. His metaphysical writings about peyote use and traditional Meso-American shamanism are required reading, yet the classical Spanish wisdom of Miguel De Cervantes and books like "Don Quixote" are rejected.

The Aztec Culture was a barbarian warrior culture that invaded and conquered the more civilized cultures and peoples of the region. They stole from the Toltec's, Mayans, Zapotecs and many others. Chief Montezuma lived in the capital surrounded by his nobles and served by thousands of slaves. Their dark and bloody religion was at the center of their culture and they practiced human sacrifice.

Today, these Aztec myths and fantasies continue to be preached by racist college professors, schools like Academia Del Pueblo in Los Angeles, and by Latino gangs.

Mexicans and Mexican Americans who can barely say taco are being taught dialects of the ancient Aztec language Nahuatl. In California prisons both the Mexican Mafia and the rival Nuestra Familia use this Aztec mythology to recruit and train soldiers for their wars.

"You are of La Raza," they say, implying that "The Race" is superior to any other. "You are a warrior of Noble blood," they say, brain washing individuals to believe in super race genetics. I am sure Adolph Hitler said similar things. "Let us teach you how to be an Aztec warrior," they say. What they don't say is that these people are being recruited primarily to kill other members of their own race.

Supposed Sacrifice Turned Mass Murder

One such student, Juan Miguel Alvarez, from Compton, Calif., attended and was trained at the Academia Del Pueblo in El Sereno on the Aztec culture. Although not a gang member himself, he had grown up around them and had been in jail a few times.

Alvarez was a troubled youth and a drug abuser arrested several times for cocaine possession and suspicion of burglary. His wife finally obtained a restraining order against him because of his paranoid fantasies and jealousy.

Alvarez was fascinated with the Ancient Aztec religion and its rituals. He had attended Academia Del Pueblo to learn more about the Aztec culture. He joined a group that performed dances and ceremonies dressed in loin cloths, sandals, and feathered headdresses. He had even learned to play the traditional Aztec drums.

At about 6 am January 26, 2005, Juan Miguel Alvarez drove his Jeep Cherokee onto the railroad tracks east of the Golden State Freeway and north of Los Feliz Boulevard. He turned onto the tracks south of Chevy Chase Drive. According to some reports Alvarez stabbed himself in the chest and slit his wrists with a knife, either just before or just after abandoning his Jeep on the tracks. Some believe Alvarez had intended to do a ritual Aztec suicide but chickened out.

Los Angeles Metro Link train No. 100 was speeding on its way to the Civic Center with morning commuters. Suddenly there was a tremendous crash, metal screeching against metal and the sound of debris striking the under carriage. The train jumped the track and careened onto a freight locomotive. The jackknifing Metro Link cars also struck two cars of the northbound No. 901 train.

More than 180 commuters were injured and 11 people were killed.

Among the dead was Los Angeles County Deputy and close personal friend James Totino, known as "Toot" to his friends. He was on his way to work at Men's Central Jail when the crash occurred.

He worked in the Operations Safe Jails (OSJ) Gang Unit. He had been one of my early recruits to the unit and at one time been on special assignment to my Prison Gang Unit during the Mexican Mafia R.I.C.O. investigation. He was one of "Valdemar's Kids."

James Totino's funeral was a huge affair in which L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca spoke. Tributes from his peers and the numerous young people he had mentored and coached over the years brought tears to the eyes of everyone there. The formal Catholic Mass was befitting a King or a Pope.

But the most impressive expression of sentiment was the jail-made sympathy card left on the OSJ door by MCJ inmates. Even they would miss him.

Juan Manuel Alvarez was convicted of the murder of those 11 commuters in July of 2008. Alvarez was spared the death penalty unlike his victims. This is proof that crazy lies, fantasies, and myths can kill you.

Related Blog Post:

A Nahuatl Dictionary


Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

rafael @ 3/23/2012 10:00 PM

Hey sgt., you might consider revising the article and doing research before you publish these types of articles that readers will interpret as our point of view. We as officers have a obligation to do some scholarly research to avoid such blatant attacks on the people we serve and protect. Your article not only managed to offend readers but it also hurt our profession.

curious @ 12/4/2014 1:09 PM

I think for someone to call people teaching their culture racist shows more about you then them. Fact is Spanish settlers invaded, pillaged, and raped the culture in the name of the lord. They actually went so far as to destroy their writings and history which is why we have so many questions to this day. This is from your history books not made up ones. The Spanish conquered many cultures in a similar fashion so I tend to believe it. As far as pride in your people that too is a normal response in every culture. Americans interfere in worldly matters quiet often because we believe someone is treating their people wrong, to spread religion, or democratic practices and influence. When the Spanish concurred the Aztec people it was for these same reasons. Are these not examples of people believing they know better and are therefore superior to one's they target? Sad someone claiming to be educated enough to cast a judgement and it was an uneducated one.

Frederic Salgado @ 3/29/2015 6:02 PM

Calo has its origins in Spain and was used by the Gypsies some words usedby the Pachucos were from Spanush Gypsies for example, calcos for shoes and trapos for pants. Spanglish came from the mixture of Spanish and English used by the modern day Pachucos the Chicanos with there on style of dress and culture

Tahaya Cuetlachtli @ 6/1/2015 7:43 AM

No matter how you slice it, the Mexica were victims of Spanish colonialism. The Conquistadors came to conquer and rob the indigenous peoples of their gold and any other precious gems etc, that they could find. You cannot judge the 16th century by 21st century laws. The world was a much, much crueler place then, The Mexica killed for sport as well as captured numbers of other tribes for slavery and for sacrifice. Do you think the Spanish inquistion was any better??? Burning people at the stake, destroying the Codex'es of the Mexica, the Acolhua and the Tepanecs? It would not be fair to say that Spaniards were "better" they were equally as barbaric they just hid behind the cross in doing their dirty work and excused themselves by confession, and asking a corrupt Vatican for forgiveness. I support learning & gaining knowledge about what really happened on both sides and not villifying the peoples who were robbed of so much. I do not condone violence but if I was in the 16th century, I may

Join the Discussion





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Blog Posts

What I Learned Being the Daughter of Police Officers
My mother, father, and stepfather are all (now retired) police officers. I thought I'd...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine