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Top 10 Gangs in the World

The top 10 gangs in the world include Los Zetas, Bloods, Crips, MS-13, Yakuza, Mafia, Cartels, Latin Kings, Aryan Brotherhood, and Triads. Gangs have been a significant part of society for decades, often associated with criminal activities and violence.

They operate on a global scale, exerting control through intimidation, drug trafficking, and territorial disputes. We will explore the most notorious and dangerous gangs in the world, shedding light on their origins, methods, and impact on society. From the ruthless Mexican Los Zetas to the infamous Bloods and Crips in the United States, these criminal organizations have instilled fear and wreaked havoc in their respective regions.

So, let’s delve into the dark world of the top 10 gangs and their intricate operations.

1. Los Zetas: The Most Violent And Notorious Gangs

Los Zetas is undoubtedly one of the most violent and notorious gangs in the world. With their brutal tactics and extensive criminal activities, they have gained a reputation that strikes fear into the hearts of many.

Origin and History of Los Zetas
Los Zetas, considered one of the most violent and notorious gangs in the world, traces its roots back to the late 1990s. Originally formed as an elite paramilitary force within the Mexican Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas quickly gained a reputation for their brutality and ruthless tactics. Composed mainly of former Mexican Special Forces soldiers, Los Zetas became autonomous in 2010 and began operating as an independent criminal organization.
Notable Crimes and Activities of Los Zetas
Over the years, Los Zetas have been involved in various criminal activities, including drug trafficking, kidnappings, extortion, and arms smuggling. They have been responsible for numerous high-profile acts of violence, including mass killings and beheadings. Their tactics of intimidation and extreme violence have earned them a notorious reputation.
Los Zetas’ Influence in the Drug Trade
Los Zetas have played a significant role in the drug trade, particularly in the trafficking of cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine. They have established extensive networks across Mexico and have expanded their operations to other countries, including the United States. Their control over key drug routes and their ability to intimidate rivals have made them a prominent player in the illicit drug trade.
Los Zetas’ Territorial Control and Global Reach
Los Zetas have exhibited a high level of territorial control in certain regions of Mexico, often using violence to establish dominance. They have also shown the ability to expand their activities beyond Mexico’s borders, with operations reported in Central America, Europe, and even as far as Southeast Asia. This global reach has solidified their position as one of the most powerful and dangerous gangs worldwide.

2. Bloods: The Infamous American Gang

The Bloods is one of the most infamous American gangs, known for its high level of violence and criminal activities. The gang originated in Los Angeles, California, in the early 1970s, and was formed as a response to the growing influence of the Crips gang. The Bloods primarily operate in urban areas across the United States, with a significant presence in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. They are known for their distinctive red clothing and use of symbols such as the five-pointed star. The Bloods engage in a wide range of criminal activities, including drug trafficking, robbery, and extortion. They have a longstanding rivalry with the Crips, which has resulted in ongoing violence and bloodshed in many communities.

The Bloods’ gang has had a significant impact on American society. Their criminal activities have contributed to the overall increase in crime rates in cities where they operate. They have also been involved in gang wars with rival groups, leading to a loss of innocent lives and creating an atmosphere of fear and insecurity. The influence of the Bloods can be seen in popular culture, with references to the gang in music, movies, and television. While efforts have been made by law enforcement agencies to combat the Bloods’ influence, the gang continues to be a powerful force in the world of organized crime.

The following table highlights some notable Bloods’ gang factions and their territories:

Gang Name Territory
Piru Bloods Los Angeles, California
Sex Money Murder New York City, New York
Fruit Town Piru Compton, California
Rollin 20s Bloods Los Angeles, California

The Bloods’ criminal activities often involve drug trafficking, illegal firearm sales, and violent crimes. They are known to engage in ongoing rivalries with other gangs, particularly the Crips. The intensity of these feuds has resulted in numerous shootings, stabbings, and casualties over the years. The impact of the Bloods on American society is not limited to criminal activities alone. The gang’s presence in communities has also contributed to a sense of fear and insecurity among residents, affecting the overall quality of life in affected areas.

3. Cosa Nostra: The Italian Mafia

3. Cosa Nostra: The Italian Mafia

Cosa Nostra, also known as the Italian Mafia, is one of the most notorious criminal organizations in the world. It has a long history and its origins can be traced back to Sicily in the 19th century. The structure and hierarchy of Cosa Nostra are highly organized, with a boss at the top and various captains and soldiers underneath.

Cosa Nostra is heavily involved in organized crime activities such as drug trafficking, extortion, and illegal gambling. Its members are known for their loyalty, secrecy, and violence. Some famous members include Salvatore “Toto” Riina and Bernardo Provenzano, who both served as bosses of the organization.

Cosa Nostra has been linked to numerous high-profile criminal activities, including the murder of Italian judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in the 1990s. Its power and influence extend beyond Italy, with connections to other international criminal organizations.

4. Mara Salvatrucha (ms-13): The Notorious Central American Gang

Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13): The Notorious Central American Gang

MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, is one of the most infamous gangs in the world with a reputation for extreme violence and criminal activities. The gang was formed in the 1980s by Salvadoran immigrants in Los Angeles, California.

Since its formation, MS-13 has expanded its presence globally, with a significant presence in Central America, the United States, and other countries. The gang’s expansion can be attributed to factors such as deportation policies and the recruitment of new members.

Notorious for its involvement in drug trafficking, human smuggling, and other illegal activities, MS-13 has caused significant harm to local communities and governments. The gang’s violence and influence have led to increased crime rates and fueled fear among the affected populations.

The impact of MS-13 extends beyond its criminal activities. The gang’s presence has strained community resources and placed additional burdens on law enforcement authorities, who strive to combat the group’s criminal enterprise.

5. Cartels: Drug Trafficking Organizations

Cartels, such as Drug Trafficking Organizations, are among the top 10 gangs in the world known for their violent and notorious activities. They operate globally and are involved in the trafficking of illegal drugs.

Top 10 Gangs in the World

Overview Of Drug Cartels In The World

Drug cartels are notorious criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking operations on a global scale. These cartels have significant influence in the global drug trade and are responsible for the distribution of illegal substances to various regions worldwide. They operate in a highly organized and hierarchical structure, led by powerful leaders.

  • Los Zetas: Known for their extreme violence and ruthless tactics, Los Zetas have been one of the most feared cartels.
  • Sinaloa Cartel: Led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and considered one of the most powerful and wealthiest cartels.
  • Juarez Cartel: Operating primarily in Mexico, this cartel has been involved in numerous drug-related activities.

These cartels engage in large-scale drug trafficking operations, smuggling drugs across borders through various means such as air, sea, and land routes. They have established extensive networks and connections to facilitate their illegal activities.

Their presence in the global drug trade has had a significant impact, leading to increased drug addiction, violence, and destabilization in many regions.

6. Yakuza: Japan’s Most Powerful Criminal Syndicate

The Yakuza, Japan’s most powerful criminal syndicate, has a long history and deep roots in Japanese society. The origins of the Yakuza can be traced back to the 17th century, emerging as a union of street merchants and gamblers. Over the years, the organization has grown and evolved into a highly structured and organized crime syndicate.

The Yakuza operates through a hierarchical structure, with each member having a specific role and rank. At the top of the organization is the oyabun, or boss, who is the ultimate authority and decision-maker. Below the boss, there are underbosses, captains, and foot soldiers.

The Yakuza is heavily involved in various illegal activities, ranging from extortion and prostitution to drug trafficking and money laundering. Through these illegal activities, they amass significant wealth and power, which they use to exert influence over Japanese society.

The Yakuza’s influence extends beyond just their involvement in illegal activities. They often play a role in community service and provide assistance to the public during times of natural disasters. This dual nature of the Yakuza, both as a criminal organization and a support system in Japanese society, has made them a complex and fascinating subject of study.

7. Triads: China’s Secretive Criminal Organizations

The Triads are secretive criminal organizations that originated in China. With a long history dating back to the 17th century, the Triads have become a significant force in the world of organized crime. There are various Triad societies, each with their own significance and hierarchy.

Triads are involved in a range of criminal activities, including drug trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal gambling. They also engage in extortion, money laundering, and even political corruption. The operations of the Triads extend beyond China, with a significant impact on Asian societies.

The Triads’ history, influence, and criminal activities make them one of the top gangs in the world. The secrecy surrounding their operations and the deep-rooted connections within their societies make it difficult for law enforcement agencies to dismantle them completely.

Top 10 Gangs in the World


8. 18th Street Gang: Transnational Criminal Syndicate

The 18th Street Gang is a transnational criminal syndicate with a notorious reputation. Its formation and background can be traced back to the late 1960s in the Rampart district of Los Angeles. Originally, it primarily consisted of Mexican-American teenagers who were marginalized and looking for a sense of belonging. Over the years, the gang has expanded its reach beyond the United States and has established a significant international presence in countries such as Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras.

The 18th Street Gang is involved in a wide range of criminal activities, including drug trafficking, extortion, and human smuggling. They have also formed rivalries with other gangs, most notably with the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang. This rivalry has resulted in intense violence and bloodshed in various communities. Unfortunately, the 18th Street Gang’s influence on local communities is largely negative, as the gang’s operations contribute to increased crime rates and the overall deterioration of safety and security in these areas.

9. United Brotherhood: Australia’s Most Notorious Biker Gang

The United Brotherhood is Australia’s most notorious biker gang, known for their criminal activities and violent behavior. The gang was formed in the 1960s by a group of motorbike enthusiasts who shared a common love for riding and partying. Over the years, the United Brotherhood has expanded its influence and membership, becoming a powerful force in the Australian criminal underworld.

The gang has been involved in numerous notable crimes, including drug trafficking, extortion, and acts of violence. They are known for their rivalry with other motorcycle gangs, particularly the Mongols and the Comancheros. This ongoing feud has resulted in several violent conflicts and gang-related shootings.

The United Brotherhood’s presence in Australian society has had a significant impact on various aspects. Their criminal activities have contributed to a rise in organized crime and have led to increased concerns around public safety. The gang’s influence extends beyond the criminal underworld, infiltrating various industries and communities.

10. Jamaican Posse: The Dangerous Gangs Of Jamaica

Top 10 Gangs in the World

The Jamaican Posse, also known as Shower Posse, is a notorious gang that originated in Jamaica. It was formed in the 1980s and gained significant power and influence through drug trafficking and criminal activities. The gang’s leaders sought to control the drug trade in Jamaica and expand their operations internationally.

The Jamaican Posse has been involved in various criminal activities, including drug trafficking, money laundering, and violence. They are known for their brutal tactics, such as drive-by shootings and kidnappings. The gang’s activities have spread to countries like the United States and Canada, where they have established transnational criminal networks.

The Jamaican Posse’s influence on Jamaican society has been significant. The gang has instilled fear and controlled communities through intimidation and violence. Their involvement in the drug trade has also contributed to the rise of drug addiction and associated social issues in Jamaica.

The Jamaican government, along with international law enforcement agencies, has made efforts to combat the Jamaican Posse. Initiatives such as increased police presence, intelligence sharing, and targeted arrests have been implemented to dismantle the gang’s infrastructure and reduce violence. However, the Jamaican Posse’s criminal activities continue to pose a significant challenge to law enforcement.


The world is home to some of the most notorious and dangerous gangs, each with its own unique history and criminal activities. From drug cartels like the notorious Los Zetas to street gangs like the Bloods and Crips, these organizations have left a dark mark on society.

Their influence reaches far and wide, and their activities continue to pose a threat to communities worldwide. As we conclude our exploration of the top 10 gangs in the world, it is evident that the fight against organized crime is an ongoing battle that requires collective efforts from law enforcement agencies and communities alike.

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