Bandidos

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The Bandidos Motorcycle Club, also known as the Bandido Nation, is a "one-percenter" motorcycle gang[6][7][8] and organized crime syndicate with a worldwide membership. The club was formed in 1966 by Don Chambers in Texas. Its slogan is We are the people our parents warned us about. It is estimated to have 2,400 members in 210 chapters, located in 16 countries. The club considers itself to be an Outlaw Motorcycle Club. The Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada have named the Bandidos an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.[9]

Contents

History

The club was formed on March 4, 1966 in San Leon, Texas by Donald Eugene Chambers. Many people think Chambers named his club the Bandidos after seeing a TV commercial with the Frito Bandito enthusiastically promoting Fritos corn chips. This is not true, as the cartoon came out in 1968 (although he did adopt an obese machete- and pistol-wielding Mexican Bandido as the center patch for the club's colors). Don Chambers, having served in Vietnam as a Marine, modeled the clubs colors after the scarlet and gold motif of the United States Marine Corps. After Chambers' presidency ended due to his conviction for murder in El Paso, Texas, Ronnie Hodge was elevated to president.[10]

Organization

The Bandidos has over 90 chapters in the United States, 90 chapters in Europe, and another 17 in Australia and Southeast Asia. In the United States, the club is concentrated in Texas, but extends into Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Washington, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and several other states. The Rock Machine Motorcycle club in Canada merged with the Bandidos in 2000; there was a chapter in Toronto, Ontario until a dramatic internal conflict led to their deaths.[11][12] The Bandidos are also found in Australia; aside from the non-locale-specific Nomads chapter, the chapters are located in Adelaide, Ballarat, Brisbane City, Cairns, Sydney Downtown, Geelong, Gold Coast, Hunter Valley, Ipswich City, Mid North Coast, Mid State, Northside, Sunshine Coast, North Victoria, Sydney, and Toowoomba, and were acquired with much bloodletting. In recent years the club has also expanded heavily into Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, France and the Channel Islands. Additionally, it is looking into setting up shop in Russia and Eastern Europe and also in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The Bandidos are organized by local chapters, with state and regional officers, as well as a national chapter made up of four regional vice presidents and a national president.

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