Fat Mexican : The Bloody Rise of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-10-27
  • Publisher: Random House Canada
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From the #1 national bestselling author ofBefriend and Betray, an intimate expose of a criminal empire and the massacre that nearly started a global biker war. Having once infiltrated the Bandidos for three years in a landmark police operation, Alex Caine is uniquely positioned to reveal the untold story of the Hells Angels' fiercest rivals. Grounded in the crucible of the little understood Shedden massacre of 2006 and one unlikely prospect's descent into the biker lifestyle,The Fat Mexicanexposes the violent criminal history of the Bandidos motorcycle club, the Hells Angels' fiercest competition: their violent beginnings, the terror their aggressive expansion caused rivals and innocents alike, and the internal politics and rivalries that drive them to this day. From the Hardcover edition.

Author Biography

Alex Caine has retired from his career as a contracted agent, infiltrating criminal and terrorist organizations on behalf of police forces in Canada and abroad. He acts as a consultant in high-level cases and provides the media with background information on biker investigations.



The People Our Parents Warned Us About

The summer of 1965 found Elvis singing in the chapel and the Beach Boys chasing California girls. The days of "peace" and "the Summer of Love" had not yet arrived, but change was in the air. It was an unlikely time for the birth of a group dedicated to violence and mayhem. But in the little fishing village of San Leon, on the Gulf of Mexico, such a beast was born.

Initially this collection of roughnecks didn't seem so bad, just a small group of dockworkers, the majority of them veterans of Vietnam, who started getting together after work and on weekends to party. Early in the spring of 1966, Donald Chambers began to organize the group into a motorcycle club. Chambers had been a member of other motorcycle clubs but had found them too tame for his tastes.

Chambers had the classic '60s biker look; he was lean and wiry, with hair down to his shoulders, long sideburns and the clothes to match. In his mid-thirties when he founded the Bandidos, he had a taste for Canadian whisky and a reputation for being quick with his fists and his knife, especially when he had been drinking. He wanted real outlaw bikers for his club, and he quickly got some. The Hells Angels had recently acquired national prominence, largely due to Hunter S. Thompson's book about them; Chambers and his cronies were certain they could do a better job, and set out to prove it.

Chambers chose the name "Bandidos" for his new club. He revered Pancho Villa and Emilio Zapata, and felt that the Mexican bandits and revolutionaries had lived as free men, answering to no one. In fact, one of Zapata's sayings became part of the Bandidos creed: "Better to die on your feet than live on your knees!" The Bandidos logo, known as "The Fat Mexican," depicts a big-bellied bandit wearing a sombrero; he is smiling and brandishing a gun and a dagger. Chambers welcomed Hispanic members into the Bandidos, in direct contrast to the "whites-only" policy of the Hells Angels. The club also used Spanish for the titles of its national officers, and still does; the president isel presidente,the secretary-treasurer isel secretario,and so on. The club logo bears a striking resemblance to the "Frito Bandito" cartoon character, launched in 1967 to promote Frito corn chips; though the club was founded and named well before this character first appeared, the Fat Mexican and Frito Bandito came into use within months of one another, and it's likely that one influenced the other.

The red and gold colours used on the logo and on Bandidos patches are believed to be drawn from the colours of the U.S. Marine Corps— Chambers was a former Marine. The Mexican theme is interesting given the reverence the Bandidos have for the Alamo and the story connected with it. (I quickly learned that contradictions are rampant when you're dealing with bikers.) At one point, Chambers had business cards made up for members of the club. The cards were gold, with the words "We are the people our parents warned us about" in red letters across the top. At the bottom on the left were the initials "FTW," which stand for "Fuck the World." In the middle were the words "Bandido by profession, Biker by trade, Lover by choice[,] You have just had the honor of meeting—"followed by a blank line where the biker could write his name.

The club was a perfect place for veterans to find the brotherhood they had lost when they left the services, and also the hierarchy they had become used to. The jaded view of society they'd developed in the killing fields of Southeast Asia, coupled with the rejection they'd faced when they came home, reinforced their feelings of alienation and marginalization. They came back to a country that no longer seemed to want them, trained in skills that had no place in civilian life. It was only natural that they would seek each other's company. (It's interesting to note t

Excerpted from The Fat Mexican: The Bloody Rise of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club by Alex Caine
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