Can Government Buy Off Violent Street Gang?

News flash from the European capital of the appeasement movement.

In Spain, where they pulled their troops out of Iraq the second Usama set off some bombs on a train, city officials in Barcelona have decided to fight street crime by, well, making it sound like it's not crime.

The Chicago street gang known as the Latin Kings emigrated to Spain and set up shop. Soon Barcelona had a gang problem.

Kids from the former colonies in Latin America — looked down upon by the snooty Spaniards — joined the Latin Kings or the Netas, the Kings main rival.

Barcelona decided the way to handle this problem was to legalize the Latin Kings, register them as a cultural association and set them up to receive state aid. The gang was granted a title: Cultural Association of Latin Kings and Queens of Catalonia.

There. That's better, isn't it? City hall waves its magic wand, hands out some checks and voila — or rather, que paso — it's not a gang anymore.

The state and federal Spanish governments aren't so sure this is going to work and vow to stay in pursuit of gang criminals.

But Barcelona has raised a good question: Can you buy off a violent street gang with some government money and the promise of official recognition for civic parades and festivals?

Maybe a wannabe gang. But real gangs? Seems unlikely to me.

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