street gangs | La Panda del Moco: the forgotten luxury gang that terrorized the ’80s

Today, as the far-right celebrates its arrival in the hundreds of town halls and its possible entry into the national government, it is hard to imagine a time when the ‘Fakhir’, the wealthiest part of society, felt the earth tremble under their feet. but with The arrival of democracy At the end of the 1970s, not only the supporters of the regime, but also the majority of the upper class in our country felt that the privileges they had enjoyed until then might be eroded. For decades, connections, family power grids, and outlets of all kinds have been essential to maintaining status. What will happen from then on?

At the time, it was not easy to predict that practically none of this would change, so some members of that social class, especially the younger ones, prepared for what might happen. They will not resign themselves to giving up their privileges in this way, but they will fight them in the street if necessary.

That is, according to the journalist, philosopher and doctor in cultural anthropology Inaki Dominguez, The origin of the decadent luxury who, for a long time between the eighties and the nineties, imposed their law on the streets of Madrid, in opposition to other urban tribes such as rocker, the bad guys or the Quincys. To this group, so often forgotten when that moment in our social history is remembered, Dominguez, another author of seminal works for understanding society in those years, is unforgettable Thugs between faiths (Melosina, 2020), I decided to dedicate a book to them. The new volume, just edited by Ariel, is titled The true story of Booger Pandawhich is a highly entertaining and choral anthropological account of that moment, and focuses particularly on the title group, the most memorable of all those disaffected in style.

La Panda del Moco, composed of children barely more than twenty years of age and descended from wealthy families, who responded to pseudonyms such as French, Jewish, Pablo Fol or Italian, arose in part, as we have said, as Reaction to the threat of loss of privileges He was suspected on the streets of the capital: social demands, neighborhoods, legalization of left-wing parties, working-class pride and mldr; Although also out of simple boredom, incompatibility and frustration.

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The book, which Dominguez has managed to build by drawing on his vast agenda nurtured over the years during his investigations as well as on the long nights out on the town, is filled with Testimonials and stories It was narrated by some of the original band members as French Loic, undoubtedly one of its most important members. Through its pages there are also a large number of anonymous personalities (or those who are afraid of revealing their identity) and others who are not so anonymous, such as Kiko Matamoroswho remembers his childhood in Chamartín County, OR Jose Angel ManasHis famous novel Cronin storieswhich deals with the misadventures of a group of brainless posh kids, also owes much to that time.

Made by Panda del Moco?

“They were people who lived above all in the area of ​​Chamartín and Paseo de la Habana, and gradually gained a name among the other big gangs of the time,” Dominguez explains. “La Panda del Moco was just a group of friends, who got together, got to know each other and started going out together and getting into trouble. They got that name a bit as a joke, and there are many theories about it. Some were particularly brave, others Particularly violent, some of them may have psychological traits, and little by little, fighting after fight, they managed to make people fear and respect them on the streets of Madrid, they earned their reputation precisely for being fearless and violent.

In fact, almost all of them are united by a passion for martial arts such as karate or full contactand they frequented some sports clubs in the capital at a time when the gyms were for men only, they were usually dirty, sweaty basements and going to one was extremely rare.

despite what it may seem, The political commitment of this group was practically non-existent. It could be said that they were somewhat of the right and sometimes they were seen in the act of Blas Piñar (the leader of the most French nostalgic of the time), but they appeared there only because, according to one of them. The members of the band, “there were the most elegant and cute girls. In general, according to Domínguez tells us, “they were completely de-ideologized, something that was no exception among the youth of that time & rdquor;.

In reality, His first big fight And one of those who formed the beginning of his legend It was against the battalions front line thugssomething like the far right shaping muscle.

As Francis recalls in the book, one night some black schoolmates went to look for the band in the VIPs where they used to meet and asked them for help because they got in trouble with some front line guys. “We said, ‘We will help the blacks,’” the Frenchman recalled. “The Jew always carried a gun and he carried a red Vespa. So we went to Gaslight nightclub, which was on Príncipe de Vergara, to talk to those chickens. They obviously gave the blacks a pair of donuts & rdquo;. There were seven El Mocos and 20 or 30 muscular fascists in military boots. One of the attackers went in to look for the attackers and when one came out he showed a small (possibly fake) handgun as a warning sign. The Jew took him out and said to them: “Do you want a gun or do you want a clean host? Many of the battalions already left by that time. After that the battle was so vigorous that the street was filled with blood. The victory was total for Panda del Moco.”

This battle and another in the vicinity of Bar Caravel, where some of the most powerful gang of thugs in the Entrivias area met, who were violently defeated by the Pandas, cemented the gang’s reputation throughout the city.

Since then, everyone feared them and many swore they saw them in action even though it wasn’t true. For a while, they became urban legend that With few exceptions, it has hardly made it to the media. Everyone was talking about Panda del Moco, in some neighborhoods they were like coconuts, some kind of evil entity. The embodiment of fear and violence. Hinting that you belong to the group or that you know one of its members has been a status symbol for some time.

Dominguez makes an interesting point derived from this fame: among young people from the most affluent strata of society, many have realized that elegance does not have to be victims, but can also stand. In addition, the privileged position of their parents, friends and relatives gave them an impunity that others could not even dream of.

This led to the emergence of many Booger Panda impersonators (The Egg Band, The Chicken Band, Los Tortas & mldr;), completely inadvertently created a new paradigm of bad luxury that would survive for many years, until the mid-1990s when class boundaries gradually disappeared in big cities and urban tribes. lose relevance.

What happened to Panda del Muco?

As Dominguez explains, over the years some of the original members of Panda del Moco have dedicated themselves to illegal activities such as robbery in homes or buildings or even robbing banks. More for fun and a desire for adventure than they really need money.

Iñaki Dominguez, author of the book. waive it

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It was one of these actions, in fact, that marked the end of the band: a 1983 robbery in an inhabited house in Florida, the posh neighborhood near the A Coruña Highway. The Frenchman and the Jew were arrested for this act some time later and sentenced to four years in prison. However, they didn’t serve their sentences either: the Frenchman fled to France with the benefit of a prison pass in 1985 (he ended up joining that country’s army) and both managed to get pardons years later thanks to family connections.

“Most of them ended well.”The author tells us. “In the luxurious world, you have money, you can invest in things, and they can put you in a connected place. In general, as is often the case for people from wealthy backgrounds, they had very bright futures. Others had some trouble, ended up in jail or Others have dedicated themselves to drug trafficking perhaps out of pure love for adrenaline or to carry on dark business because they don’t know how to live any other way.

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