Americas Gangs: From Barrios to today’s drug trafficking

Kids playing in their burned down neighbourhood, Philadelphia, PA USA

Kids playing in their burned down neighbourhood, Philadelphia, PA USA

America’s capital cities such as New York, Los Angeles or Chicago face an average poverty line of about 30 percent. Gangs become for many young kids, which are forced to grow up in these run-down neighbourhoods, the only left over social institution, which provides an income.
This radio feature covers the historic development of gangs, the organisation of today’s drug trading and the bloody territorial wars. It contains the original interviews, which I have recorded in Chicago’s West Side and Cabrini Green.

Demonstartion in Washington

Demonstartion in Washington

I believe that radio features are the ideal journalistic platform if interview partner are willing to be taped but don’t like their picture taken.

Crack Pipe

Crack Pipe

The picture above shows a crack pipe and the other one illustrates some gang signs.

Gang Signs, Chicagao, IL, USA

Gang Signs, Chicagao, IL, USA

These gang signs are used to mark a turf, which is something like a selling district for weapons or drugs. The drug trading within the USA is organized by only two gangs, the Folks and the People. All the other gangs belong to one of these organisations.

Production year


Production format

DAT, 48khz, 16bit


55 minutes

Original language

Voice over in German, Interviews in English

German title

Amerikas Gangs: Von den Barios zum heutigen Drogenhandel.

Audio format

25% Stereo, -9dBFS


Radio Feature


Current affairs, political issues, social issues


broadcasted by SR2 on the 11th of August 2002
between 18:04 and 19:00

Available material

Production script