The Gang’s All Here

When a beloved brother died last summer, more than four hundred bikers thundered into San Antonio for his funeral. As they swapped stories about the old days and guzzled beer, one message could be heard over the roar of their Harleys: Bandidos forever.

THEY BEGAN ARRIVING AT THE MISSION PARK They began arriving at the Mission Park Funeral Home in San Antonio early on a Friday afternoon. They came in packs, riding two, sometimes three abreast, their motorcycles roaring loudly enough to rattle all the funeral home’s windows.

People who worked in the nearby stores and businesses rushed outside to get a better look. One man, standing in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant, called a friend on his cell phone and shouted, “There must be a hundred of them!” A woman driving a Ford Taurus swerved to the shoulder of the road and slammed on her brakes as a group of them raced past her, missing her car by inches.

They kept coming and coming, their wind-burned faces grim and purposeful. They were dressed in steel-toed boots, jeans, and their “colors”: denim or black leather vests covered with a variety of red-and-gold patches that carried such slogans as “Loyalty is our honor,” “Our colors don’t run,” and “Expect no mercy.” On the back of every vest was a large patch of a bellicose Mexican bandit brandishing a pistol and a machete.

“It’s the Bandidos!” yelled the man in the parking lot. “The Bandidos are here!”

On this September afternoon, the members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club were indeed in San Antonio. They had come to pay their respects to one of their early members, Luis Bonilla, a.k.a. Bandido Chuco, who had died at the age of 65 from liver cancer. They thundered into the funeral home’s parking lot, gunning their engines

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