Decoding the Biker Gang Patches of the Bandidos

Clue: they don't much like enemies, police, or grasses.
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‘United Gangs of America’ airs Wednesdays at 9PM on VICE TV.

The Bandidos Biker Gang is one of the most well-known motorcycle clubs on Earth. But they aren’t just famous for being great at riding their motorbikes. They’re also highly skilled when it comes to murdering, drug dealing, and arms trafficking, as well as countless other activities that tend to be associated with organized crime. The gang was formed in San Leon, Texas, in 1966, and quickly found itself a willing and enduring nemesis in the form of the equally lawless Hells Angels.


Watch VICE’s insider documentary on the Bandidos below (US viewers only).

Like other biker gangs, the Bandidos have a variety of patches that members can earn by proving their loyalty to the club. Three of the most common are the “Expect No Mercy,” “Omerta,” and “Snitches Are a Dying Breed” patches.

Discover what each one means below.

‘Expect No Mercy’ Patch Meaning

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The “Expect No Mercy” patch is awarded to members as a badge of honor for having committed murder on behalf of the club. After Robert Lara was murdered in 2002, four Bandidos who were suspected of the killing were photographed wearing “Expect No Mercy” patches on their vests. One month before he was murdered, those same four men appeared in a Christmas card without the patches. At trial, this was cited as evidence of their involvement.

‘Omerta’ Patch Meaning

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“Omerta” refers to a code of silence that originated within the Italian mafia. If a Bandidos biker gang member wears this badge, they are essentially vowing never to speak up about criminal activity or provide evidence to the authorities, upholding loyalty to their members no matter what. Which leads us to the next patch…

‘Snitches Are a Dying Breed’ Patch Meaning

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This patch implies that anyone who informs the police of foul play will suffer a severe beating — or worse: be murdered. The Bandidos (and many other outlaw biker gangs, at that) do not spare snitches who rat them out and this badge serves as a warning to anyone who might be considering alerting the authorities about crimes or revealing the identities of Bandidos presidents. Members found to have disobeyed or snitched on their gang have been stripped of their Bandidos paraphernalia and brutally assaulted.

There are countless other biker gang patches, but these are three of the most common.