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Los Angeles Gang Tours ready for tourists

December 5, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Would anyone really want to take a tour of gang turf?One former gang member thinks so and he thinks his idea can help with the gang problem. But not everyone is happy about the idea.

The creator of LA Gang Tours is hoping to expand into notorious gang hot spots like the Westlake District, but for now the focus is on South Los Angeles.

South L.A. is where these tours will begin in January and is an area that has been hit hard by gang violence.

Alfred Lomas is the man behind LA Gang Tours. Lomas, a former gang member, says that the whole idea behind to his non-profit group is to create jobs and open the lines of communication between rival gangs.

Lomas says that he has already worked out a cease fire agreement between three of the largest and most dangerous gangs in Los Angeles. The agreement says that there will be no shooting between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., which is the same time tour buses will be passing through the area.

Critics say the idea of Gang Tours exploits the poor and is demeaning to the residents in these neighborhoods.

Lomas and the people standing behind his project say that it's a great way to empower the community.

"This is an non-profit organization, it's community based and we're creating jobs," Lomas said. "Our first priority is saving lives by getting the gang members to sit down and honor this first and foremost."

The tours are set to begin in January and are scheduled for two hours and costs $65.

Lomas says all of the money will be funneled back into the community and that his ultimate goal is to create micro-loans for inner-city entrepreneurs.


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