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The Khimeras (or KMR for short) are an Asian-American youth street gang and organized crime group originating from within Toronto, Canada. Rumored to have been founded in the early 2010s, the KMR was suspected of crimes involving robbery, drug dealing, arms trafficking, home invasions, and minor shootouts. The Khimeras are predominantly Cambodian but also recruit members of other Khmer ethnic groups especially people of Laotian, Siamese, and Vietnamese descent.
Nothing about the group has been confirmed or validated by credible sources, and unlike other North American street gangs, typical customs and practices such as gang clothing or colors, gang signs or symbols, or even gang territory have yet to be associated with or linked to the gang.
In 1975, the Khmer Rouge had began its reign over Cambodia and would continue to exercise its power for the next 4 years, resulting in a mass genocide of approximately 3.4 million people. During this period, Canada and the United States among many other countries had already begun to receive their first wave of Cambodian immigrants. The majority of these immigrants had settled throughout many American states and Canadian provinces, but the presence of Cambodian populations were and still are very evident and notable in cities such as Long Beach, Toronto, Stockton, Oakland, Lowell, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Montreal, and Ottawa.
These major Cambodian diaspora populations would later give arise to the first wave of Asian-American street gangs such as the infamous Tiny Raskals group, the Asian Boyz, and many other criminal organizations that would later expand into other states. Gang life and violence became the result of continuous discrimination, segregation, racism, and oppression in the Westernized and distorted culture of Cambodians, with its first gangs coming into formation during the 1970s and 1980s. As these gangs expanded, so did the influence and impact it would have on other fellow Asian-Americans, especially the youth, ultimately contributing to the recruitment of these gangs and the formation of newer gangs throughout the years.
According to interviewed affiliates, the Khimeras were founded with a means of simply organizing protection, and are highly influenced by other American street gangs. It is believed that the gang was formed in Toronto's west end and infamous crime central, Jane and Finch.
The KMR acronym stands for Khimera, which derives from and is a combination of the words "Khmer", a reference to its major ethnic group, and "Chimera", in which according to Greek mythology, was a hybrid creature in Asia Minor. The chimera, as a reference, was used as a metaphor to imply the traits and attributes associated with the animal(s), which typically includes the lion, goat, and snake, the animals whose body parts together form a Chimera.
Originally an exclusive Cambodian gang, the KMR would later come to recruit members of other Khmer backgrounds. Membership included affiliates of Laotian, Vietnamese, Siamese, and Cambodian descent. Khimera street gangs are divided by social groups, but are identified accordingly by ethnic group.
- Canada's Gang Hotspots "Are You In One?"
- Police Raids in Toronto Police raids due to gang activity
- Asian Gangs Extend into Canada Asian criminal organizations held responsible
1. "Overcoming Unimaginable Atrocities." Cambodian Americans : Asian-Nation. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.