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18/06/2005 | Gangs/ Security Threat Groups in USA

De Nuestra Redacción

 

" Texas Syndicate" - The Texas Syndicate (TS) formed at San Quentin and Folsom Prison during the early 1970’s. Its nucleus was made up of inmates from Texas who were incarcerated in the California Department of Corrections (CDC). These inmates often came from the EPT or El Paso Tip, but as has been reported in error by some sources they did not call themselves TS until the 1970’s. During this time the Texas Syndicate was a small tight-knit group and they were the most feared on the yard because of their propensity for violence and serious assaults. While formed in California , the TS has not been led by any one inmate in California for many years now. Inmates who join will often have the "Copia" (a Texas Syndicate specific tattoo that is no longer required or it may be camouflaged due to easy ID by officials).

The TS grew rapidly in the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) after the Estelle vs. Ruiz lawsuit which dismantled the state’s inmate boss trustee system. Between 1980 and 1983, the TS was responsible for homicides and numerous assaults. Between 1984 and 1985, there were 52 gang related killings, many attributed to the Texas Syndicate in their war with the "Mexikanemi" or Texas Mexican Mafia. By the 1990’s, the TS no longer controlled El Paso, Texas which was having problems with a newer independent home-grown gang called "Barrio Aztecas".

Nearly a dozen slayings and attacks occurred on the streets of the Austin , Texas area in the late 1990’s. The crimes were eventually traced back to the Texas Syndicate, which was growing into a major drug supplier in Austin . The TS schemed to collect a 10 percent "tax" from every known drug dealer in town, even those who didn't sell for the prison gang. An FBI led multi-agency investigation was started dubbed "Operation Texas Style". Eventually, prosecutors indicted 22 Texas Syndicate members on a RICO, including some of its leaders. Most, facing overwhelming evidence, pleaded guilty in federal court and were sentenced from 10 years to life in prison. In 2004, several more TS from Austin were convicted on another RICO case.

" 18th Street "- - This gang started on the West Side of Los Angeles around 1965. It was originally made up largely of 2nd generation Hispanic immigrants. As the 18th Street gang began to battle with more established Chicano gangs, they began to recruit outside of the Hispanic community. Some officials currently estimate their size with up to 20,000 members in over 120 U.S. cities. According to the Department of Justice, recent estimates are that 60% were now illegal immigrants. The gang became so big, many of its members did not even recognize each other! They started up their own websites to improve communications. Many times 18's will wear grey and black "Raiders" colors, or they may wear blue for Sur. They may have tattoos of 18th Street , XV3, XVIII, 666 (which equals 18), Dieciocho, or spell out Eighteenth Street .

In July of 2000, there was a federal RICO indictment by L.A. prosecutors against ( 26) 18th Street gang members who were accused of major drug trafficking in and around the MacArthur Park area in the Pico-Union district just west of downtown Los Angeles . The Columbia Li'l Cycos are one of the most violent and financially successful 18th Street cliques in L.A. A senior FBI official in Los Angeles , said Columbia Li'l Cycos, also known as CLCs, "were held up in the gang community as examples of how to do business." Federal investigators seized approximately a half million dollars in cash from gang members' hangouts. "This wealth was accumulated one [cocaine] rock at a time," said another official.

"Aryan Brotherhood" -The Aryan Brotherhood originated in 1967 in the San Quentin State Prison, California Department of Corrections. Later, other AB groups who are unaffiliated splinter groups, called themselves AB, using the name of their state along with the name "Aryan Brotherhood" (i.e., Aryan Brotherhood of Texas). Many AB's in CA will have the "Rock" (shamrock) clover leaf which stands for the Irish background of their founder. Thus, their official color is green. Other symbols which may appear are: AB, Swastikas, two lighting bolts, and the numbers "666". The AB has maintained a working relationship with the Mexican Mafia (EME) since its foundation, and therefore opposes the Nuestra Familia (NF). It has had a history of hatred toward Blacks and Black gangs, such as the BGF, Crips, Bloods, BGD’s and DC Blacks. The AB is run by a Commission in CA and the Federal system and has been the subject of recent RICO trials.

"Mara Salvatrucha" -The Mara Salvatrucha gang is predominately made up of Salvadorans and originated in the Los Angeles area, not El Salvador , but the gang was later exported back to that country. The group was started, in part, to protect themselves from the 18th Street gang. MS is also known as being very violent. Very few MS around today were ever in the Army as the Salvadoran "Civil War" started over 20 years ago and most MS are currently in their teens and would have been too young for that conflict. Many of their OG’s or Veteranos have been killed. MS will fight "Salvadorans With Pride" (SWP) and considers them their deadly enemy on the East Coast. Originally, many MS wore black for their "Santanas" roots and were known as "Stoners" and wore long hair. At first, MS did their own thing, which is why many of the OG's or Veteranos would just claim MS. Later, they fell under the Sureño umbrella, which is why you see many of the younger ones with MS13 and they started wearing blue and have more of a cholo look now. They may also wear light blue and white or beads from the colors of the Salvadoran flag.

Some people today mistakenly believe all Salvadoran gang members are from MS, and that Salvadorans cannot be from Mexican barrios. Many Salvadorans may even think that MS is all Salvadoran. This is false. Recently, we have seen Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and other Central Americans join MS, but not exclusively. Central American kids may choose to join MS more than other barrios. It depends on if they feel Mexicans or Salvadorans have done something against them. They may join MS or may join other Latino gangs. When deported, the MS has continued its illegal activity in El Salvador , and later in Guatemala , Honduras , and Mexico . Several Central American governments have recently outlawed them and much violence has ensued. They have been spotted in New York , Washington D.C., Texas , Seattle , and even in Vancouver , Canada .

"Nuestra Familia" - The EME began preying on weaker Chicano inmates in the mid-1960's which some felt was against the "Chicano Pinto Power" and inmate protection thing they started out as. Most of the problems date back to the California prison system and arose from conflicts between inmates affiliated with La EME (many who were from East L.A. ) and EME dropouts and inmates who were originally from Northern California . The catalyst big event it all started over was a pair of shoes with the L.A. guys treating the Northern guys like "Farmers" and a bunch of "Busters" and disrespecting them. The EME began preying on weaker Chicano inmates by the mid-1960’s which some felt was against the "Chicano Pinto Power" and protection thing they started out as. To this day, Norteños call Southerners "SURats".

Robert "Babo" Sosa was elected "Nuestro General" in the 1970’s, but he was not the original founder of the "Nuestra Familia Mexicana", "Familia Cinco", or "Blooming Flower". Sosa's followers revamped the "Structure" of the "Organization", revised the "NF Constitution", and created "14 Rules". There was a RICO trial against Sosa and his Captains and he was impeached. Later, his successors reformatted the NF again and wrote the "XIV Bonds" at Folsom Prison and created the "Nuestra Raza". While the Fresno Regiment of the NF was big and the NF tried to control and tax drug dealers there during the 1970's, Fresno was not the first, nor the largest. By the early 1980's, much of the F-14 had jumped off as the Fresno Bulldogs which is why NF call them "Bullfrogs".

After the Nuestra Familia came to power in the late 60’s, Norteño inmates used the letter "N" to symbolize their allegiance to the North, since "N" is the 14th letter (XIV) of the alphabet. The NF chose red since La EME had adopted the color blue and SUR 13. Years ago, before the Crips and the Bloods, the state prison system gave out either blue or red bandannas. The Norteños took the red ones and "stole" the color and symbols of the United Farm Workers and Cesar Chavez who was big in Delano at the time. ( California has named a state holiday after this great man and union organizer). Their official symbol is a sombrero with a machete. The EME uses a dagger and a Black Hand.

One must be careful! There has been a lot of misinformation about these groups, sometimes even the info put out by the gangsters themselves, and sometimes they just do not know the true history of their origins. In March of 1997, a Nuestra Raza member was killed execution-style near Castroville. His hands were arranged to show the 1-4 so everybody would know that it was serious business! The orders were believed to come down from the Pen because he refused orders to kill his brother who was an NR drop out. They are pulling bigger and bigger jobs such as when a NF Capt. from Lodi , CA (indicted on a RICO statute) was schooling the younger Norteño guys how to do "cowboy operation robberies" and "function". NF and Norteños are big into drug dealing and have their own "NF banks" and communications systems.

The NF has been the subject of several RICO trials but it has not fallen off the map. As it has so many times before, it has reformated and has spread to other states, it remains a Security Threat Group. There have been many defectors, or drop-outs, in the NF over the years from the rank of General down to Soldier. In 2001, another RICO indictment was handed down against twenty-one members of the NF after "Operation Black Widow". All eventually pled guilty. The catalyst for the case were several previously unconnected homicides in Sonoma County in Northern California, after the NF ordered execution of longtime NF Captain "Mikeo" Castillo who was not "taking care of business", and the murder of former NF General "Brown Bob" Viramontes.

"Latin Kings" - The Latin Kings grew out of the 1940 and 50’s Chicago gang wars. One of their slogans, Amor De Rey (ADR), means "King Love". They developed a philosophy of "Kingism" and became a part of the "People Nation" under the 5-point star during the 1960’s polarization of Chicago gangs. They will also use a 5-point crown or 3-pointed crown. They have an established "Charter" and have well documented rules which members must strictly adhere to. Most members have a King in front of their name, i.e. King Carlos, King Luis, King Beto, etc. During the 1970’s, North and South Chicago Latin King factions developed with each choosing their own President, "Incas" or "Supreme Crown". Their official colors are black and gold which may be worn as beads.

One of their leaders ordered a Corrections Officer to be killed in 1989 from behind prison walls. He was ultimately charged with the conspiracy while housed at the Menard, Illinois , facility and was convicted in 1998 along with his wife and two others. In May, 2000, this leader was sentenced to life in federal prison for masterminding a $1 million cocaine ring and other crimes. The "Motherland" in Chicago is the area of Division and Spaulding. They can be very organized and violent. The Kings have now expanded towards the West and Southwest, especially Texas , Florida , and most of the East Coast.

"Female Gangs" -Female gangs are an interesting phenomenon. They are increasingly involved in gangs and the female population being incarcerated is going up. The most common reason given by girls for joining gangs is "protection", usually from other girls, but sometimes from sexual or physical abuse by the father. Another big reason was rebellion by girls towards their parent(s). They didn’t want to have to follow the rules or stated they didn’t get along with their parents. Many times they just wanted the power and freedom to do whatever they wanted and gangs provided that need to have fun. Their gang friends often replaced their family and provided a sense of belonging. There are several other factors that have contributed to the needs for females to join gangs:
First, many young women, especially in the inner city, may feel a stable marriage may be difficult to ever obtain. They see male gang members getting locked up all the time. I have found that the vast majority of females in gangs have brothers or boyfriends in gangs. Others are just aggressive and like the violence and excitement found in gang life.

Secondly, young women are now more likely to see themselves as independent. They may actually believe in the stereotypes portrayed in movies such as "Mi Vida Loca". There are many cases of girls having kids at an early age and not yet having the proper parenting skills. Without intervention, those children may become delinquents and continue to be a generational gang problem.

Third, the underground economy in many urban cities has become more formalized. The drug economy in much more profitable today than it was 30 years ago! Drugs are the most common crime a female is convicted of after theft crimes. There are cases where a male gang member who deals in drugs trusts his operation to a female who may become good at it and decide to deal on her own. What is more likely is that she will become hooked on drugs ( Moore 1994). She may eventually turn to prostitution to get money for her fix or may "turn a trick for a rock" (engage in sex for rock cocaine).

In the past, females have been associated with their male counterparts in such acts as holding weapons or drugs for the male members. Many times females are "sexed into a gang". They do not get much respect and are usually only recognized as associates or even worse as "ghetto rats" and not members at all. They’re often treated as sex objects and may only be allowed to hang around in crash pads and gang houses as long as she puts out for the males. She may see many examples of how other girls do this and feel it is ok to do herself.

Many females are becoming increasingly more active in their gang role and may have large gang tattoos, teardrops, and battle scars just like the guys. There have been documented cases of all female gangs, but usually the females are a faction of the larger male gang. For instance Varrio Locas are part of the Varrio Locos, Cripettes are part of the Crip set that they belong to, and Norteñas identify with their male counterparts.

There are some female gang members today that are initiated by "beating in or crime in" like the males. Growing violence amongst females and female gang members is increasing but often greatly exaggerated. A review of arrests from 1984-93 showed murder was up 78%, robbery up 89.4%, and aggravated assault arrests up 108.9%!

At first look, these statistics may appear alarming; however, the vast majority of violent crime committed in America is still by boys. Girls made up a small percentage of the overall numbers of violent crime in 1984 and still do today. Girls are 3 times more likely than boys to be involved in "property offenses" and larceny. (Curry, Ball, and Fox 1994).

According to a recent survey of the criminal records of 100 female gang members who have been incarcerated in major urban juvenile facilities, jail, or prison, the most common felony convictions are for drugs, theft, TMV’s, assault, and robbery. Females often start out their criminal careers shoplifting with other girls or joyriding with guys, they also start doing drugs which was their most common conviction, and may eventually turn to prostitution to support their habit if they remain on the streets. Most females do not stay in gangs and retire to later raise families. Many times, a bulldog female or females will attempt to control the housing unit by intimidating weaker inmates and demanding sexual favors for protection. (Morales 2003)

One common problem females face in the community and even when they are locked up is that the system and programs are often geared towards males. Females may be directed to "Arts & Crafts or Sowing Programs" while the males are taught a more marketable skill. In jail and prison, girls usually make up less than 5-10% of the total gang membership.

In prison or jail, they may be subject to violence but less than they may see on the street. They may feel safe in jail and clean up their drug habit. Often when they come in to custody they have ugly sores and abscesses all over their body from drug abuse. Many times they leave looking much better physically than when they were booked in. They may be suffering from severe emotional and mental problems that if left untreated, will likely cause them to return.

'In the past, females have been associated with their male counterparts in such acts as holding weapons or drugs for the male members. Pachucas, Rucas, Cholas, or Homegirls, they were sometimes voluntarily sexed in as an initiation process to become a member. Most gangs have been traditionally been very sexist in that the gang members believed a macho guy’s job is to "gang-bang" (fight) while a woman’s job is to stay home and have children. 14 Sometimes the girls are tolerated within the gang for sex or to act as lookouts or to spy on rivals for the males. There are also separate female cliques who will associate with their male counterparts. Sometimes fights over females are the reason behind gang confrontations. If disrespected, the males may retaliate. 15 Recently, females in some Hispanic gangs have requested to be "beaten or jumped in" just like the males sometimes operating with independent female gangs. 16 Common names may be "Las Chicanas", "Las Locas", or "Thee Sadgirls", etc. There are a few documented cases of females having a strong leadership role in male-dominated gangs.' 17 (Exerts from Varrio Wafare 2000)

Again, many females, gang or non-gang affiliated came from dysfunctional families. Many times females are addicted to drugs or alcohol and will have a harder time withdrawing or detoxing than the guys. Female gang members usually prefer to wear pants not dresses; they generally have foul mouths, many times even worse than the guys do. Many times disputes between females will only be verbal and may be ok to co-exist after a "cooling off" period while male tend to hold grudges and will get into a physical confrontation or a "Code Blue" situation. Females have been found to have a higher number of Keep Separates From or enemies in custody. This compounds problems in that there are very few female units to begin with and a shortage of deadlock or Administrative Segregation space for female offenders. Female STG’s/gang members can disrupt the entire unit.

"Mexican Mafia" - This prison gang started in the late 1950's at DVI. It was originally made up of Mexican American inmates from several different varrios, many who came from East L.A. It quickly established a reputation for violence and became greatly feared by other inmates. It is also known as "La EME", Spanish for the letter "M". Joe Morgan while a powerful figurehead for many years was not one of the founders, he did not join until much later. While the vast majority of its membership was from Southern California it does have members who are not from there.

The EME was engaged in bloody battles with the rival Nuestra Familia from 1968 to 1972. It had escalated at San Quentin Prison in 1968 during a fight over a pair of shoes stolen from an inmate who was from Northern California by an EME member who was from Southern California . A brief truce was set up by CDC and a series of meetings held. The truce was broken by EME and one of its leaders and founders "Chy" Cadena was killed by the NF at Chino 's Palm Hall in late 1972. The NF and EME have been engaged in battle ever since. Norteños and Sureños have also battled, but many do not even know what the original dispute was all about or the actual dates or places they occurred!

Sureños will often fight each other on the streets of L.A. , but will band together in prison. They do not all join the Mexican Mafia. In fact, the EME is a very small group compared to Sureños, only the most violent and loyal Sureños will be given consideration for membership. The EME has been the subject of several RICO trials which has disrupted operations somewhat. The Texas Mexican Mafia or Mexikanemi is a totally different group. There are other gangs in the U.S. that may call themselves Mexican Mafia, but are not connected with the California group.

"Black Guerrilla Family" - George L. Jackson was born in Chicago , IL and was a founding member of what is now called the "Black Guerrilla Family". His family later moved to the L.A. area and he had several brushes with the law as a youth and allegedly belonged to a street gang called "Capones". He was rearrested shortly after the Watts Riots in August 1965 and sent to prison in the California Department of Corrections in 1966. Some say because Bruce Lee movies became popular about that time and he studied martial arts that he was nicknamed "The Dragon". Others say that this came from Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh who said, "When the door opens, the Dragon will be unleashed!"

Jackson was not a Black Panther before his incarceration, in fact, he was a common criminal. It was in prison, around 1966, that he became a self-professed revolutionary while involved with a pre-BGF inmate study group. He was made a prison-based Field Marshall for the Black Panthers by 1968 for his organizing efforts. He had many followers in prison, including the "Soledad Brothers", which he wrote a book about. He also had close ties to other revolutionary groups of the time period and wrote another book called "Blood in My Eye".

In August 1970, Jackson ’s younger brother Jonathan, took over the Marin County Courthouse with several weapons to help free fellow Black prisoners who were in court. They took the Judge, Prosecutor, and three women jurors hostage. They tied a shotgun to the head of the judge in an escape van. Before the van could leave the parking lot, police gunfire ripped into it killing two inmates and Jackson. The judge also died by shotgun blast inside the vehicle.

In August 1971, George Jackson was housed in the Adjustment Center (Known as the A.C., Ad Seg, or commonly as "The Hole") of San Quentin Prison and went to a face-face visit with his attorney Stephen Bingham. After the visit, Jackson was escorted back into the Adjustment Center with a gun under an Afro wig, which was smuggled in by Bingham. Jackson grabbed the gun out and began firing. He also freed other inmates in the A.C. who began to riot. Two white inmate tier tenders, Correctional Sgt. Jere Graham, Correctional Officer Frank DeLeon, and Probationary C/O Paul Krasenes were killed. Other officers also had their throats, but miraculously survived.

Jackson and Johnny Spain ran out of the A.C. to escape when Jackson was killed by the tower gunner. Inmate Spain lived and was convicted for his part in the ordeal. Also convicted was Hugo Pinnel who had previously killed another C/O in a different incident. After Jackson 's death, inmate Jeff "Katari" Gaulden and Jackson 's followers renamed the group the "Black Guerrilla Family". Gaulden had killed a C/O at Folsom a month after Jackson died and Gaulden himself died at Folsom Prison in August 1978. These combined events became known as "Black August Remembrance" or "BAR".

By 1970, the BGF made an alliance with the Nuestra Familia to fight the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia, but BGF have never been referred to as "Northern Structure". Many BGF were from Northern California and the Bay Area so they were close to KUMI 415. Some BGF identifiers are "Weusi Giadi Jama", Swahili for Black Guerrilla Family, a Black Dragon, sometimes with a prison tower, a rifle and crossed machetes. Not all BGF have these tattoos. Also, Crips do not automatically become BGF in prison. Most Crips could not care less about any revolution, it is all about making money and surviving. The BGF was and still is very violent towards Law Enforcement and Corrections.

"Asian Gangs" - Asian gangs have existed for many years since the time of the Triads, Tongs, Yakuza, or Boryokudan both in the Far East and here in this country. After the Vietnam War and the fall of Saigon in 1975, many Southeast Asians became refugees to escape the Communists and the "Killing Fields". Many fled to nearby Thailand , and later came to the U.S. as the "Boat People". They settled in large and medium size communities here and learned from Black and Hispanic gangs as well as the traditional Asian crime groups. They formed protection social groups from these gangs, and later, became predatory groups. They will usually prey on their own communities in such crimes as "Home Invasion Robberies" and are also big into car theft.

Today, we see the result of these dynamics in communities across our nation. They are very mobile and move around the country where they may join a gang by the same gang or hook up with a different group. Some of the major Asian gangs are: Tiny Rascal Gangsters (TRG), Asian Boyz (ABz), Viet Boyz (VBz), Young Oriental Troop (YOT), Oriental Play Boyz (OPB), Men of Destruction (MOD), Seattle Boyz (SBz), and Oriental Loko Boyz (OLBz). Pacific Islanders do not like to be called Asian and P.I. gangs generally are different.

"Nazi Low Riders" - The NLR began in the CA Youth Authority in the 1970’s. It also became a vicious street gang in several areas in California . With a limited membership, NLR was undercover for many years and eluded most law enforcement until the early 1990s. By then, the California Department of Corrections had disrupted and suppressed Aryan Brotherhood by locking down most AB’s in the Security Housing Units (SHU). The NLR's role as middlemen for AB's criminal operations allowed it to begin filling the AB's shoes within general population. It was not officially recognized by the Adult system as a prison gang (CDC) until 1998.

The Nazi Low Riders first gained recognition as a street gang in Costa Mesa , Orange County , CA in the early 1990s. Since then, NLR street units sprung up in other cities and areas throughout Southern California and even outside of it. The NLR became the junior farm league of the Aryan Brotherhood. However, they grew too fast, many were "Loved In" to the gang vs. "Blood In". The gang's explosive growth was a great concern for law enforcement, corrections, and even the AB themselves. Some NLR thought they could operate independently from the AB (FTB's). Today, the NLR has little pull with the AB. Recently, a group called Public Enemy Number 1 or PENI has gained favor with the AB.

NLR have been known to be heavily involved in the production and trade of methamphetamine and are also known as "tweekers". This drug can make one stay up for days causing the body to twitch and tweek. NLR members exhibit extremely violent criminal behavior both in prison and on the streets. Some NLR members look Hispanic and have Spanish surnames, other members who have Hispanic girlfriends or wives and they are accepted into the ranks. One former NLR member explained, "You must have at least half white blood, but no Black blood." A tattoo consisting of the letters "NLR" is common and often. Some prefer the full words "Nazi Low Riders". Others will use the runic alphabet as a way of encoding a message about their gang. Recently, NLR members will tell authorities NLR signifies "never lose respect" or "no longer racist."

"Bloods and Pirus" - In 1972, some Centennial High School youth in the City of Compton from Piru Street fought Crip gang members who were expanding throughout South Central Los Angeles, CA at the time. The Pirus beat the feared Crips that day. In their honor ever since, Black gang members from Compton who were not Crips referred to themselves as Pirus. Other Black gangs (many of whom were already in existence for years) who did not become aligned with the Crips, became known as Bloods. Bloods will usually wear red, but not always, for instance Limehood Pirus are known to wear green.

The "United Blood Nation" was founded in the early 1980's in California and not Rikers Island Prison in New York as some authorities have noted. There were some Black gang members on the East Coast who in 1993 took the original UBN idea, reformatted it as their own, and created their own version of this prison gang of Bloods. There is also another prison gang called "United Blood Line", sometimes referred to as "United Blood Love", or "United Blood Life" on the East Coast. While East Coast Bloods may use the number "31", these codes have little meaning on the West Coast. Sometimes, Bloods will address each other as "Damu", Swahili for "blood". These groups are constantly evolving as they move around the U.S.

"Native American Gangs" -One of the biggest things happening on the reservations and in urban centers where there are large Native American populations is the “gang problem. I've spoken to some tribal elders who want to downplay the problem (denial). What I have personally seen in my work is that the tribes have tried hard to instill cultural pride and teach the traditions to the youth. Many Native youth are no different than other youth in that they may rebel against the older generation. They may engage in self-destructive behaviors through street gangs. Many of these youth were exposed to gangs in big U.S. cities, thus have borrowed heavily from major groups, Sur13, Crips, Bloods, Folks, etc.

Many of the tribes have tried to bring youth back to the reservations as well as provide jobs through the growth of Indian gaming. This has been successful in many respects, but the gang affiliated youth may see a jackpot and use their money for criminal acts. Native American street gang members will visit rural communities to recruit members. There is evidence that some Native gangs are working with Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.

One recent study that has been done by the Center for Delinquency and Crime Policy Studies at Sac State University notes the lack of such research. “The ongoing failure to mention Native American youth gangs may simply be symptomatic of the usual oversight by researchers to incorporate any discussion of Indian justice issues into the national dialogue on crime and delinquency or may speak to the relative newness and novelty of this emerging problem.”

Several past surveys are noted that had limited scope and depth. The FBI survey “Gangs on Indian Reservations” (Conway 1999) which gave a brief on 40 different reservations and the BIA Survey (Juneau 1999). 75 tribes have noted gang activities. The Navajo Gang Study conducted in 1995 states that gangs began appearing on the Rez in the early 1990’s. The study found that gang members were drawn from a highly troubled segment of youth on the reservation, often came from dysfunctional families, had lost contact with much of the native culture, were heavily involved in the use of alcohol and drugs, experienced severe problems in school, and were engaged in drug trafficking and violence on a selective basis. New CDCPS research is being looked at.

Two out of five American Indian youth ages 13-17 in South Minneapolis are not sure they will live to be 25 years old. This is just one of the startling statistics that reveal how gangs and viollnce are affecting urban Native youth today. Other statistics reveal: 54% of 91-0 yr. olds 74% of 11-12 yr. olds and 79% of 13-17 yr. olds have had a family member shot or stabbed! 68% of 9-10 yr. olds 53% of 11-12 yr. olds and 47% of 13-17 are worried about getting shot or stabbed! 34% of 9-10 yr. olds 63% of 11-12 yr. olds and 75% of 13-17 yr. olds don’t feel they can count on the police for help… for more information contact Mike Goze at Healthy Nations (612) 879-1743

There is an increasing number of gangs appearing in many reservations in the U.S. and even in Canada. Some of these gangs have members who when incarcerated have joined prison gangs like the Manitoba Warriors and Warrior’s Society and street gangs like “Ruthless Duece” and “Native Gangster Bloods”. Many prisons do have sweat lodges and Indian Clubs, which may be positive in nature, or may be subject for attempts by Security Threat Groups for criminal activities. See news articles below:

“Welcome for Winnepeg Gangs” February 15, 1999 The Edmonton Journal Last June, an officer with a joint RCMP-city police unit warned that aboriginal gangs were targeting wealthy Alberta reserves to recruit new members and set up drug trafficking and prostitution operations… Abstracted From AP 11/21/94, Tulsa, OK ."American Indian Youngsters Increasingly Joining Gangs"

Law enforcement officers and social workers say the picture is changing regarding Native American youth and involvement w/ street gangs. Max Benson, guidance counselor at Lloyd Raider Center in Sand Springs, OK, said when he first started working with youth at the juvenile detention center, "maybe three out of all the number of young people we had were Indian." "Now we have Indian kids in every unit," said Benson, a Pawnee tribal member. Police in Tulsa are also alarmed by the apparent increase in gang activity among Indian Youth. "Three years ago we didn't know of a Native American gang," said Cpl. Al Wilson, Tulsa Police. "We had Native Americans in gangs, but now we have more than one gang that is strictly Native American." Wilson says Indian gangs are similar to gangs in Los Angeles and other urban areas where membership falls along racial lines. Gang members often commit crimes in urban areas and flee to tribal land to hide, something Tribal leaders would like to see stopped. The Pawnee tribe created a gang intervention unit last spring, believed to be the first in the nation geared towards Indian gangs. The "Tribes of Oklahoma Gang Task Force", was created for educational purposes, Benson is a member. The group will speak to tribes, schools, educators; do problem assessments and help tribal police develop strategies to ID gangs. An Indian law enforcement officer, who wished to remain anonymous, said 15 Indian gangs have been identified in Oklahoma.


"Norteños" - The conflict between Norteño and Sureño street gangs in California has lasted for over 30 years. The official Norte-Sur line is now roughly drawn across from Delano to Salinas with the greater Fresno area separate of both There are few Nortenos below the line, many Surenos above it. Even this no longer holds true, as the S-N ratio is now nearly 50% in parts of Northern California. Sometimes whole gangs will move to another area because of law enforcement pressure. When a Sureño moves into a Norteño neighborhood there will be conflict! One of the largest sources of violence right now is the migration of Sureño gangs into Central and Northern California neighborhoods. Outside of California the lines are even blurrier. You can sometimes find Norteños and Sureños living in the same vicinity where there are not well-established or traditional varrios. Sometimes you can even find Norteños and Sureños in the same family households!

Most California Chicano gangs claim either Norteño, Sureño (except some Maravillas), or Central Califas (F14). As gang members moved around they take this allegiance with them. Norteños are found in most of the Western part of the United States, but are not as wide spread across the U.S. as the Sureños are. Norteños are now found as far away as Texas, Colorado, in the Mid-West, and New York where they fly under the Chicano Nation or Familia Ridas. They even have their own web sites. Many Norteño gang members will wear 49’er gear, Nebraska hats, or UNLV (Us Norteños Love Violence). Mostly red colors called "flamed up". Make sure that this isn’t the only identifier if you pull one over! Another non-verbal identifier for the Nortenos in the past has been the Mongolian hairstyle. A top knot or ponytail growing from the top/back portion of the head. This came out of CDC and was adopted on the street. In some Northern Cal jurisdictions, law enforcement was able to educate the judges that this was another non-verbal self-admission by gang members of their Norteño affiliation/membership. Still other Norteños will wear light blue North Carolina gear for the N.C. to signify Northern California.

One of the growing trends amongst Hispanic gangsters is the promotion of their gangs through rap music. The "14th" track on the "17 Reasons" Black/Brown CD is called "North Side Soldier" by a rapper from SFM. The "Generation of United Norteños" or G.U.N. and Darkroom Familia label also promote gang violence. Rap was at first considered "Black music" by Sureños. Sureños would only listen to Oldies. Now Sureño rap music groups are just as big as Norteño ones. A rapper from Darkroom Familia was indicted on a RICO statute and the Generation of United Norteños (GUN) CD was also used against them. The escalating violence between Norteños and Sureños in California and elsewhere is expected to continue for a long time. Police Officers, Corrections, and the public need to be aware of this historical feud if we are to ever hope to end the violence...

"Sureños" - Sureño means Southerner in Spanish. When you are dealing with Mexican-American or Chicano gangs this refers to Hispanic gangs in Southern California. It also refers to those gangs who have copied the Sureño style outside of So. Cal. or are part of the "Sureño Movement". These gangs differ in size, tradition and sophistication. In So. Cal, the gang structure is very loose, the make-up is more horizontal than the vertical hierarchy of some East Coast gangs. There are no Generals or Presidents, but there are Veteranos and "shotcallers" who have influence within their gang. Most Sureños may not personally know any Mexican Mafia (eMe) members, but will still put the “13”, for the 13th letter "M", after there name as a matter of respect. Sureños are not so much foot soldiers for the EME, more like a pool, from which the EME will recruit the best and most feared ones. Many Mexican Nationals are now claiming Sureño or they may choose to stay aligned with Border Brothers or Paisas.

18th Street, Mara Salvatrucha 13, Florencia 13, 38th Street, and hundreds of other gangs originating in So. Cal, refer to themselves as Sureños. These gangs often have established themselves in small towns across the country and war for control of drug trafficking with other local gangs. Law Enforcement in these small towns often do not initially recognize these gangs as Sureños. Sureño gangs are often rivals in the streets and usually have few links to each other. They seldom wear unified colors in L.A., as they do not want to bring attention on to themselves by Law Enforcement or enemies. Outside of So Cal. Sureños may wear blue to signify a unified group especially at parties or funerals. Sureños from different and sometimes warring gangs in L.A. may come together in other parts of the country. They may make truces with other gangs, but when they grow large enough, will often declare war on them. Within the California Department of Corrections, the L.A. County Jails, and on the street they are often at war with African-American gangs. Don't be fooled by the blue colors, Crips and Sureños have nothing to do with each other.

"Black Gangster Disciples and Folk Gangs" - The Black Gangster Disciples are originally a Chicago gang. Their founder was David "King David" Barksdale and they considered themselves a "Nation" (BGDN) not a gang. The Black Gangster Disciples came from two different organizations that combined forces, the Black Disciples and the Gangster Disciples. The President was David Barksdale and Vice President was Larry Hoover. For that reason they use the 6 pointed star, for "King David", not because they are Jewish. After Barksdale’s death in 1974 a struggle for power between Hoover and Jerome "King Shorty" Freeman, caused the BGDN to break up in the early 1980s, and back to the Gangster Disciples, Black Disciples, and Black Gangsters, aka "Triple L’s or New Breed" were "Boonie" Black’s group that stood for "Love, Life, and Loyalty". Hoover expanded the GD's and they spread even greater with "Growth & Development" and 21st Century VOTE. GD’s are the biggest faction. Outside of Chicago some gangs will still go by the old name of BGD.

There was an alignment of Chicago gangs inside jail and prison during the 1960’s, Black P-Stones, Vicelords, and Latin Kings became "People" with their allies. BGD’s became "Folks" with their allies. They study their history and other belief systems which are known as "Knowledge" or "Literature". Some common sayings are "All is One", "All for One, One for All", and "Folk before Family." They will use the pitchforks as one of their symbols and a horned heart with wings and a devil's tail. Also, sometimes a 3-point crown. In theory, they are supposed to do everything to the right side, but this does not always hold true. Their colors are blue and black. They will have political sub-groups such as "Brothers of the Struggle" (BOS). Members who choose not to participate in a gang activity are subject to disciplinary action or "violations." Violations can result in punishment from push-ups, to beatings, or even death.

"Maniac Latin Disciples" -MLD's can usually get along with Black Gangster Disciples and other Folk groups in jail or in prison. Their longtime hated enemies are the Latin Kings. Chicago gangs have their own Constitutions and symbols. The Maniac Latin Disciples allegedly started out in the 1960's asa baseball team and later as a gang at Rockwell around Hirsch and Potomac, now called the "Twilight Zone". An early leader of this group was a crazy guy aptly named "Hitler" who was killed in the early 1970's by members of the Latin Kings. To this day the MLD's use the swastika to commemorate his death. The symbol is usually done backwards so as not to be confused with Aryan groups. They also use hooded monk figures in their murals and tattoos. Their colors are blue and black and they are sometimes found outside of the Chicago area.

"Outlaw Biker Gangs" - Outlaw Bikers began to gain attention right after World War II when many servicemen came home. Many loved to drink, get rowdy, and have fun. A Biker run-in with the law in Hollister, CA made national headlines. Hollywood movies like "The Wild Bunch" in 1954 and "Easy Rider" in 1969 gave the Biker lifestyle more exposure to the general public. The "Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington" in the late 1940’s led to the formation of the Hells Angels. Soon, other Biker groups like Bandidos, Outlaws, Pagans, Sons of Silence, Mongols, and Vagos also gained national attention.

99% of the people who ride Bikes just love Harleys or Hondas or whatever, and then there are the 1%'ers or the Outlaw Bikers. Most Outlaw Bikers will have vest "colors" as a 3-piece patch: their club name on the top rocker, their mascot or logo in the middle, and their chapter on the bottom rocker. While they call themselves clubs, law enforcement has deemed them "Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs", or more accurately "Organized Crime".

"Fresno Bulldogs" -This Security Threat Group started from the Fresno 14 Gang (F-14) on the street combined with inmate elements at San Quentin Prison in the early 1980's who called themselves Bulldogs after the Fresno State University mascot. At one time the F14 were aligned with the Nuestra Familia and Nortenos. They still will often wear red, but are now independent from other Nortenos or Nor. Cal. They will fight Surenos, Nortenos and other gangs and seldom get along with anybody. They will often bark as a call sign, call each other "DOGS", and are sometimes found outside of the Fresno, CA area.

"Vicelords " -The Vicelords are a Chicago street gang, although they will sometimes claim to be a political organization. They are also referred to as a "Nation of Lords" which are a part of the "People Nation". In theory, they are supposed to get along with Latin Kings and all other People affiliated groups in jail or prison, however at times People will fight People on the streets. "Folk Nations" will also fight other Folks on the street. Vicelord's main rivals are usually Black Gangster Disciples or FOLKS, however, there may be times when they can get along especially if it is just business as in drug transactions. The late 1950’s origins of the Vicelords can be traced to the Chicago area community of Lawndale and a St. Charles youth detention center where the Vicelords idea started.

The first symbol of the Vicelords was the cane and top hat. One of the first sets was the Conservative Vicelords (CVL). There are now at least 19 different factions with names like the Traveling Vicelords, Insane Vicelords, and Unknown Vicelords. In theory, they are supposed to do everything to the left side, but this does not always hold true. Colors are yellow and black. The five point star was also introduced which became a symbol for the People Nation as did the number "5". By the early 1960’s, a sophisticated rank structure was in place, as well as a female faction called the "Vice Ladies". Many of the Vicelords went off to prison and they began to recruit within the Illinois Department of Corrections. By 1965, the gang had grown to approximately 8,000 members.

During the latter part of the 1960’s, the Vicelords began a PR campaign to rid the neighborhood of other undesirables, to literally run the neighborhood. They began to tap into federal dollars by applying and receiving government grants for community help programs in the "War on Poverty". After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in 1968, there were riots in the streets of many inner urban areas. "Burn Baby, Burn!" was the battle cry. People were very angry at the system. A Vicelord who was gained prominence was Willie Lloyd who went on the take over the UVL’s. He was recently released from prison and shot on the streets of Chicago. Vicelords are found sprinkled throughout many parts of the U.S.

"Crips" - This gang was founded in the late 1960’s by Raymond Washington from the East Side, and Stanley "Tookie" Williams from the West Side, as well as many of their crime partners who formed a group that is known today as the "Crips". There are many different versions of how the name came to be about and none of them are documented for sure. The most likely reason for the gang's name was the way they walked which was a ditty-bop strut as if crippled. Today, there is even a dance called "Crip Walk" during which the letters C-R-I-P are spelt out with the feet.

Some people will state that founder Washington carried around a picture of a "baby crib", but decided to call the gang "Crips", how silly does that sound? Some will say it came from the comic book "Tales from the Crypt", but there is little evidence of this either. Some will state that it stood for "Common Revolution In Progress". This is not true, but may be BGF influence, a prison gang few Crips ever join. Another myth is that the Crips branched off from the Black Panthers. This is not true either, the Crips were thugs, and could not care less about helping the community. They mostly preyed on other Blacks, something the Panthers were strongly against. What it is true that the Crips and other Black gangs filled the void for disillusioned Black youth after many of the Panthers were killed or locked up in the early 1970's.

Many Crips do wear blue, but not all. Grape Street Crips may wear Purple and Santana Blocc may wear Black. Hoovers (named after a street in L.A.) may call themselves Crip or stress their independence and will often use "Criminals" instead of Crip and wear more orange than blue. Crips will often address each other as "Cuzz" slang for cousin. Some of the symbols they may use are "BK" for Blood Killer. Crips will fight and kill other Crips. They may use "AK" for Anybody Killer or "EK" for Everybody Killer. While in the Mid-West and East Coast they may align with Black Gangster Disciples, this is not always true either, in some cases Crips and BGD’s will fight too.

Offnews.info (Argentina)

 


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19/07/2002|
19/07/2002|

ver + notas
 
Center for the Study of the Presidency
Freedom House