Midwest Gangs

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Surenos (Mexican Mafia)

The creation and growth of the Mexican Mafia has been credited to Rodolfo Cadena and Joe Morgan. While serving time at the Duel Vocational Institute in Tracy, California several inmates complained of the abuse and racism in the California Prison system. White prison gangs such as the Blue Bird Gang controlled all activities within the prison walls. The Mexican-American inmates created the gang to protect themselves from other inmates and to control illegal activity behind bars. The Mexican Mafia remained unmolested until 1968 when their rivals, La Nuestra Familia was official organized. According to FBI documentation, as a direct result of the growing control and threat of the Mexican Mafia, the Black Guerilla Family and the Aryan Brotherhood were formed.

Southern California street gangs banded together in prison, to combat the unified Northern California street gangs. Young street gang members began calling themselves Surenos, (Spanish word for Southerner). They were told that when they would be arrested, they would one day join the Mexican Mafia.

Sureno street gang members often identify with the symbols XIII, X3, 13, and 3-dots. This refers to the 13th letter of the alphabet "M" which stands for Mexican Mafia. The gang identifies with the color blue and the words Sureno, Sur and Southerner. Other symbols include a black hand, La Eme (meaning 'the M' in Spanish) and MM (Mexican Mafia). Members of the Mexican Mafia align themselves with the Aryan Brotherhood and the Italian Mafia.

The Mexican Mafia has been identified in nearly every federal and state institution in the United States. Sureno street gangs have been identified in every state in the country. Members have being involved in all facets of criminal activity. (Knowgangs.com)

States: Mainly around the California area, but can be found elseewhere
Prison: Mostly California, but elsewhere

Gangs of the Midwest.