Mexican Mafia There are many prison gangs in California. Just to name a few are the Aryan Brotherhood, La Nuestra Familia, and the gang of this essay, The Mexican Mafia. Most prison gangs such as The Mexican Mafia were formed as a protection from other gangs and eventually became the first prison gang in California. To get to know how this gang became one of the most powerful prison gangs, I will discuss the history of the gang, the gangs core beliefs and, how to identify gang members by their tattoos and symbols that are associated them with them. The Mexican Mafia was established in 1957 at a youth facility in Tracy, California.
The gang is also known as La Eme which represents the letter M in Spanish and the thirteenth letter in the alphabet. Most of the members of the gang are mexican- american men, but some member are white. The gang first started with thirteen members. “Three of the first members were Louis ‘Huero” Flores, Rodolfo “Cheyenne” Cadena, and Joe “Pegleg” Morgon who was white” (Mexican Mafia-La EME). The three juveniles were already from gangs in their East Los Angeles Neighborhoods. As menacing teenagers, they stuck together and protected each other while in Jail. They recruited other members through an association known as the “homeboy onnection”.
In addition, as the gang became more established so did their criminal behavior like becoming part of the drug trade. Along with this new addition to their criminal activates also came rival gangs. Two of The Mexican Mafia’s rival gangs are Nuestra Famiia and the Black Guerilla Family, which is a black gang. Finally with the enemies and the drug trade La Eme’s gang beliefs became more structured. One of the gangs beliefs is ethnic solidarity, which is “defined as a particular group of people who share a common ethnicity or culture bond together to achieve a common goal” (The Mexican Mafia Prison Gang).
Another of the La Eme beliefs are these four rules: Don’t snitch (which means do not tell or talk to police), you cant be homosexual, a coward, or go against another member of the gang. If any of the rules are broken the punishment is death. Also according to gang policy, “a member of the Mexican Mafia may not be murdered without prior approval by a vote of three members, yet the murder of non-members requires no formal approval” (The Mexican Mafia Prison Gang). The gang believes very much in their gangs beliefs even as much as they believe in the tattoos that symbolize their gang.