|Founding location||Southern California|
|Years active||1968 - Present|
|Territory||Mainly the West Coast primarily in Southern California|
|Ethnicity||Predominantly Hispanic, mostly Mexican|
|Criminal activities||Murder, drug trafficking, extortion, assault, theft, robbery, fraud, human trafficking, and arms trafficking.|
|Allies||Mexican Mafia, Sinaloa Cartel, Tijuana Cartel Los Zetas, Juggalos|
|Rivals||Norteños, Nuestra Familia, Crips (certain sets), Fresno Bulldogs, Bloods, Latin Kings|
Sureños [su'ɾeɲos] (Spanish for "Southerners"), or Sureñas for females, are groups of loosely affiliated gangs that pay tribute to the Mexican Mafia while in U.S. state and federal correctional facilities. Many Sureño gangs have rivalries with one another and the only time this rivalry is set aside is when they enter the prison system. Thus, fighting is common among different Sureño gangs even though they share the same common identity.
The Sureños main stronghold is in Southern California where they originated. There are an estimated 200,000 Sureños in Los Angeles County alone. They have successfully migrated into every major city in every state in the United States, as well as Canada, the US Military, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. One of the main reasons for this migration is due to California's three strikes law. There are unconfirmed reports of their presence in various South American countries as well. Many larger criminal street gangs use the number 13 under the Sureño banner such as the 18th Street gang, Playboys gang, and Mara Salvatrucha. Northern States such as Oregon, Washington and Alaska have seen a substantial increases in street gangs under the Sureño and Norteño banners. Eastern Washington is almost exclusively either a Sureño or Norteño territory with the only exception being Spokane, Washington.
International alliances 
The term "Sureños" means Southerner in Spanish. Even though Sureños were established in 1968, the term was not used until the 1970s as a result of the continued conflict between the Mexican Mafia and Nuestra Familia in California's prison system. As a result of these prison wars, all Hispanic California street gangs align themselves with the Sureño or Norteño movement with very few exceptions such as the Fresno Bulldogs and the Maravilla gangs of East Los Angeles. When a Sureño is asked what being a Sureño means, gang members, without exception, answer, "A Sureño is a foot soldier for the Mexican Mafia."
Sureños use the number 13 which represents the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, the letter M, in order to pay allegiance to the Mexican Mafia. Common Sureño gang markings and tattoos include, but are not limited to: Sur, XIII, X3, 13, Sur13, uno tres, trece and 3-dots. Although there are many tattoos used by Surenos, there is only one tattoo that proves or validates membership. The word Sureno or Surena must be earned and can never be taken for granted. In many parts of the country they will identify themselves with the color blue and gray and include wearing sports clothing from teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings (on occasions), Los Angeles Lakers, San Diego Padres, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, San Jose Sharks and Atlanta Braves. Most Sureños are of Hispanic descent, but some Sureño gangs allow members from various other ethnic backgrounds to join their ranks making Sureños multiethnic.
The most important things that all Sureños must live by is respect and loyalty. These traits are highly valued and anything seen as a violation can result in lethal retaliation. Although what is heard in the news is only violence perpetuated by criminal street gangs, most of the time gang members are not engaged in criminal activity. Many social street gangs have infamous reputations, but spend most of their time socializing with other members of their gang and do not actually engage in daily criminal acts. Sureños in Northern California call themselves Upstate Sureños while ones in the valley call themselves Central Valley Sureños. All Sureno gangs have their own names usually a reflection of their neighborhood or city such as Southside Beaumont 13, El Monte Flores 13 or Eastside Paramount 13 or some other name chosen by the people that founded the gang.
Criminal activity 
Sureño groups are involved in every aspect of criminal activity from homicides, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and even violent cases of domestic violence against their own girlfriends and family. They are also heavily engaged in human trafficking. There have been many high profile criminal cases involving Sureños in a variety of states. In Washington State there are some Playboy Sureños on trial for shootings at a car show up in Kent Washington in 2011. 
See also 
- Valdez , A. (2000, April 10). Tracking surenos. Police. Law Enforcement Magazine, Retrieved from http://www.policemag.com/Channel/Gangs/Articles/2000/02/In-the-Hood-and-Surenos-Tracking-a-Gang.aspx
- Barkan, S. E., & Bryjak, G. J. (2010). Fundamentals of criminal justice, a sociological view. (2 ed.). SudBury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
- Sampson County Sheriff's Office. (2005). Sureños. Retrieved from website: http://www.sampsonsheriff.com/otherforms/20051011_surenos.pdf
- "El Paso Times - Mexican Drug Cartels Strengthen Ties With US Gangs". Retrieved 2011-11-09.
- Bruneau, T., Dammert, L., & Skinner, E. (2011). Maras: Gang violence and security in central america. (st ed., p. 28-29, 32). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
- Hewitt, R. (Director) (2009). Gangland season 4, ep. 9 "Dog Fights" [Television series episode]. In Pearman, V. (Executive Producer), Gangland. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Television Networks.
- Morales, G. (2007). Sureños. Retrieved from http://www.gangpreventionservices.org/sureno.asp
- Larence, E. R. (2010). Combating gangs: Federal agencies have implemented a Central American gang . Washington, DC: United States Accountability Office.
- Northwest Gangs. http://www.nwgangs.com/eastern-wa-gangs.html
- "hood." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2011. 20 December. 2011. http://www.definitions.net/definition/hood
- Vinson, J., Crame, J., & Von Seeburg, K. Rocky Mountain Information Network, (2008). Surenos. Retrieved from website: http://info.publicintelligence.net/surenosreport.pdf
- Eways, A. (2012, February 13). Sureno gang graffiti: Understanding the art of war . Corrections.com. Retrieved from http://www.corrections.com/news/article/29911-sureno-gang-graffiti-understanding-the-art-of-war
- Vigil, J. D. (1988). Barrio gangs: street life and identity in southern california. (pp. 148-149). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
- Schmalleger, F. (2011). Criminal justice today: An introductory text for the 21st century. (11 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education Inc. Print
- "Gang member's tattoo told story of 2004 murder | Local & Regional News | Bakersfield Now - News, Weather and Sports". bakersfieldnow.com. 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- Squires, J. (2010, November 5). Eight sureno gang members busted during operation groundhog in watsonville already convicted, four sent to state prison. Santa Cruz Setinal. Retrieved from http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_15059366
- Stribling, L. (Writer) (2011). Gang member charged after stabbing girlfriend [Television series episode]. In ABC News. Wilmer Minnesota: ABC. Retrieved from http://ksax.com/article/stories/s1953501.shtml
- Badway, J. U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Marshals Service. (2011). Medina brothers: U.s. marshals need your help . Retrieved from website: http://www.justice.gov/marshals/news/chron/2011/120911.htm
- Hunter, S. (2011, September 29). Six enter not guilty pleas in connection with Kent car-show shooting. The Kent Reporter. Retrieved from http://www.kentreporter.com/news/130808963.html