Sureño gang tattoo on a Sureño gang member's back.
|Founding location||Southern California|
|Years active||1968 - Present|
|Territory||35 States in The U.S. primarily in Southern California|
|Ethnicity||Predominately Mexican-American, including others |
|Criminal activities||Murder, drug trafficking, extortion, assault, theft, robbery, fraud, human trafficking and arms trafficking.|
|Allies||Mexican Mafia, Gulf Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel, Crips, MS13, 18th Street Gang|
|Rivals||Norteños, Nuestra Familia, Latin Kings, Bloods, Asian Boyz|
Sureños, Sur 13, Southside ([suˈɾeɲos], 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. Sureños have emerged as a national gang in the United States. They would ally themselves with the Crips and MS13 in certain U.S States .
The Sureños' main stronghold is in Southern California where they originated. They have heavy presence in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. They also can be found in some parts of Mexico. Sureños also maintain relationships with various Mexican based Drug Trafficking Organizations(DTO) in Mexico. They have been confirmed in 35 different states in the U.S. They are with the Gulf Cartel.In California, the statewide dividing line between Norteños and Sureños has arguably been accepted as the rural community of Delano, California.
The term "Sureño" 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."
While "sur" is the Spanish word for south, among Sureños SUR also stands for Southern United Raza. 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 Sureños, there is only one tattoo that proves or validates membership. The word Sureño or Sureña 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 Lakers (on occasions), San Diego Padres, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Royals, 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. Sureños from Northern California refers to themselves as 'Upstate Sureños' and central California refers to themselves as 'Central Sureños' . Sureños from Southern California Refers Sureños From northern and central California as 'Upstate Sureños' .
Involvement in the Syrian Civil War
Sureño groups are involved in every aspect of criminal activity from homicides, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and even 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. Their primary focus is the distribution of various forms of narcotics and carrying out orders handed by the Mexican Mafia. Police departments have a difficult time dealing with this gang because of its decentralized hierarchy at the street level. Law enforcement attempts to limit the influence of the Mexican Mafia over the various Sureno street gangs have been met with little success.By the late 1990s, a federal task force was set up in order to investigate the gang's involvement in illegal drug trade; this resulted in the arrest of several of its members. The authorities confiscated thousands of dollars in drugs and money, as reported by the Los Angeles Times and local news channels.The group has historically quarreled with various rival gangs for placement and competition, which has resulted in many drive-by shootings and deaths. On August 24, 2004, a law enforcement preliminary injunction terminated the active members of the 38th Street gang, out of the streets, banning them from using firearms, alcohol, graffiti and other dangerous materials in public. 38th Street, being an old and large gang, has accumulated countless rivalries in Los Angeles county and other cities where they have established. During the 1980s, 38th Street became heavily involved in drug sales and trafficking became a specialty crime that some gang members perfected. Today 38th Street relies almost exclusively on narcotics sales and distribution as its only source of revenue.
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