|Founding location||Southern California|
|Years active||1968 - Present|
|Territory||35 States in The U.S. primarily in Southern California, Mexico, some parts of Central and South America.|
|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, MS-13, Rollin 60s, Folk Nation, Florência 13|
|Rivals||Norteños, Nuestra Familia, Latin Kings, Asian Boyz, People Nation, Crips, Bloods|
Sureños, Sur 13, or Sureños X3 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. Sureños have been documented in the U.S. military, found in both U.S. and overseas bases.
The Sureños' main stronghold is in Southern California. They have heavy presence in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. They have a small presence in the midwest; specifically in Chicago. They also can be found in some parts of Mexico. Sureños also maintain relationships with various Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) based 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, in absolutely all cases and without any exceptions, answer, "A Sureño is a foot soldier for the Mexican Mafia."
On 2009, members of the Sureños were charged in the deaths of rival Norteño gang members Alvaro Garcia-Pena and Intiaz Ahmed. One member of the Sureños pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Other members from the Sureños gang received other sentences for their involvement in the shooting.
In 2010, 51 Surenos were arrested in California Narcotics Sting. The investigation identified eight Sureno gangs involved in various criminal activities, including the distribution of narcotics. The investigation also resulted in the seizure of more than 19 pounds of methamphetamine, a methamphetamine conversion laboratory, 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, small amounts of crack cocaine, 25 pounds of marijuana, 35 firearms, and $800,000 in currency and property. The charges against the gang members were; conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, street terrorism and firearms violations.
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. In many parts of the country they will identify themselves with the color blue and sometimes white with a blue bandanna and include wearing sports clothing from teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers (1960s blue jerseys), Dallas Cowboys or the Chicago White Sox (To represent the south side). Most Sureños are of Mexican 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 to 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 assaults. 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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- Idyllic Half Moon Bay caught in war between Norteños and Sureños
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- Sureño gang members stand trial for Norteño shooting published by Julie Brown from richmondconfidential.org
- 51 Surenos were arrested in California Narcotics Sting published by policemag.com
- Sureño Tattoos and Symbols: These gang members are loyal to one: the Mexican Mafia
- Eways, A. (2012, February 13). Sureño 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
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