Gang Information

Member Profile
  • Male
  • Hispanic
  • White
  • Black
Identifiers
  • SUR (Southern United Raza)
  • Sureño
  • 13
  • X3
  • XIII

Surenos

History

“Sur” is the Spanish word for “south” with “Sureño” meaning “one from the south or southerner.” The term Sureno describes gangs aligning themselves with Southern California. This term was coined in the 1970s as a result of a California prison war between the Mexican Mafia and the Nuestra Familia. This war ended in a territorial division between gang members from Southern California (Sureños or southerners), aligning themselves with the Mexican Mafia, and those from Northern California, aligning themselves with the Nuestra Familia.

The Mexican Mafia is a prison gang that originated in the Los Angeles Area in the 1960’s. Its primary symbol is the emblem of an eagle with a snake in it’s mouth standing on a cactus; this symbol is found in the center of the Mexican flag.

Demographics

The majority of Sureño gang members are male and of Hispanic origin. However, whites, blacks, and other ethnic minorities are also found to pledge alliance to Sureño gangs. The age of gang members covers a broad spectrum from children, who are as young as 9 or 10 years old, to adults, who are in their 50s. Although, most Sureño gang members are in their late teens to early 30s. Sureños are found in nearly every state but are most dominant in the west.

Identifiers

Sureño gang tattoos usually contain the number and/or words SUR (Southern United Raza), Sureño, 13, X3, or XIII. The number 13 represents the 13th letter of the alphabet M, which denotes the Mexican Mafia alliance. The Mexican Mafia is also referred to as La EME, which is Spanish for the letter M. La EME orginated in the 1960’s when sixteen leaders from the East Los Angeles barrios formed an allegiance to control prison narcotics trade. Regardless of how the number 13 appears, the meaning is the same; its alliance is to Southern California.

Sureño gangs typically identify themselves with the color blue. In addition to the color blue, Sureño gang members also wear silver and black clothing items. The major clothing brand associated with this group is the Oakland Raiders, which was previously the Los Angeles Raiders.

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