for "Southerners") are a group of Mexican American
with origins in the oldest barrios
. There are hundreds of Sureño gangs in California,
and each has its own identity on the streets. Although they are
based in Southern California, their influence has spread to many
parts of the US and other countries as well.
The gang's alleged roots came from a jail
discussion between the Mexican Mafia
(La EME) and Nuestra Familia
Those who sided with La EME aligned themselves in the south
(sureño=southerner) while those that sided with the NF aligned
themselves in Northern
Besides Southern California
Sureños can be found in more than 30 states (primarily in southwestern
and central states.
appear mostly in the northern areas of California, but are also present in numbers in western states
like Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and
Utah. But the largest presence of Sureno's remain
in the cities of Los
Angeles, & San
Diego where every single latino gang with the exception
of the Maravilla gang are considered to be surenos.
The term “sureños” describes gangs professing allegiance to a
set in southern California.The term was
first used in the 1970s as a result of a California prison
war between the Mexican Mafia (La EME) and
(NF). This war
resulted in a territorial division between gang members from
northern California (norteños = northerners) who aligned with NF,
and those from southern California (sureños = southerners) aligned
with La EME.
Symbols and culture
Sureños emblems and clothing are based on the color blue
. A typical Sureño
outfit might include, blue, silver, and white and their favorite
sports team apparel that shows their affiliation. Sureños use the
number 13 in tattoos
. It is sometimes written as "X3", or in
as "XIII". (Sur13 or
Sur XIII) Some Sureños will tattoo themselves with three dots.
Sureños derogatorily refers to a Norteño as a "Buster" or "Chap"