The Mexican Mafia

Essay by lovelyrissaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, September 2008

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The Mexican Mafia (MM), also known as "La Eme" or EME, is a chicano prison gang started in 1957 at Duel Vocational Institute (DVI), a youthful offender facility located in Tracy, California. The Mexican Mafia was originally formed to protect its chicano gang members from other prison gangs. It is made up from mostly Mexican-American convicts form the barrios of East Los Angeles. Using extreme violence, the Mexican Mafia has gained a considerable amount of power and control of the illegal activities in the California Prison system. (Wikipedia, Mexican Mafia 2006)HistoryWhile incarcerated at DVI in 1957, Luis "Huero" Flores is credited with starting the Mexican Mafia. Flores came from an East Los Angeles street gang in Hawaiian Gardens of the same name. Twenty Mexican Americans from East Los Angeles formed the core of the gang and originally named the California gang the "Mexikanemi Science Temple of the Atzlan", a religious group that worshipped an ancient pre-Hispanic creed (cultural heritage).

As the organization grew, it rapidly changed into a criminal organization involved in extortion, narcotics trafficking, and murder both inside and outside the prison system walls. It is not known what became of Flores following the completion of his youth sentence in 1957. (, Mexican Mafia Prison Gang 2006)The Mexican Mafia is felt to be the most powerful of the prison groups. In the beginning, La Eme was referred to as any group of Mexican prisoners who banned together to prey on loner inmates. In the late 1960's, the Mexican Mafia emerged as an organized group and considered as an opponent any prisoner, regardless of his surname, who was not a member. The group now appears to have formal leadership structure both within the system and on the street. In 1961, the Mexican Mafia began building strength, worked its...