Gangland violence once thought to be restricted to the inner cities has spread into the suburbs, countryside and gone international. For those who think that gangs are nothing more than kids with guns shooting each other, a rude awakening is in store for them. They are organized, motivated and highly dangerous. Here are 10 examples.
10. Texas Syndicate
Born out of necessity in the California prison system, the Texas Syndicate- or Texas 7 is a group of Mexican immigrant gangsters bent on protecting themselves that evolved into extortion, prostitution, drugs and murder for hire outside. With a purported membership of around 2,000 in the U.S. they are fiercely loyal to one another and their gang code.
9. Black Guerrilla Family
Established in the late 1960′s in California, this is another prison gang born out of poor conditions. In order to be a member of this gang you have to be black and much like the Freemasons, nominated in and sponsored. At one point it is said that there were 50,000 members to this gang. Internal issues are one of the reason the gang has not seen the prolific success others have seen in recent years.
8. Los Zetas
Formed by deserting Mexican Army personnel, this gang specialized in taking over drug cartel territory and making it their own. Later they participated in international trafficking and now are reported to being involved in everything from prostitution to pipeline oil theft to even having their own brand of brandy. What exactly does the Mexican government teach their soldiers?
7. Aryan Brotherhood
Though they make up less than 2% of the prison population they account for nearly 30% of all prison murders in the US. The reason for this is a highly organized in-prison leadership that practices prison prostitution, murder for hire and extortion. This is a small, but very active prison gang and not one that is readily infiltrated by other gangs due to it’s race-based criteria.
6. Mexican Mafia
Another known prison gang, these guys aren’t really known for being a danger to the public in general; just to other gangs. They specialize in forming alliances with other gangs and then contracting out to kill rival gang members. They are also fairly well organized and retain members even after prison release.
5. Kenyan Mafia
This group of non-prison gang members makes the Top 10 out of sheer violence alone. They believe in the mutilation of female genitalia, beheading and random killings to extort and maintain control of the general populace. Though not found anywhere outside of Kenya, their violent ways have forced me to reconsider my vacation plans several times over.
4. Latin Kings
This gang is a bit of an oxymoron in a way. While extremely violent and engaged in criminal activities, they also can serve as contributors and advocates to the various communities they are involved in.
This Chicago gang has spread throughout Illinois as well as New York and New Jersey. Their biggest failing in in their social interaction with non-gang members. By trying to “give back” their leadership is easily identified.
3. The Crips
One of the more well known gangs in the country, this gang has franchised themselves across the country as a very prolific distributor of drugs and violence.
2. The Bloods
Known as the rival gang of the the Crips this gang more or less mirrored growth and operations of their rival gang. Or maybe it was the other way around? Who cares? Both are extremely dangerous, though not as erratic as some of the other gangs on this list.
1. MS 13
International, organized and very dangerous. This gang spans something like 33 US States and at least 6 countries. From people trafficking to drugs to protection rackets, this gang does it all. Their membership ranks in the tens of thousands and that’s not even an accurate count.