Latino street gangs

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Latino street gangs are any of a number of criminal organizations with cliques operating throughout Central and North America, including the Birmingham District. Many got their start in U.S. prisons. The following have been reported as active in the area by police and immigrations officials:

  • La Quemada or La Quemada Riders
  • Legion Negra
  • Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), an El Salvadoran gang organized in Los Angeles in the 1980s. The group is associated with the colors blue and white and with elaborate facial tattooing. The group is loosely networked with the Mexican Mafia prison gang. During his presidential campaign and his administration, Donald Trump repeatedly described horrific crimes carried out by MS-13 to justify his immigration policies.
  • Norteños (Nuestra Familia), a highly-organized gang formed in the late 1960s at Folsom Prison in opposition to the Mexican Mafia which then dominated Southern California. Identified with the color red, the number 14 (XIV, X4, 14 and 4 dots) as well as the five-pointed star and the huegla bird.
  • Southside Locotes or Southside Lokos
  • Sureños or Sureño-13 (Sur-13), is an affiliate of the Southern Californian Mexican Mafia prison gang. Members identify with the color blue, the number 13 (XIII, X3, 13 and 3 dots) as well as Los Angeles Dodgers apparel. A spate of Sur-13 graffiti tags appeared in the Druid Hills neighborhood in March 2008, spreading fear of an imminent turf war with the ATO gang already operating there.
    • Brown Pride 13
    • Judas 13
    • Malditos


  • Plummer, Don (August 9, 2005) "Federal sweep nabs 70 in metro Atlanta gang." Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Green, John Marc (November 6, 2007) "Where the Gangs Are." CBS 42 News.
  • Norris, Toraine (April 3, 2008) "Hispanic gangs spreading in Birmingham metro area."
  • Robinson, Carol (August 31, 2008) "Mexican and Central American drug gangs said to be operating in the Birmingham area." Birmingham News
  • Stock, Erin (January 27, 2010) "27 immigrants detained in operation targeting street gangs." Birmingham News