Hispanic Gangs: Not Just a California Problem Anymore

1475 WordsOct 20, 20086 Pages
Gangs are not a new problem to the United States. Gangs have often been romanticized in literature and the media with a classic example being “West Side Story”. Americans have long been fascinated with the Mafia, and infamous gangsters such as Al Capone and John Gotti have even been elevated in status as cultural icons. Americans have seen an uprising in “Gangster Rap” since the early 1990’s. Many people tend to think of gangs in America as being made up primarily of young inner-city black males with a small percentage of white males. Americans tend to forget that gangs also include girls, adults, and children. One area that most Americans have not started to look into yet is the influence of the growing number of Hispanic Gangs.…show more content…
MS-13 uses highly advanced means of communication ranging from a complete hand signal alphabet and code system to using various methods on the internet. By posting lookouts, gang members are able to forewarn other members of approaching law enforcement and rival gang members by secret signals. Members also have the ability to strategize and coordinate across towns, cities, states, and even countries via the internet. MS-13 and other technologically savvy Hispanic gangs are truly international organizations. The 18th Street gang got its start in the 1960s as the result of Hispanic youths from mixed backgrounds being denied membership into another street gang. This melting pot beginning paved the way for the 18th Street gang to be the first Hispanic gang to break the racial barriers and accept blacks, Asians, Caucasians, and multi-racial individuals. This has allowed 18th Street to become one of the largest and well-known Hispanic gangs in the United States. They start recruitment at very young ages with some efforts reaching into the elementary schools to gain members who will be loyal their entire lives. Due to a huge recruitment campaign during the 1990s, the membership in California alone is estimated to be above 30,000. There are many clickas throughout the United
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