Into The Abyss:
A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs

by Mike Carlie, Ph.D.        
Michael K. Carlie
Continually updated.

~ Table of Contents ~
Home | Foreword | Preface | Orientation

What I Learned | Conclusions
End Note |
| Appendix
Site Map / Contents
| New Research

Up-To-Date Gang-Related News

Mexican Mafia
Permission to post the information below was graciously given by the 
Southeastern Connecticut Gang Activities Group

Please note: The information below was taken from the website of the Southeastern Connecticut Gang Activities Group. I know very little about motorcycle/biker gangs, so I am relying upon that group to provide accurate information. I can not testify to the accuracy of the material myself. If you know of an Internet site that provides more accurate information, please let me know about it.

Racial Makeup/Ethnic: Mexican-American/Hispanic

Gang Colors:  Green, Red and White


Initials "EME."
Mexican Eagle; Feathered war shield over crossed machetes
Initials 'MM' or 'M.'

Many intelligence personnel and officers confuse the EME with the Mexikanemi from Texas. Great care should be taken in evaluating these distinct groups. Some believe the Mexikanemi share identical tattoos and symbols with EME, but there are subtle differences to be taken into account when attempting to associate membership.


Texas Syndicate
Raza Unida
New Mexican Mafia ( Arizona )
Black Guerrilla Family
La Nuestra Familia


Aryan Brotherhood of Texas ( ABT )

Recruitment / Initiation:

Members are Mexican-American/Hispanic inmates.  The wives, girlfriends, and relatives of the EME are held in extremely high regard due to their support of  The EME is generally considered a "blood in, blood out" organization.

Criminal Activity: 

Sales of narcotics, murder, gang related violence, extortion, escape, weapons violations and assault.  The EME uses killing as a means of discipline or gaining respect. EME killings are extremely gruesome and calculated to establish fear and intimidation.


The original Mexican Mafia (EME) was formed in the Devel Vocational Institute of the California Prison System in Tracy, CA. between 1957 - 1960. 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.

Between 1960 - 1967, the California prison system became aware of the Mexikanemi's criminal activity, broke the group up and relocated them to different prisons. Active recruitment continued by the Mexican Mafia, as they are now called, and the gang basically took control of the California prisons.

In 1967, the Nuestra Familia prison gang (which is comprised of inmates from the northern rural areas of California) and the Texas Syndicate (made up of inmates from Texas) formed to defend themselves against the Mexican Mafia (EME), the Aryan Brotherhood, and Black prison gangs that existed in the California penal system. Members of the Texas Syndicate migrated back to Texas from California and were eventually arrested and re-incarcerated in the Texas Department of Correction.

A 1982 lawsuit ruling in Texas ( Ruiz vs. Estella ) resulted in the elimination of the "Building Tender System" in the Texas Department of Corrections. "Building Tenders" were inmates who were selected by the guards to assist in controlling the other inmates at the prison farms, ranches and other facilities. This ruling allowed the Texas Syndicate to fill the power vacuum and start to take over TDC.

The current Mexican Mafia of Texas was formed in the Texas Prison System in 1984 to protect the Hispanic inmates of the Texas Prison System from the Texas Syndicate.

Through the years, the EME has attempted to establish itself as a legitimate organization. They have been successful on a few occasions in obtaining Federal grants and using some of these funds to further their criminal activities."

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