The Mexican Mafia or La eMe is a criminal prison organization which consists from American Mexicans (Rafael, 2007). This criminal organization is reputed for its cruelty and has about 300 official members in Southern California and controls the street army amounted about 40,000 people (FBI, n.d.). It is a powerful criminal enterprise with its own culture and rules; is powerful since any member may order the execution on any streets of Southern California. This paper will take a look on historical background of La eMe and its current role in drug syndicates, political corruption and other illicit activities.
Mexican Mafia was founded in 1957 by thirteen prisoners from different districts of the Los Angeles in order to protect themselves from other prison gangs (Rafael, 2007). Luis ‘Huero Buff’ Flores headed the gang. When La eMe just appeared this name was used to every gang of Mexican prisoners who prohibited unitedly to target on lonelier intimates. Situation has changed in 1960’s. La eMe growth to a criminal organization with its members and every person who was not an ally considered being an opponent. Currently, La eMe is composed of different groups that control the leaders concluded in the prisons. Orders come from the generals to the leaders according to its hierarchy both within the system and on the street. Now Mexican Mafia has a well-organized and disciplined structure with a great degree of mobility of its members.
Despite the wide range of illicit activities, the main income of this criminal group began receiving it from extorting drug distributors outside the prison, and distribution of various drugs inside and beyond the prisons. In the 1970s La eMe started to control the activities of other criminal organizations and collect taxes on narcotics dealers with transferring profits to the Mexican Mafia’s leaders who detained in a prison (FBI, n.d.). Drug activity was related to the Mexican Mafia’s leader Joe “Pegleg” Morgan who had relationships with suppliers of heroin and cocaine from Mexico (FBI, n.d.). These links have been the starting point of widespread drugs in California in the 2000s Mexican Mafia has started to control all operations on the drug transferring in the zones of their activity (FBI, n.d.).
Mexican Mafia had also been involved in corruption. Mexican Mafia for income took control of the activities of many public organizations. One of the major cases of withdrawal of money from drug and alcohol prevention programs was Get Going. Mexican Mafia with Italian Americans took control of the program and pulled out money from it on their illicit activities. When the founder of the program attempted to investigate the case, she was killed and significant proof against the Mafia was not found (FBI, n.d.).
According to the FBI Mexican Mafia members often hires Aryan Brotherhood to perform assassinations (Rafael, 2007). In 1995, federal authorities convicted 22 members of La eMe on charges of RICO Act, which include kidnapping, racketeering and murder. In 2006 toward members of La eMe were indicted on 36 counts (FBI, n.d.). The arrests occurred on the background of accused of acts of violence, drug trafficking and racketeering toward smaller Latino street gangs. In addition, members of the Mexican Mafia were charged in attempted murder, robbery, money laundering, laundered drug-trafficking proceeds, federal racketeering conspiracy, violent crime in aid of racketeering, federal firearm offenses, a conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs, methamphetamine trafficking (FBI, n.d.).
In this paper the activities of a criminal organization called La eMe or Mexican Mafia was examined. Despite the name, the Mexican Mafia is rooted in Mexican Americans. At first, it was a group of 13 people who are united to defend themselves. Then they began to engage in drug trafficking, corruption, involved in money laundering of community organizations and other illegal activities. As to the culture of the Mexican Mafia, its members were previously involved in a street gang, but they must be kept to the prison gang, only they just join. Prison Gang also requires members to continue to work for it later after the release. Members of the street gang membership are estimated in the Mexican mafia as an elevated position in the illicit world.