Founded United States
In Los Angeles, California,United States
Founded by
Years active 1959–Present
Colors Blue, Navy Blue, Dark Blue
Territory All US states, Mexico
Ethnicity Hispanics (Mexicans), Chicano
Criminal activities Murder, drug trafficking, extortion, assault, auto theft, robbery
Allies Mexican Mafia, Sinaloa Cartel, Tijuana Cartel, 18 Street (DIESIOCHO) MS-13
Rivals Norteños, Asian Boyz, Bloods, Crips and Latin Kings

Sureños (Southerners) are a group of Mexican American street gangs with origins in the oldest barrios of Southern California. Although they are based in California, the influence of the Sureños has spread to many parts of the US and other countries as well such as Germany and Japan. The gang's alleged roots came from a prison dispute between the Mexican Mafia (La Eme) and Nuestra Familia (NF). Those that sided with the NF aligned themselves in Northern California and called themselves Norteños (Northerners) which became the Sureños' main adversary. Sureños appear mostly in the southern areas of California, but are also present in Northern California & southwestern states of the U.S. Sureños can be found in most states of the U.S. The numbers are increasing and is now the largest gang in the U.S.


The term "Sureños” meaning Southerner in Spanish. Sureño (male) Sureña (female) are the basics on what they are separated by. They originated from Southern California prison and made their way through "barrios"(hoods/neighborhoods). Throughout 1992-1993, the Mexican Mafia held meetings throughout Southern California with local gangs to unify them as Sureños, The Mexican Mafia also taxed the local gangs and banned drive by shootings. This required the Sureños to walk up and shoot their enemies and avoid shooting non-gang members. The Sureños identify with the color blue which comes from days past when the prisons offered two standard colors of bandanas, blue and red. Their enemies are Norteños (Northerners) and have been at war since the beginning. The term was first used in the 1960s as a result of a California prison war between the Mexican Mafia (La Eme) and Nuestra Familia (NF). This war resulted in a territorial division between gang members from norteño (northern) California who aligned with NF, and those from southern California aligned with La Eme. As Eme members paroled to the streets, they were tasked with creating new cells to help facilitate more crime. With her connections to the original members of La Eme, Anacleta "La Annie" Ramirez recruited young gang members on the streets to work as lackeys for La Eme. She created a structure so that members coming out of prison, along with her help, could teach the susceptible young gang members new criminal activities to create new streams of profit for the Mexican Mafia. In addition, paroled members explained the North versus South war occurring in prison to the young street gang members. The youngsters were told that when they did enter the prison system that they should align themselves with the other Surenos. The term Sureno was soon adopted by Hispanic street gang members throughout Southern California.

Symbols and CultureEdit

Sureño gang members often identify themselves with the number 13; to represent the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, the letter M. This is used to pay homage to the Mexican Mafia. Surenos will use the symbols Sur, XIII, X3, 13, $ur13 and 3-dots in their graffiti and tattoos. In many parts of the country they will identify themselves with the color blue (mainly royal blue) and gray, and black also including sports teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers, San Diego Padres, and San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys,this also includes Oakland Raiders gear clothing.

Operation GroundhogEdit

In May 2010, with help from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in California, forty-three suspected Sureño gang members were arrested and two others are wanted after a year-long investigation of the gang's activities in California. Police also recovered heroin and methamphetamine from suspected street-level drug dealers.

The majority of the arrests were for trafficking and possessing guns, gang participation, drug charges and violating probation terms. Several men were arrested more than once over the course of the year, according to the Police Department.


  • South Los 13
  • Compton Varrio 155
  • Compton Varrio Tortilla Flats
  • Compton Varrio Alondra 13
  • Compton Varrio 70's
  • Compton Varrio Tokers
  • Compton Varrio Segundo
  • Compton Varrio Largo 36
  • Compton Varrio Locos 13
  • Compton Varrio 117
  • Compton Varrio 118
  • Compton Varrio 119
  • Compton Varrio 124
  • Compton Varrio 125
  • Compton Varrio 132 [inactive]
  • Compton Varrio Best Known Mexicans
  • Compton Varrio Chicano Gang
  • Compton Varrio KAM
  • Compton Varrio La Cinco, 155
  • Compton Varrio Las Tres, 133
  • Compton Varrio Mobbin 4 Life
  • Compton Varrio OFA
  • Compton Varrio Setentas, 70
  • Compton Varrio Tiny Gangster
  • Compton Varrio Vatos Locos
  • Compton Varrio Willow Street
  • Varrio Carson
  • Catskill Street
  • Dominguez Varrio (DV)
  • La Loma
  • Victoria Park Locos
  • Varrio Keystone Rifa
  • Tortilla Flats
  • Varrio Claremont
  • Choppers 12 (in City of Commerce)
  • Malditos Mexicanos Surenos 13 (MMS), Canyon Country area
  • Canones 13 (CNS), Canyon Country area
  • Brown Familia 13 (BF), Canyon Country area
  • South Side Riders 13 (SSR), Canyon Country area
  • Burbank Trece Rifa (BTR)
  • Burbank Backstreet
  • Burbank Elmwood Rifa (BER)
  • Play Boys
  • Fostoria Street (FBS)
  • The Bratz (TBZ)
  • Jubeniles (JBI)
  • Bell Garden Locos (BGLs)
  • PlayBoys (PBS)
  • Junior Mafia (JRM)
  • King Kobras (KKR)
  • Krazy Ass Mexican (KAM)
  • Notiorious (NTS)
  • Rooks Town (RT)
  • Witmer Street (WST)
  • Florencia
  • Wicked Evil Surenos or When Evil Speaks (WES)
  • Hated So We Kill (HSW)
  • Gifford Locos
  • Hacienda Heights
  • Jardin
  • Orchard Street
  • Chanslor St
  • Loma Vista Place Locos
  • Bear Street Crazies
  • Manassas Park Locos (MPL) (Parqueros)
  • Barrio Los Padrinos 13

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