Originating in the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice (Department of Corrections) activities of the Barrio Azteca
prison gang were
first tracked within in the system about 1990. The Barrio
Azteca has become one of the most violent prison gangs in Texas
and has now spread its tentacles to the streets on both sides of
the U.S./Mexican border in southwest Texas and southeast New
Mexico. Many of the original
inmate members were from the West Texas area of El Paso but since organizing,
they have permitted some inmates from other parts of the State of Texas
to join their ranks.
prison gangs they attempt to control the prison system, and the inmates
within the system, through illegal activity. Reported criminal activities
have included heavy involvement with drug trafficking
organizations (cartels). The gang’s main source of income is
derived from smuggling heroin, powdered cocaine, and marijuana
from Mexico into the United States for distribution both inside
and outside prisons. Other criminal activities include prostitution,
kidnapping, arson, auto theft, extortion, intimidation of staff,
assaults, and murder.
structure of the Barrio Azteca is as follows: President, Vice-President,
Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant and Warrior.
not have a specific tattoo but have been known to use an Aztec Indian
head. A tattoo with one feather signifies the rank of lieutenant and
two feathers, the rank of captain.
Azteca members are known for their propensity for violence and membership
is for life. Serious association with members of other prison gangs
such as the Texas Syndicate, La Raza Unida, Aryan Brotherhood of Texas
and the Mexican Mafia is not tolerated.