Profile, Background and History

A Security Threat Group - STG


Prison Gang Name: Mexican Mafia 

Other Names: EME, Emily, Emeros

Origin: The Mexican Mafia prison gang, also known as La Eme, was formed in the late 1950's in the California Department of Corrections. It originally was a street gang in urban Los Angles. It is known for it's violent acts towards anyone who is perceived to have crossed them.

Ideology/Philosophy: Primarily ethnic solidarity and control of drug trafficking.

Membership Characteristics: The EME is primarily comprised of Mexican-Americans.

     A member who was an  exception to  the Hispanic race and ethnicity was Joe Morgan.  Morgan was of Yugoslavian decent and in addition to his drug connections for La Eme, due to the fact that he was Caucasian, he was instrumental in aligning La Eme with the Aryan Brotherhood as allies.

Leadership/Organizational Structure: The structure of the EME prison gang consists of a chain of command whereby instructions from generals are carried out by captains, lieutenants, and soldier. Ordinarily, each prison has separate leadership. To a certain extent, EME members imitate the traditional Italian Mafia and have a structural framework which identifies them as a well organized, disciplined organization.

Geographic Locus: The EME has California origins, but has spread to many other states and is very active in the Federal prison system. La Eme is most active in the California and Texas prison systems.  However, in Texas, the Mexican Mafia is called The Mexikanemi.

Associated Organizations: Arizona's Old Mexican Mafia; Aryan Brotherhood; Mexikanemi; New Mexico Syndicate; urban Latino street gangs.

Antagonistic Organizations: La Nuestra Familia; Northern Structure; Arizona's New Mexican Mafia; Black Guerilla Family; black street gangs.

Typical Identifiers: Many confuse the EME with the Mexikanemi from Texas; they are two distinct groups. Some believe that Mexikanemi share identical tattoos with the EME, but there are subtle differences which should be taken into account when attempting to associate membership with either EME or Mexikanemi through the use of tattoos.

Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons

The Black Hand

Other Pictures

         FOUNDERS                                    TOPO PETERS

Official Debriefing of Rene "Boxer" Enriquez


According to the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), Sureños are a very intricate part of the Mexican Mafia. Without the Sureños, La eMe would be a brain in a paralytic body. La eMe cannot function without the Sureños as they are the backbone, muscle, and voice of the organization. The fact that 150 La eMe members control such a vast army shows the reverence status that the Sureños have over the Mexican Mafia.

Other Sources

Mexican Mafia tattoos slide show (Maximize screen for best viewing)

Gangs OR Us has a direct line of communication with a former high profile California Mexican Mafia member.  The individual has knowledge about the inner working of La Eme and other gangs, including rivalries, and associated gangs.

The questions below were asked by law enforcement officers.  The responses were provided by the source.

1: Can I get information on the Paisa group?

The paisa groups in California are part of the EMEs’ infrastructure. They have 2 organized groups within the Paisas known as the Nopales (Spanish for cactus) and Border Brothers Trece. As a collective group the paisas support all SureÑo/EME activity and pay homage to the organization.

2. Is the Blue Note Organization a sub-set prison gang of the Crips?

Yes the Blue Notes are an organized sub-set of the Crips as are the Consolidated Crip Organization (CCO). Both groups formed in the 80s’ in response to a fading BGF influence within its Black inmate population within California prisons and as a response to the continuous conflict/war with the Sureños/EME.

3. What is the significance of the "red lips kiss" used as a symbol by the Two Five PC (protective custody) gang or the Sureños?

I’m not certain. Please note that the red lips are not exclusively worn by these two groups. The 25 also use a black hand tattooo with a 2 in the center of the palm, each finger represents one for a collective of 2 and five. They also use the tattoo of a quarter, and the words OME MAQUILLI (Nahuatl for 2 and 5)

4. I would specifically like to know what Califas think of the Ariza 13 (Arizona Mexian Mafia)? Do they view AZ Eme as separate, or as a part of their vision "to unite all Surenos"? Either way, is there a tax structure in place and/or common cartel dope contacts? If Califas Eme considers itself apart, what goals/penetration do they have in AZ?

The California, Federal, and Old Arizona faction do not accept the New Arizona faction as allies. The only recognized faction in AZ. is the Pete Moreno faction. The Pete Moreno faction is in its nacency and does not have the influence or power that the other recognized faction have yet. They do not have the taxation program in place that all other factions do but they have the support of the other bona fide appendages. There are no common MDTO drug connections. Each Carnal establishes ties to MDTOs on their own if they have ties they keep them within the structure of their crew.

5. What role does the MS-13 have in La Eme?

At one point MS-13 was on the Green Light list. They now are accepted as Sureños and most importantly consider themselves Sureños even after deportation. The acceptance of MS-13 into the infrastructure takes the EME to a transnational level.

6. What sparked the racial divide between Sureños and all others?

Typically most conflicts sparked by Sureños and other groups is not based on racist EME ideology. Rather the conflicts are a display of raw power to the rest of the population. That is not to say that some EME members are not racist, and that some Sureños do not participate in hate crimes because they are and do. The EMEs’ philosophy is to destroy any person or group that opposes their authority. They believe that ferocity, not numbers creates power.

7. Is the California La Eme connected with or antagonistic of other states Eme's ie: Texas Syndicate, AZ Eme, Barrio Azteca, etc?

The EME considers these other groups to be emulators and targets them for murder when possible. Although some EME members in federal custody want to co-opt members from these groups to create a National organization the plan has fallen short of realization to date.

8. Does the 18th St. fall under the Sureño umbrella being that they have small numbers of non-Hispanic members?

Yes. 18 St. has a high degree of EME representation with three 18 St, gang members currently as fully fledged members. Most importantly the members are influential. The EME has begun to accept other ethnic group into the fold as evidenced by its acceptance of MS-13 and Armenian Power as Sureños.

9. Has the Mexican Mafia ever had any help from the Sicilian Mafia to learn how to properly launder money, also did they put in any work for the Sicilian Mafia on the west coast. I know the Sicilian Mafia had used outlaw biker s for some work, but I'm not convinced that La Eme was in their pocket, at one time.

Yes. In the 1960s’ and 70s the EME had strong ties with La Cosa Nostra Members Jimmy Capolla and James Fratiano. Jimmy the Weasel later rolled over on his organization and Jimmy Capolla was stabbed to death by a Sureño in Folsom state prison on order from a Mexican Member. The organization has learned to launder money on its own and has advanced business practices in use now through it horizontal integration into the Hispanic gang sub-culture and its establishment of a vertical leadership structure for Sureños on the street and in prison.

10. Has La Eme ever had a "working" relationship with the Border Brothers?

Yes the EME has had ties with MDTOs (Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations) and continues to cultivate those relationships today. The first EME members to become truly successful with the Cartels was Bat Marquez and Popeye Barron. Other members have followed their footsteps and have built relationships with existing drug trafficking organizations.



Robert Walker

This page was last updated on 03/14/2014


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Robert Walker