Groups identical of gangs are said to have first appeared in the West region as early as the 1890’s. It is proposed that the predecessors of urban gangs in the West were the palomilla (small groups of young Mexican men). These emerging gangs grew within Mexican culture along the immigration trail that began in Mexico and continued along a route through El Paso and Albuquerque, and onward to Los Angeles (sagepub). The first Mexican Los Angeles gangs, the Bogardus called “boy gangs” in 1926, were modeled after the palomilla (StudyingYouthGangs).
Many gangs have arisen since then including Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13). MS-13 was formed in Los Angeles, California in the 1980s by immigrant Salvadorian youth and young adults who were being victimized by other gangs. MS-13 quickly became known as one of the most violent gangs in the area because many of their founding members had experience or training in guerilla warfare, thus gaining a level of sophistication that superseded their rivals.
The MS-13 are more of a cartel if you go beyond face value. They are one of a handful of gangs that actually have a strong communicative network and overarching agenda, not limited to local factions. Which isn't necessarily true concerning a lot of other gangs aside from hate groups whose on...
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.... Failure to abide by these rules result in consequences, involving a beat down, injuries, or in some cases death.
Once a gang member, it is very difficult to leave the gang without consequences. It depends upon the situation and gang. There are gangs that are nearly impossible to leave alive and others have far less serious consequences. Interviews with current and previous gang members describe situations where members were jumped-out or beaten-up in order to receive the gang’s permission to leave. Other situations involving leaving gang become as complicated as a member being forced to stay to protect himself from rival gangs. If police or court officials view a youth as a gang member, such a label may limit the educational or employment opportunities, encouraging them to remain in the gang when they are actually looking for a way out (how to leave a gang).
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