Thursday, March 10, 2005

Our first glimpse at gang life in California

The news that gang members in Pelican Bay (and perhaps other prisons, who knows?) are using Nahuatl, inspired me to fire up a search engine to start an investigation. This led me to Mr. Sancho, a group on MSN, which represents the Surenos, also known as the XIII gang.

This might be a real eye-opener for many Americans, especially since these days our attention has been re-directed by the media to the wars outside of our nation. This tends to leave forgotten the war in our own midst. Therefore, I've placed a link above to the Surenos, whose color is blue, and a links below to the Nortenos, whose color is red. I would like to make it clear that as a journalist, I remain neutral, and desire to inform you all. These stories need to be told.

"INSIDE PELICAN BAY by Mike Geniello, The Press Democrat

Instructions are written in tiny print on small scraps of paper that are wrapped in protective coverings and hidden in body cavities of departing prison parolees and inmate visitors.

Called "kites" or "wilas," the smuggled messages are a key part of an elaborate communications system that has enabled Nuestra Familia gang leaders at Pelican Bay State Prison, 250 miles north of Santa Rosa, to run organized crime syndicates on the streets of Northern California communities, authorities say...
[Pelican Bay prison investigator Piland and Andrew Mazzanti, a Sonoma County district attorney investigator who worked with Piland and others] discovered that imprisoned gang leaders devised elaborate codes, including the use of the Huazanguillo dialect of the ancient Aztec language Nahautl.

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