Friday, February 10, 2006

Building the Perfect Beast

Gang Structure Typology

Gangs exist in many forms. Some are very cohesive while some are loosely organized. Some act like cells while others are completely autonomous. Gathering information (intelligence) locally is the key to understanding what kind of gang activity you may have in your area and is a critical element in determining the threat factor your community may face.

Localized Groups:
Localized groups are small groups not openly affiliated with national groups. Localized groups may be readily dismissed by the community. Localized groups have several potential outcomes.

1. They will fade away over time as their membership grows older and moves on.
2. They will continue on being localized but will pass their existence on through several generations.
3. They will integrate with other localized groups forming larger entities covering larger areas.
4. They will be absorbed or amalgamated into nation gangs / super gangs with whom they find a sense of familiarity with or as a result of national gangs moving into their environment.

Too numerous to mention. These groups tend to have "street names" or barrio names and do not include the name of Crip or similar recognized names in their titles.

Nation Gang / Super Gang Affiliated:

Nation Gang affiliated groups involve gangs that have an identity in association with larger groups across the United States. These groups may share the same colors, symbols, and liturgy as nationally known groups but may or may not be cellular in nature. These groups may be a part of a larger chain of command, drug distribution, or other illegal activity. In cases such as this these groups may be more directly involved in cellular type proliferation. Other groups may only be identified with Nation gangs by their similar liturgy, symbols, and colors. They may not answer to a direct chain of command but may alter their recognition markers / identifiers, liturgy, colors and symbols on command of a recognized patriarch of the gang they claim association with.

Gangster Disciples / Latin Kings / Vice Lords
There are some rumors mentioning factions of the Latin Kings also being in Mexico, however this is not fully confirmed at this time.

International Gangs:
International gangs, like the name implies, have territory that spans the borders of one or more countries. They may answer to a more specific hierarchal chain of command but also may involve gangs who are so far removed from their place of origin that their symbols, liturgy, and colors remain as the only tying factor.

It is important to realize that International Gangs such as the Crips began as localized gangs less than forty years ago. The Crip organization began with two founders. Now it has chapters as far away as in Europe.

Crips / Bloods / MS13 / 18th Street Gang
While it appears that many of the Crip sets across the globe are not connected to one another groups such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) appear to share a great deal of connection. At this time there is no apparent hiearchy of leadership with MS13 but some communication seems to take place between "cells" across the borders the group operates. MS13 stretches from El Salvador to Canada and is one of the fastest growing gangs on the planet.

One thing in the gang culture is consistent...the fact that things change...gang structure / organization, styles, identifiers, and names are often fluid in nature. This is why local gang intelligence is critical and should be constantly re-evaluated by law enforcement.