View Full Version : Gangs changing their image
December 24, 2007, 09:20 PM
For Gangs, Tattoos Out; College Look In
By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA
Associated Press Writer
CHIMALTENANGO, Guatemala (AP) - Tattoos, baggy pants and tank tops are out. Smart blazers and university recruits are in. It's an extreme makeover for Central America's gangs. Facing harsh crackdowns by government security forces and citizen vigilante groups, they are trying to lower their profile.
The Mara 18 and Mara Salvatrucha gangs are known throughout Central America and the U.S. for their brazen tactics, including beheading their enemies and covering entire buildings and even their bodies with gang symbols.
Now, according to anti-gang operatives, these traditionally uneducated and aimless youth have begun recruiting high school and college students, and are expanding their criminal repertoire from minor robbery to large-scale extortion, prostitution, car theft and kidnappings.
Click Here for the full article (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8TIOHR00&show_article=1)
This has started in Guatemala and will no doubt spread to the U.S. (if it hasn't already). The purpose of this thread is to call your attention to the information so you can stay aware of changes involving gang members and activities.
One of the few "good" things about gangs was that you could often pick them out by their style of dress... until Rap and Hip-Hop music made baggy clothes a popular style for the younger generation. Tattoos were also a symbol and now these are likely to go "undercover" too.
December 24, 2007, 10:39 PM
"Did you hear, Juan got his Masters degree! Damn, that's gangsta!!":D:cool:
December 24, 2007, 10:55 PM
Lots of gangs have tried this before. It never works for long. The blackstone rangers in chicago, the black mafia in philly, the latin kings in new york (and other places as well) all tried to improve their images at some point by preaching a bunch of nonsense that nobody bought for a minute and establishing programs for ghetto youth and such that usually turn out to be a laundromat for dope money.
Cops are bright enough to see through these stunts and changes in appearance. If anything the gangsters bring themselves down faster with these sorts of tactics by drawing attention to the organization. If people start looking into their "legitimate" acts, it won't be long before they notice the rest. People get nervous when crime groups seem to be increasing their social standing.
December 25, 2007, 05:46 AM
Al Capone wore the bestest of duds and had soup kitchens for the needy! The modern (1980's until now) is the first gangsters to wear unfitted garments! Previous to this era a sign of a good gangster was his CLASSY clothes....
December 25, 2007, 10:20 PM
While the authorities might be bright enough to see through the image upgrade, some of our members may be unaware of it.
The purpose is to show that just because some 18-20something guy who is approaching you is wearing dockers, loafers and a polo shirt under a blue blazer doesn't mean he isn't a gang member. Awareness is still the most important tool we have.
I suspect that some of the older, hard-core gang members will have to wear long sleeve shirts year around to hide their tattoos.
December 28, 2007, 01:36 AM
So, will only the Crips be allowed to wear Brooks' Bros. blue blazers? Not the Bloods, I assume.
December 28, 2007, 08:08 AM
I suppose this adds to the problem of accusations of racism since now we need to worry about not wanting to stand next to the young men in Haggar slacks and neatly tucked Arrow button-down dress shirts.
Yeah, they'll stand out eventually, but it's always tough when the wolf wears sheep's clothing.
As with the old days, look for the tell-tale signs; hanging around in groups etc, old habits die hard. I imagine they'll need to identify themselves through colors or patterns. I hate to make generalizations, but we do it everyday. Some just admit to it more readliy than others.
It may be their undoing. A covert psychiatrist could implant "Excuse Me" and "Thank You" into their vernacular. The next thing you know, they might be hanging around arguing over comma usage with dependent/independent clauses. "Excuse me, I am attempting to colloquialize without sounding perjorative or disingenuous, but I'm disinclined to acquiesce".
December 29, 2007, 08:46 PM
I would venture to guess that most of us do not have to worry about gang members on a day to day basis. Either the old school easy to spot model or the new "stealth" model. Most victims of gangs violence are gang members involved in territory disputes with other gang members. Sure maybe now you cannot tell as easily if the guy waiting to ring up a 12 pack and bag of chips in line ahead of you is gang banger but odds are it still does not mater that much. Even violent criminals spend most of their time taking care of regular business and not randomly attacking every person they run into.
As far as the regular things to look for to spot gangs. If every group of young people hangining around outside in public wearing similar clothes puts you on high alert you should probably avoid most of the small towns in Ky i grew up around since hanging around was all there was for alot of folks to do and cliques tends dress alike like gangs.:)
You should also know that not every group that police watch as a "gang" is actually a gang. I can think of one group that started as a myspace group locally ang grew from there that is on gang watch lists. There is no real organization and group criminal activity but hey if young people dress the same and in this case name their group something scary sounding they get looked at.
I actually researched what the State of KY considers to be a gang. The only thing me and the guys I have hung out with since high school are missing is criminal activity. We all have similar dress, we have hangouts that other than someones house, and for ****s and gigles we gave ourselves a name (The Immoral Ironfists. drunken mispronounciation and marvel comics were involved in this joke that stuck)
I do realize that gang violence is a big problem in some places, and I to research actuall gangs mostly out of personal interest but also on long shot that I might need to the info some day. I just think sometimes alot of people worry to much gangs and such when for most people that are not involved they are not that big of a concern.
December 30, 2007, 02:25 AM
Wasn't a girlscout troop escoted from a Kakifornia mall for being a "gang" wearing the same uniform got them "made".
Watch behavior or Zero tolerance ????:rolleyes:
December 30, 2007, 02:57 AM
Most victims of gangs violence are gang members involved in territory disputes with other gang members.
While gangs may primarily target each other, often times it is innocent bystanders who also get hurt by their gunplay.
Sure maybe now you cannot tell as easily if the guy waiting to ring up a 12 pack and bag of chips in line ahead of you is gang banger but odds are it still does not mater that much.
There's an old aviation saying that goes when your time is up, it's up; the trick is not to be on the plane when the pilot's time is up.
The problem is when that guy ahead of you sees the semi-covered gang tats on the clerk and decides to cap him for it. Then decides you're too much of a witness to leave behind.
December 30, 2007, 09:34 PM
While gangs may primarily target each other, often times it is innocent bystanders who also get hurt by their gunplay. Far too often, if you ask me.
I find it interesting to hear that Guatemala has vigilante groups that are cracking down. Taking their streets back--I love it.
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