Gangs and Illegal Immigration in Georgia

Cross Posted from Take Back Georgia

Boy – do I have an update for ya'll….unfortunately, Blogger won't let me upload any pictures today.

I have to say that this isn't even a SHRED of what I learned last night at CPA, but I'll do my best…

We met Joe Amerling with the Hall County Gang Unit/Task Force last night. Let me tell you, it was an eye-opening experience.

I was not so shocked about the drugs, guns and violence within the gang culture, because frankly, I grew up in that type of neighborhood. Although, what did surprise me, is how young the kids are, how some families encourage it, and how it is becoming a traditional way of life for some ethnic groups – primarily Asian and Hispanics.

I was also surprised at how much illegal immigration is directly related to gang growth and it totally reinforced my beliefs – that having a secure border and strict immigration laws are absolutely necessary for a safe and prosperous country.

Here are a few interesting tidbits from last night:

Currently, citizens in rural Gainesville/Hall County, Georgia, are experiencing the effects of gang violence, particularly gang graffiti and gang shootings

A popular form of gang terminology used in gang graffiti, is the numeric alphabet where numbers are used in place of corresponding letters, e.g., A=l, B=2, C=3, D=4, etc.

The most popular numeric alphabet graffiti seen in Gainesville/Hall County today, are the letters “SUR” and the number “13”, which means “southern” with the “I 3”referring to the 13th letter of the alphabet “M” for “Mexico” and/or “marijuana”

Today, in Gainesville/Hall County, drive-by shootings are taking place almost weekly with most of the shootings on the Southside of town; however, these shootings are not limited to that area. Various gang related drive-by shootings have been known to take place around the Malls, the Plaza, Burger King, Pizza Parlor various apartment buildings, carwashes and gas stations (Gainesville Gang Task Force, 2002).

Some violent activities or “drive-by shootings" are not reported to the public – such as: various shootings in the schools, or on the school grounds.

In Gainesville/ Hall County, you will see that most of the members are either from Hispanic, Mexican, Latin American, Puerto Rican or El Salvadorian decent.

Latino growth in Gainesville has grown 497% from 1990-2000.

Many of the parents do not report anything “bad” to the police because they are illegal immigrant residents in the United States and are afraid of being caught and later deported.

85 percent of Hall County's foreign-born residents are not citizens of the United States

87 percent of Hall County's foreign-born population is from Latin America and that the number of undocumented residents far exceed all of the foreign-born respondents in the 2000 census including children of school age

Gainesville/Hall County, school personnel in High School are starting to experience problems with transfer students, especially those students from California

Today, educators, administrators, and parents are observing the gathering of young kids (primarily boys) from the Elementary Schools being recruited for gang membership.

Lately educators and administrators are experiencing more fighting on the school grounds, more weapons in the school, more gang graffiti written on the school walls and desks, and more gang colors and bandanas being displayed by younger students in school. Middle-School Resource Officer Norman (2002) stated that, she was now seeing more gang related “stuff' in the Elementary School, but it was mainly graffiti and clothing. Officer Norman later stated that the younger kids were mainly copying the dress of the older kids, and did not see their “garb” as a gang statement. Holmes (2002) on a visit to the Elementary and Middle Schools, noticed several students wearing gang related clothing and displaying various gang related colors. She also found gang graffiti carved on school desks and in various students' notebooks.

Gainesville/Hall County gangs:

SUR 13 Southern Mexico/Marijuana (Mexican)
BSV13 Brown Society “Vatos” (Mexican)
PACHUCOS 21 (Hispanic)
PLC 21 Pure Latin Crew (Mixed Hispanic/White/Black)
VATOS LOCOS (Hispanic)
KES Killing Every Spot (Hispanic)
18th STREET Mega-Gang out of California (Hispanic)
MS 13 Mara “Salvatrucha” (El Salvadorian gang controlled from the East Coast)
BOE 23 “Bustin” On Everybody (Hispanic/White/Blacks-newly created)
MVS 13 (Mexican Vatos Society)
VL (Vatos Locos)
TOL (Tru Outlaws)
TCB (The Chopper Boys)
IGD 974 (Insane Gangster Disciples)
BGD 274 (Black Gangster Disciples)

The gangster image has become a complete way of life, spanning generations and is celebrated through music, culture, print media and even merchandising.

K-Swiss has come out with a new shoe called a Tongue Twister – gang members can switch the colors from red to blue – depending on the gang in which they want to be identified.

Gangs not only use colors, alphabets and symbols to ‘represent,’ but they also align themselves with certain sports teams: Latin Kings use NY Yankees. When you turn the NY symbol to the right – the design looks like an ‘LK.’ Folk Nation has adopted the Tar Heels emblem and baby blue colors because they include the six-pointed star in their logo.

Magazines such as Don Diva has monthly issues featuring the gangster lifestyle. Their anniversary issue shows a real picture of a young, black male – shot in cold blood on the cover. When the magazine opens, it shows a picture of the young, Hispanic male shooting him in mid-shot.

You know what's even more shocking? That this magazine has SPONSORS. FOOT LOCKER has an ad on their WEBSITE!

Several common Gang symbols are:
Comedy/Tragedy masks – “smile now, cry later”- meaning, enjoy your life now and cry when you’re dead or in jail.

Tear Drops – time spent in jail, crying over dead friend, or representing a kill.

Three dots in triangle form – ‘Mi Vida Loca’ – My Crazy Life

Female gang members are often using make-up and fingernail polish to represent their gang symbols in a less obvious fashion.

Now – here's the kicker…I looked at the speed limit sign (in my yard)- and it has been tagged by TCB.

Gang members in my neighborhood…who knew?

This class has piqued my interest and I think i'm going to research more into this subject as my studies continue. I think this may be the source of my next paper…hmm….

For more information – please visit the GGIA.

**This was a production of

The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration
(CAII). If you would
like to
participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards,
email the coalition and
let me know
at what level you would like to participate.



  1. Anthony

    The 13 in Sur 13 stands for the 13th letter of the alphabet, which is used to show allegience to the Mexican Mafia, a.k.a, “la eme” (The M). Also, any gang asscociated with the Sur 13 is forbidden to commit drive-by shootings, under punishment of being greenlighted.

  2. pancho

    La onda’s number is 05…..and mvs doesnt not stand for that… it stands for moko verde socity…and bsv’s number is 16…they change it

  3. CALLE 18

    how big is the 18street gang in gainseville

  4. l.o.d 05 east side

    the zero in “05” stands for “onda” and the five For east…..

  5. Rebecca

    I am a Ga. resisdent and I am not against Hispanics. I am not “against gangs”. We need to understand why they start. why do people come here. Certainly all hispanics are not in gangs. Gangs DID exist before the undocumented workers got to Ga. We need to have the authority BACK to discipline OUR kids or this GANG thing is only going to get worse. OUR schools tell OUR kids to do what the hell they want. This has cost me a ton of money trying to rehabilitate my “white”gang member!!!!!

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