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Portraying a realistic Sureño faction.

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Posted (edited)


  • Introduction
  • The origins of the Southsider culture
  • Portraying a realistic Sureño character
      3.1 - Ways of talking
  • Prison 

             4.1 - The Mexican Mafia and the Sureño car   
             4.2 - General Roleplay Tips
             4.3 - Prison Slang

  • Roleplaying a Female within a Sureño faction


Buenas Dias!

This guide will go in deep detail when it comes to portraying a Sureño gangbanger on the streets, and in prison. I'll go through how the gangs operate, their hierarchy, the people who are involved within these gangs, and their relations with other street gangs/prison gangs.

I've been on this server for a few months now, and I've realized that most of the people DON'T KNOW how to portray a realistic Sureño faction. I've seen people RPing 30 years old immigrants from Spain trying to join a Sureño faction, and I honestly want to update people on how these gangs work and what's their purpose.

I'll also go through the history of the notorious Mexican Mafia (or also known as La Eme), their rivals, how they were formed, and how they maintain an army of 50,000 footsoldiers.

The origins of the Southsider culture.

Sureños are a group of Mexican American street gangs with origins in the oldest barrios of Southern California, there are hundreds of 'Sureño' gangs all over the states, and each has its own identity. The term 'Sureño' was first used in 1970s as a result of the war between the Mexican Mafia (also known as La EME) and the Nuestra Familia. The war resulted in a territorial division between the Sureños and the Norteños. Sureño standing for a southern aligned with the Mexican Mafia and Norteño standing for a northerner aligned with the Nuestra Familia.

Nowadays most, if not all of the Sureños show their allegiance to the Mexican Mafia by doing graffiti, paying taxes and doing hits for them, crossing names out of the hit list, or also known as the green list. Most of the Southsider gangs claim 13 at the back of their name. 13 stands for the 13th letter in the Spanish Alphabet, which stands For M. Sureños use the number 13 in tattoos and graffiti. It is sometimes written as 'X3' or in Roman numerals 'XIII' (Sur13 or Sur XIII).
Sureños started to claim blue since the Northerners were claiming red, however, there are a few exceptions, for example, Florencia 13 used to claim red, also some of the Eighteen street sets also claim red, since nowadays color banging is not as important as it used to be back in the 1980s and 1990s.

 Portraying a realistic Sureño character.

Before making your character, you need to take in consideration his background, his hobbies, his family members, is he going to be a child with a single father or a single mother? Is he going to get bullied at school, or is he going to be influenced by the local gang because he never had a father figure, etc? This is a very important stage because it will be the very foundation of your character. When trying to join a gang, you will HAVE to be a teenager, most of the gangs don't accept adults joining the gang, they would rather recruit a kid they've known for years then a random guy who's in his 20's, and just showed up 2 weeks ago.

Now you need to decide what nationality your character will be, if you are trying to join one of the biggest Sureño clicks, like Eighteenth street or Mara Salvatrucha 13, your character would need to be from El Salvador, or central America (in most cases). If you are trying to join one of the oldest Sureño clicks, like White Fence 13, you'll most likely have Mexican heritage. Now keep in mind, it's not the 1950's anymore so your character would most likely speak fluent English, and he'll not use any of the old school slang, words such as 'ese' are almost extinct in most of the neighborhoods because the majority of the old-timers are either dead or are in prison. 

Another question that you might ask yourself is why would your character join a gang? 

- Your family is financially unstable. Your family is broke, you don't want to ask your parents for money so you get involved in the entire gang scene.
- You were raised with up with your mother, and you don't have a father figure.
- You get bullied at school, so you try to find friends, eventually, you get peer-pressured into the gang. 
- Your brother was involved with the gang, so you look up to your brother. 
- Respect. Your character wants to be respected by somebody, he's tired of being treated as a nobody.

Always strive to roleplay a character. When thinking about what to do/how to act/how to react, consider what your character would do instead of what you would do. Your character has opinions, emotions, thoughts, and family, he feels pain and he can be intimidated. He might have some sort of mental issue or learning difficulty, which is common among gang members. Think about your character's circumstances and don't hide behind the fact that the events taking place on screen can't affect you as a person.

 3.1 - Ways of Talking

 Fish Stage

If you are a fish and you were just snatched up from your neighborhood in Los Santos, you're most likely going to talk like the people that were around you- your environment. For example, if your character grew up in Vinewood back in the 90s, you're going to use out-dated vocabulary your clique used to talk with every now and then. Words like "Cabron" "A Huevo" "Chale", words people barely use anymore in the city. The same thing goes for new age gangsters from other cliques around Los Santos, your character would talk recklessly without thinking about what he says or promises, that's why fish are most likely to be regulated, used and manipulated for older inmates' good because of their understandable fear of older inmates.

Intermediate Stage: Semi-Experienced Inmates

At this point you think you have seen it all, you have been used before so you know who to not accept gifts from or favors. You know how to think better. You kind of know how to balance your words but you still slip here and there, since you're still used to the streets you haven't been in this system for long enough.

The way the inmate's talk in this stage mostly goes as follows(Really depends on your development):

1. More maturity in the inmate's tone and words.
2. Doesn't shout in the cell-block or raise his voice whatsoever at anybody, not even other races like African Americans.
3. Has a more extended vocabulary from all the books he reads in his free time.
4. Stays calm in heated situations and thinks everything through after he realizes he has all the time to do so.
5. Mostly speaks with respect, unless it's with a fish to show dominance to the new-comers. 
6. Doesn't talk about any Mexican Mafia-related business on the mainline(Because he knows better) unless it's in a cell with someone that's involved with it.
7*. Shows respect to Correctional Officers but doesn't talk to them.
(Number 7 really depends on the CO and the history you have with  them, it does anyhow apply to most)

Experienced Inmates: Camaradas

At this point, you memorized what every corner of the mainline looks like and you got familiar with the dark walls of the Security Housing Unit. Inmates in this stage are often much wiser than any others on the level 4 yard. They have a very extended vocabulary, wide knowledge of sureño procedures and culture in prison, and most importantly have a good grip on their tongue and actions.
One thing you mark an inmate that spent many years in prison with is his tone and way of talking, they do everything a semi-experienced inmate does but you would mostly notice the following:

1. They don't burn many words, when they speak they speak for a reason.
2. When they talk they come off wise and only say things that matter.
3. They get sneakier with their actions, they mostly go to newer inmates to do their things for them.
4. They try to strike fear in new inmates with their words, trying to manipulate them.


 4.1 - The Mexican Mafia and the Sureño car.


Video: O.C.'s Mexican Mafia: Control of mean streets - The Orange Countyâ¦

Text is taken from an external source.



"The Mexican Mafia, or La Eme, is at the top of a Hispanic organized crime hierarchy that includes both prison and street gangs in California. According to most accounts, the La Eme was formed in 1957 by Luis "Huero Buff" Flores. At the time, Flores was incarcerated at the Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) in Tracy, California. Flores and other founding members created La Eme as a both a "gang of gangs" and to protect Hispanics from other gangs within the California prison system.

La Eme quickly grew in size and strength. In the 1960s, the California Department of Corrections moved Eme members to other prisons such as San Quentin, in an effort to break up the gang activity at DVI. This effort served to spread La Eme's influence to other prisons. As La Eme expanded, the group saw the potential for profiting from drug sales, gambling and extortion rackets inside prison, so leaders placed taxes on these activities, forcing Latino inmates to hand over a small percentage of profits to the gang. In the 1980s, La Eme took this approach to the street. By joining forces with East Los Angeles street gang leaders, La Eme began to control activities like drug trafficking, extortion, contract killings, and debt collection from inside prison walls.

As prisons became more racially divided, rival race-based criminal organizations sprang up in the California prison system, including the Black Guerilla Family and the Aryan Brotherhood. La Eme continued to thrive in the face of this opposition, and even grew more organized, drafting a set of gang rules or "commandments" and recruiting members from Latino street gangs in Southern California.

The Mexican Mafia enjoyed unchecked power in California prisons and streets until the 1990s when a concentrated effort of police raids and subsequent federal indictments were intended to put a wrench in the wheels of the gang's machine. In 1995, 22 people were charged under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act with crimes including murder, extortion, and kidnapping. When these 22 people were arrested in May of that year, justice system officials thought they'd finally ended La Eme's reign of terror. Debra Wang, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, said, "We have effectively crippled the gang and put it out of business." United States Attorney Nora M. Manella told the New York Times, "This indictment and the arrests will significantly disable one of California's most violent gangs." History suggests the Mexican Mafia was not broken by these legal challenges. Although its power has diminished since the late 1990s, the group continues its criminal activities both in and outside of prisons all over California."


 4.2 - General Roleplay Tips

Always strive to roleplay a character. When thinking about what to do/how to act/how to react, consider what your character would do instead of what you would do. Your character has opinions, emotions, thoughts, and family, he feels pain and he can be intimidated. He might have some sort of mental issue or learning difficulty, which is common among gang members. Think about your character's circumstances and don't hide behind the fact that the events taking place on screen can't affect you as a person. It'll give you more to talk about if you think out your character's background, history, family, mental state, experiences, etc. It'll also make your roleplay far more enjoyable and less predictable. The 'best' roleplayers tend to be character roleplayers. You don't have to write out essays about your character but have a good idea of their background and experiences so you can use it to react to certain situations. Your character shouldn't just be an empty shell who's 100% committed to the car and being a soldier. Your character might be pressured into a kamikaze attack or a stabbing but then he might start bawling his eyes out when he's put in isolation. There are major things you should consider, like the effect of long term isolation (it's designed to break people. Those who aren't broken by it are usually sick individuals, sociopaths, psychopaths, etc.) or the effect of stabbing and killing somebody. Even if your character has shot and killed somebody on the outside, a prison killing is far more intense and personal. Consider these things and you'll have more fun.

 4.3 - Prison Slang




A BILL - A $100 bill

A BUSTER - A fake or imitation

A WAKE UP - Refers to the day of an inmate's release

A TODA MADRE: A Spanish slang phrase for “alright” or “perfect”


AB OF TEXAS - Aryan Brotherhood of Texas

AD SEG - Administrative Segregation

AGUA: Spanish for “water,” slang phrase for meth


APE - Derogatory term for a Black male

APPROVED FOR THE HOOD - OK'd for membership in the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang

ARTIC - Isolation; solitary confinement

ARYAN BROTHERHOOD: A white supremacist group/prison gang

ATTORNEY GENERAL - The authorities


B & W - Bread and water

BABY RAPER - A child molester

BACKING - Support or protection provided by other inmates

BAG - A large quantity of drugs

BARGIN: A reduction of an original sentence

BARRIO AZTECA: A prison gang in Texas

BARRIO: Spanish for “neighborhood”

BEATING THE GUMS: Talking; screaming; shouting

BEEF: Crime; infraction; a problem the inmate faces in prison

BEING MADE: The process of being inducted into the Eme

BGF: Black Guerilla/Gorilla (sic) Family. An African-American prison gang

BIG HOMIES: Mexican Mafia members

BITCH-MARK: A slash across the face made with a razor; intended to let other prisoners know that the individual wearing the scar is on the hit list.

BLACK HAND: The symbol of the California, Arizona, and Federal factions of the Mexican Mafia

BLACK MARBLE DAY: A code phrase in prison to indicate an expected shipment of drugs has not arrived as planned.

BLADES: Sharpened instruments; knives, shives, shanks

BLESSED: To gain membership into a gang without a formal initiation

BLOCK REP: An individual who is responsible for Eme and Sureño activities within a cell block.

BLOOD ALLEY: A location on the lower yard of San Quentin State Prison where hits have often taken place.

Blood In - Blood Out: To gain admission to some gangs you must kill someone; and to get out of the gang you must die naturally or be killed

BLUE NOTES: An African American prison gang

BOMBA: Spanish for ”bomb,” a prison-manufactured explosive device.

BONE YARD: An area where conjugal visits occur in prison

BOOGIE MAN: Guard, hack, turnkey, screw

BOOT HILL: Prison cemeteries at Folsom and San Quentin State Prisons

BOX: A carton of cigarettes

BOXCARS: Refers to closed front, highly secure cells in a special housing unit (SHU)

BOW GUN: A prison-made cross bow

BRAND: Member of Aryan Brotherhood prison gang

BUG JUICE: Liquid mixture of sodium luminal given to a disturbed person

BULLET: One year in custody

BUM BEEF: A conviction for a crime for which the person is innocent

BUM RAP: Unfair or excessive sentence

BUSTER: Derogatory term used to describe Norteños; derived from the phrase “sod buster.”

BUTCHER: Captain of the guards


CACHUCHONES: Spanish slang for “cops/prison guards”

CALIENTON: Spanish for “heater.” Often used to describe a beating.

CALIFAS: Slang for California

CALL IT A DAY: A prison phrase used to indicate that someone entered protective custody

CAMARADA: Spanish for “comrade,” denotes an individual trusted by the Eme

CARDINAL: Texas Syndicate recruit

CARNAL DE PALABRA: Spanish for “brother of word/creditability,” a phrase utilized to describe an influential Eme member

CARNAL: Spanish slang for “brother” used by Eme members

CCO: Consolidated Crip Organization. The CCOs are an African American prison gang.

CELL REP: A Sureño responsible for the inmates in his cell.

CHANSA: Spanish slang for “chance”

CHANTE: Spanish slang for “house or cell”

CHAPETE: Spanish slang for “a stupid or worthless person”

CHECK IN: To enter protective custody

CHEEK: To secret contraband clenched between the buttocks

CHERRY: An inmate with a pure and immature appearance

CHICHA: Spanish slang for prison made wine

CHIP: To occasionally use intravenous drugs - not addicted

CHIVA: Spanish slang for heroin

CHOLA: Spanish slang for a female gang member

CHOLO: Spanish slang for a male gang member

CHOTA: Spanish slang for cops

CHRISTMAS TREE: A prison shank cut into the shape of an Christmas tree so as to prevent the victim from extracting it after being imbedded in the torso.

CLAIM JUMPERS: People who falsely claim to belong to the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang

CLEAN HOUSE: A process where Eme targets fellow Eme members for murder in an effort to rid the organization of non-productive Carnales.

CLICKED UP: To be a member of a criminal organization

CLOSE THE BOOKS: To prohibit any new members from being inducted into the Mexican Mafia

CODO: Spanish for “elbow.” Slang word for cheap.

COLD SHOT: A calculated, heartless action, carried out with no regard for others
COLD STORAGE: Solitary confinement

CON: A convicted criminal

CORTE: Spanish for “court”

CRANK: Amphetamines

CREW CHIEF: An individual who controls crew activities on the street for a made Eme member and his facilitator.

CREW: A single criminal enterprise controlled by a made Eme member.

CRIPOS: Spanish slang for crips

CRIPS: An African American street gang

CROAKER: A prison medical officer

CUAL QUIERA: Spanish slang for a woman who will sleep with anyone

CUARTITO: Spanish slang for a ¼ gram of heroin

CUERNO DE CHIVO: Spanish for “goat’s horn,” slang term for AK-47

CUETE: Spanish slang for gun

CULON: Spanish slang for asshole

CUT UP: To prepare drugs for sale by cutting into marketable pieces and packaging.


DC BLACKS: Inmates from the Washington DC area

DC BOYS: A Washington, D.C. African American prison gang.

DANCING: Fighting

DEBRIEF: A process where one who is affiliated with an organized crime group divests him/her of affiliation by detailing their involvement to law enforcement.

DIME: A 10-year sentence

DIME BAG: $10 worth of drugs

DOING STUFF: Using drugs

DOUBLE UP: To charge double the principle for a late payment on a drug debt.

DRIVE-BY: A gang shooting committed from a moving vehicle

DROP A KITE ON: A practice employed on protective custody prison yards where inmates write a note to prison administrators anonymously incriminating an inmate in an effort to have him removed from the prison yard.

DRY SNITCH: To provide incriminating information in a criminal matter to law enforcement, but refuse to testify.

DUCAT: A pass issued in prison allowing an inmate to go from point A to point B.

DUST: Kill


EFFECTIVO: Spanish slang for money

EMERO: Spanish slang for Eme member

EME: Spanish “M”, the 13th letter of the alphabet; nick name for Mexican Mafia

EMI: Abbreviated name of the Texas Mexican Mafia

ERE: Spanish slang for hypodermic needle

ESE TE: Spanish for S T; Used by Texas Syndicate prison gang

ESQUINERO: Spanish slang for one who controls a prison cell block.

ESTRELLA: Spanish for “star.” A phrase used by Sureños instead of the number 14.


FACILITATORS: Individuals who aid or assist in Eme criminal endeavors.

FARMERO: Spanish slang for a Nuestra Familia member

FARMERS: Nuestra Familia

FELL DOWN: Got stabbed

FINK: An informer

FISH: A new inmate

FIX: To inject drugs intravenously

FLAT: A prison shank made from flat metal stock

FLETCHA: A bolt made to shoot arrows from a prison bow gun

FLIP FLOPPER: An individual who is indecisive and often changes his position in organizational political matters.

FLIP: A slang phrase that denotes an individual cooperating with law enforcement.

FOG LINE: The suspension of routine prison activities due to heavy fog.

FRESH FISH: A newly arrived inmate

FTB: A faction of NLR that oppose influence by the AB. FTB stands for “fuck the brand.”


GALLO: Spanish for “rooster.” A common practice of Sureños; a shot-caller conducts roll call in which all Sureños must respond or face severe and violent discipline.

GANG MODULE: A housing location within county jail that houses validated Eme associates.

GET AT: To contact

GET DOWN: To fight with fists or weapons

GLADIATOR SCHOOL: Duell Vocational Institution at Tracey, California

GLOBO: Spanish for “balloon.” This word is often used to describe a balloon of heroin.

GOMBA: Spanish for “glue,” slang phrase for heroin

GOON SQUAD: A special team sent to control an inmate or a group of inmates

GRAMO: Spanish for “gram”

GRAY RULES: Rules that are frequently broken by Eme members, yet still punishable by death.

GREEN LIGHT: To mark an entire gang for death. The green light can also be applied to single individuals.

GROOM: An educational process that an Eme member undertakes before putting a prospective member up for membership into the organization.



HACK: A prison correctional officer

HARD CANDY: A phrase to describe an assault with intent to kill.

HARD RULES: Rule that if broken are punishable by death

HAVE A TAIL: To be on parole or probation

HIGH POWER: A unit in county jail that houses Eme members and Eme associates

HIT LIST: A list of individuals to be murdered

HOOP: To secret contraband in the rectum

HORN: To inhale drugs through the nostrils

HOT SHOT: An intentional overdose of intravenous drugs or lacing the drugs to be injected with a poisonous substance

HUILA: Spanish slang for “kite/note”

HUMPS: Prison slang term for Camel non-filter cigarettes

HUNG UP THE GLOVES: To defect from an organization or enter into protective custody


IGI: Institutional Gang Investigator

IN THE HAT: To be on the hit list

IXTAC: Nahuatl word for “white.” Ixtac is often used to describe an AB or NLR member.

IYP: Integrated yard program at Corcoran State Prison


JACK: Home-made alcoholic beverage

JOTO: Spanish for homosexual

JUGETES: Spanish for “toys.” Code phrase for guns or prison shanks

JUICE: Influence or power within the organization

JUMP IN: A physical beating required by one or more gang members to initiate a new member.

JUMP-STEADY: Home-made alcoholic beverage

JUNGLE: Recreation yard

JUNTA: Spanish for “meeting”


KANPOL: Nahuatl word for “southerner”

KEISTER: To secret contraband into the rectum

KICKING: To withdraw from an addictive substance

KITTY: A term to describe collective proceeds from Eme extortion.

KITTY-SCAM: An extortion technique in jails where inmate commissary is taxed and later sold back to inmates for cash.


L.O.P.: Loss of privileges

LA BUENA: Spanish for “the good stuff”

LA CAUSA: Spanish for “the cause”

LA CLICA: Spanish slang for the Eme

LA COSA NOSTRA: Italian for “our thing.” Italian mafia.

LA EME: Spanish for the letter “M.” La Eme is the alternate name for the Mexican Mafia.

LA GENTE: Spanish for “the people”

LA LISTA: Spanish for “the list.” La lista is the hit list.

LA MARIPOSA: Spanish for “the butterfly.” La Mariposa is an alternative name for the Eme.

LA RAZA: Spanish for “the People”

LA VIDA LOCA: Spanish for “the crazy life”

LACTOSE: A cutting agent for heroin

LAY OVER: To stay at a jail facility for a short period of time while in transit to another jail.

LECHUGAS: (Spanish for vegetables) Members of the unrecognized Arizona faction of the Eme.

LEMAC: Prison slang for a Camel non-filter cigarette; Lemac is Camel spelled backward.

LEVANTAR POLVO: Spanish for “raise dust.” Levantar polvo is a slang term used to describe trouble starting or problem starting.

LIBRE: Spanish for “free.” Libre is used to describe the streets.

LIÑA: Spanish for “line.” Lina is used to describe the general population in prison or mainline.

LIP: To secrete contraband under the lip.

LLANTA: Spanish for “tire.” Derogatory term to describe blacks.

LLAVERO: Spanish for “key holder.” Llavero is used to describe a shot-caller or person with authority on a crew.

LLEÑO: Spanish slang for “joint.”

LOCK DOWN: To temporarily suspend normal prison operations.

LOCKER KNOCKER: An inmate who steals from other inmates

LOCK UP: To enter into protective custody

LODO: Spanish for “mud.” Lodo is used to describe heroin.

LONCHE: Spanish slang for “lunch.”

LOS CARNALES: Spanish slang for “brothers.” Los Carnales is used to describe members of the Mexican Mafia.

LUZ: Spanish for “light.” Luz is used to describe someone being on the hit list.


MADE THE OLYMPIC DIVING TEAM: This phrase is used to indicate that another person has entered into protective custody.

MADE: To be made a member of the Eme

MAFIOSO: Spanish for Mafia member

MAIL DROP: An address where inmates can send correspondence with the expectancy the correspondence will be re-mailed to another person or prison circumventing prison administrative scrutiny.

MAIL OUT: A common practice in prison where drugs are given on credit, but the person owing must have his family mail a money order to an address provided by the debtor. Payment must be made within two weeks or the principle debt doubles.

MAIN STREET: General population

MAITL: Nahuatl for “hand.” Maitl is used to describe an Eme member.

MAKING YOUR BONES: The act of killing someone on the order of a gang in order to qualify for admission to that gang

MALIA: Spanish slang for “drug user.”

MALIAS: Spanish for “sick.” Malias is used to describe heroin withdrawals.

MANITOL: A cutting agent used to cut cocaine.

MAQUINA: Spanish for Machine. Maquina is a term used to describe the daily exercise routine that Sureños mandatorily participate in.

MARICON: Spanish for “homosexual.”

MARRANO: Spanish for “pig.” Marrano is used to describe cops.

MARRIED: To be a member of the Eme

MATERIAL: A phrase used to describe an individual as possessing qualities meritorious of membership in the Mexican Mafia.

MAYATE: Spanish slang for “Black.”

MERCA: Spanish slang for “merchandise.”

MEXIKANEMI: Name of the unrecognized Texas faction of the Mexican Mafia.

MIQUI: Nahuatl word for kill.

MISS: To unintentionally inject drugs subcutaneously.

MOBBED UP: To be a member of the Eme

MULE: A person who smuggles drugs or contraband into a prison


NADA: Spanish for “nothing.” Nada is the word used by Sureños instead of saying the number 14.

NAZI LOW RIDERS (NLR): A white supremacist prison gang

NEGRA: Spanish for Black. Negra is used to describe heroin.

NESTERS: Nuestra Familia

NEW FLOWERS: A prison gang comprised of former NF members who are in protective custody.

NO ACCOUNT: A person who is unproductive, usually an Eme member who does not contribute to the organization.

NO GOOD: A person who is in bad standing and marked for death.

NOD: To be under the influence of opiates.

NORTEÑO: Spanish for Northerner

NORTHERN STRUCTURE: A prison gang comprised of northern Hispanics.

NUESTRA FAMILIA: Spanish for “our family,” the Nuestra Familia is a California prison gang and the chief rivals of the Mexican Mafia.


ONSA: Spanish for “ounce.”

OPEN THE BOOKS: To open up the organization for new memberships.

OSOMATLI: Nahuatl word for “monkey.” Osomatli is a derogatory phrase used to describe blacks.

OTC: Out to court

OUT-COUNT: To count an inmate whose whereabouts are accounted for but not in his/her assigned cell.


PAISA: Spanish for “Mexican national.”

PALABRA: Spanish for “word.”

PAPEL: Spanish for “paper.” A papel is a small bindle of drugs typically sold in prison.

PAPER WORK: Official court or administrative documents such as transcripts, probation reports, police reports, prison chromos, etc.

PAPOLOTE: Spanish for “kite.” A papolote is a prison note.

PC: Protective Custody

PC UP: To enter into protective custody.

PECKERWOOD: Usually used by Blacks to describe white inmates

PEDASO: Spanish for “piece.” A pedaso is a prison shank.

PEGADA: Spanish for “hit.”

PERICO: Spanish for “parrot.” Perico is a slang term used to describe cocaine or cops.

PERRY COMO: A prison slang phrase used to describe a person who is paranoid.

PERRY: A prison slang phrase used to describe a person who is paranoid.

PERSONAL: A personal is a hit requested personally by a Mexican Mafia member.

PESCADO: Spanish for “fish.” In prison a fish is a newcomer.

PICO HIELO: Spanish for “ice pick.”


PINTA: Spanish slang for prison

PISERO: Spanish slang for a person who controls a floor in the county jail.

PISTO: Spanish slang for beer or pruno

PIT: To secrete contraband under the arm pit

PLACA: Spanish slang for cop

PLACASO: Spanish slang for nickname

PLATA: Spanish for “silver.” Plata is used to describe money.

PLUMA: Spanish for pen

POLITICKING: Campaigning to discredit another member in an effort to have him killed.

POLVO: Spanish for “powder.” Polvo is used to describe powder heroin or cocaine.

POPPED: Arrested

PRUNO: Prison-manufactured alcoholic beverages

PULL A TRAIN: A practice in the gang subculture where women have sex with multiple partners.

PUNK: A term used to describe a coward or homosexual

PURA: Spanish for “pure.”

PUSH AND PULL: A phrase used to describe a medical hypodermic needle


QUEBRADA: Spanish for “break.” Quebrada is often used to describe when a person gets a pass for a perceived act of misbehavior otherwise punishable by a beating or stabbing.


REGLAS: Spanish for “rules” that a Mafia member must follow upon induction to the Eme. Violation of the reglas is punishable by death.

REGULATE: A beating administered by 13 Sureños for 13 seconds.

REP: A representative of the Eme but not a member

RESIDENT: A Hispanic inmate who is not a gang member but still supports Sureño racial violence.

ROD: A prison stabbing device similar to an ice pick.

ROLLED IT UP: A phrase used to describe an inmate who has entered into protective custody.

RUN A MAKE: To locate and check the credentials of an inmate

RUNNER: A person who does favors for prisoners, such as, smuggle drugs into the institution and relaying messages, etc.

RUSH: The euphoric feeling after injecting drugs intravenously

RUTINA: Spanish for “routine.” A mandatory exercise regimen required daily by all Sureños in jail.


SANDWICH: To stab an individual using two or more assailants thereby sandwiching the target.

SANGRES: Spanish for “bloods.” Sangres are an African American street gang.

SAVANAS: Spanish for “sheets.” Savanas is a term used to describe whites.

SCHOOL: To educate or teach an inmate the ways of jail and La Causa.

SCREW: A correctional officer

SECRETARY: An individual (typically a female) who acts as a communications conduit for Eme members and Sureños.

SELF PC: To refuse to go to yard or come out of your cell but not enter protective custody.

SHIFT GEARS: To jerk a knife around in circular motions while it is embedded in the torso of the target in an effort to cause massive trauma and death.

SHOOT DOWN: To veto a proposed membership of a prospect

SHORT: Close to a parole date

SKIN HEADS: A white supremacist group

SKIN POP: To inject drugs subcutaneously

SKIN: To secrete contraband under the foreskin

SLAM: To inject drugs intravenously

SNM: Sindicato de Nuevo Mexico

SNY: Sensitive needs yard

SOBRINO: Spanish for “nephew.” A term utilized to describe an individual who is on the crew of a Carnal.

SOFTIE: A term utilized to describe a weak individual

SOLDADO: Spanish for “soldier”

SOPLON: Spanish for “informant”

SPONSOR: To recommend an individual for induction into the Mexican Mafia.

SPOON: A balloon of heroin

STANDING COUNT: A counting of inmates in which standing is required to ensure that all inmates are alive.

STG: Security threat group

SUREÑO: Spanish for “southerner”


TAG BANGER: A tagging crew member who also participates in violent acts.

TAGGER: An individual who defaces public and private property through graffiti.

TAILOR MADE: A term used in prison to describe store bought cigarettes.

TAKE A DIVE: To defect from an organization.

TAKE OUT: To kill

TANGO: Spanish slang for hat

TECATO: Spanish slang for hype

TECPATL: Nahuatl word for “Spear.” The word tecpatl is often used in prison to describe a shank.

THE GREY GOOSE: The prison transportation bus

THE PATCH: The symbol of the Texas Mexican Mafia

THE PROGRAM: The Federal Witness Program, (aka. Wit-sec.)

THE SHELF: Death row at San Quentin

THE TIP: The Mexican Mafia

THROUGH: To be marked for death

TIE OFF: To place a tourniquet on the arm for intravenous drug use

TIENDA: Spanish for “store”

TIER REP: A Sureño designated as the leader of all gang members on a specific tier in a housing facility.

TIO: Spanish for “uncle.” Tio is often used in prison and jail correspondence to indicate that the person being called “tio” is in fact a Mafia member.

TLILI: Nahuatl word for “black.” Tlili is used in a derogatory manner to identify African Americans.

TO HAVE THE KEYS: To be in a position of leadership

TOMAHAWK: A jail/prison manufactured slashing type weapon constructed from razor blades and melted plastic stock.

TORCIDO: Spanish slang for “incarcerated”

TRACATERO: Spanish slang for “drug dealer”

TRAGO: Spanish for “drink”

TRAMADOS: Spanish slang for “pants”

TRANCO: Spanish slang for “to enter pc”

TRIPPED: Stabbed or stuck

TRUCHA: Spanish slang for “trustee or “look out”

TS: Texas Syndicate

TUCK: To secrete contraband within folds of fat

TURF ENCROACHMENT: To infringe upon another Eme members turf.

TURF: Gang territory

TURN OUT: To force an individual into homosexual activity

TURN: To cooperate with law enforcement

TUSA: Nahuatl word for “rat”

TWO FOR ONE: A common practice in prison where drugs are provided on credit with the expectancy that the principle debt will be paid back double the value of the drugs.


UBN: United Blood Nation; African American prison gang.


VALIDATE: To classify an inmate or suspect as a street gang member or associate of a prison gang.

VANGUARDS: An African American prison gang.

VETERANO: Spanish for “veteran”

VICIOSO: Spanish for “an individual who uses drugs”

VIDRIO: Spanish for “glass.” Vidrio is a slang term used to describe meth.


WACKED: High on drugs

WALK IN: To allow membership into a gang without initiation

WALK THE LINE: To be an inmate on the general prison population

WEARING THE BRAND: Wearing the gang’s tattoo


ZAPATO: Spanish for “shoe.” Zapato is a slang term used to describe the “SHU” or Security Housing Unit.


Shout out to @la tweaker for creating his Hispanic GANG RP guide.

Credits for providing the slang list and some parts of the guide (Roleplay tips):
Emilio Barrera
Edited by Glenn_Fletcher
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Netsrac    104

Good looking guide, along with @la tweaker's guide, theres a good Foundation for Gangbanger RP

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Vindus    274

Nice guide, It's missing some important points such as the difference between a East Sider and a South Sider. For Example, a South Sider's way of speaking would have been heavily influenced by black culture, therefor using less old school slangs. East Siders on the other hand still uses a lot old school slang. The difference in their behaviour and ways of speaking is huge, South Siders are more likely to accept a black friend or hang out with a black dude, while an East Sider would frown upon such friendship.


Anyway, nice guide. It will for sure be useful for a lot of people and factions. 

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Just now, Vindus said:

Nice guide, It's missing some important points such as the difference between a East Sider and a South Sider. For Example, a South Sider's way of speaking would have been heavily influenced by black culture, therefor using less old school slangs. East Siders on the other hand still uses a lot old school slang. The difference in their behaviour and ways of speaking is huge, South Siders are more likely to accept a black friend or hang out with a black dude, while an East Sider would frown upon such friendship.


Anyway, nice guide. It will for sure be useful for a lot of people and factions. 

Honestly, it depends on the click. You used to have black 18st members. Where White Fence 13 was purely based on the Mexican culture, since they are one of the oldest clicks in the east.

Also as of the whole slang thing, you are in the wrong. You won't see somebody using terms like 'chale' 'vato' or 'ese' since they are really old. Also, terms such as 'orale' are very extinct. Now of course when it comes to prison, you can pick off a few words that were used in the 90's or the 80's since you might meet some old timers in there. (Such as the term ese, since it's used frequently in the correctional facilities).

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Caracosa    86

I will repeat what I said in la_tweaker's thread.

I really want to see these guides citing sources. I appreciate the time and effort it takes to create these guides, but we are living in the internet age. California has one of the largest university systems in the world, and it is full of Hispanic scholars who are doing good work on the communities they grew up in. And of course social media is full of ordinary ppl uploading their experiences.

My feeling applies to any guide really, but I'm personally super interested in more Sureno stuff.

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Posted (edited)

Nobody goes around saying "chale" "vato" "ese" and such nowadays. Everything's watered down. Back then, it mattered whether you were on the east side and south side when it came to slang but nowadays it's everywhere. Of course there's small patches of people who refuse to do such a thing and stay by old routine, but as a whole that isn't the case anymore. You have everyone across the board saying nigga this and nigga that, and cuzz this and cuzz that. If you viewed any recent video of south siders/east siders stomping about in their neighborhood, you wouldn't see any differences between them. Back then you would.


In addition, blacks weren't accepted that much in sureno gangs. Yes, there were a few here and there but the majority of the time there were only one or two within a given gang. It wasn't the usual for a black dude to roll with a bunch of hispanics, especially back then where racial tensions were at an all time high. The most you'd probably see is Caucasians being around them, which was the common theme in California Prisons then and now.

Edited by varrio bangin
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