Los Aztecas: Gang And Drug Trafficker

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Los Aztecas: Gang and Drug Traffickers The Aztecas, otherwise known as, Los Aztecas emerged as a prison gang from El Paso, Texas in 1986 (“Barrio Azteca,” 2018). Los Aztecas are not only prominent in El Paso but also in Mexico. From its inception that gang has aided in drug trafficking operations. In recent years, the gang has had a significant increase in members. Specifically, in 1996 many deported Mexican criminals were returning to Mexico. By 2013, it was reported that there were about 7,000 members in Mexico and the United States combined (e.g., El Paso, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania). Los Aztecas have long been working closely with drug cartels. One of their main allies is the Juárez cartel, a drug cartel based in Juárez, Mexico, for…show more content…
Many teens in prisons are very interested in joining Los Aztecas for their title and their strict recruitment practices and rules. In Juárez the general public knows that Los Aztecas are very dangerous and should not be crossed. Young people find this particularly enticing and want to be a part of such a respected “organization.” In Mexico, Los Aztecas refer to themselves as “Familia Azteca” which directly translates to Azteca family (Burnett, 2009). This demonstrates the sense of togetherness that the gang has towards one another. Many young teens who lack parental supervision or parents view gang involvement as a way of belonging. Once a person has joined the gang, they must follow a strict set of rules that cannot be broken. If these rules are broken, this can result in punishment or death (“Barrio Azteca,” 2018). John Burnett, a journalist, based in Texas, explains that Los Aztecas are now seeking to recruit younger boys who are already in trouble with the law (2009). Burnett goes on to explain that these young killers, called Sicaritos, who are usually 13-14 years old. One of the reasons that Los Aztecas is seeking to recruit younger boys is because they are not morally developed yet, so they do not overthink about the consequences of killing someone (Burnett, 2009). Broken families or no families at all make it easier for youth to fall into criminal…show more content…
These factors seem to be relevant in relation to Los Aztecas in Mexico. Gang culture is now deeply rooted in Mexican culture. Gang life is something that is glorified by many individuals of Mexican ethnicity. Poverty may also play a role in the emergence and persistence of gangs. In very poor cities where incomes are below average, there seems to be a positive correlation with gang involvement. According to Howell and Griffiths, Los Aztecas are also a transnational gang, which means that there is a strong presence in both the United States and in Mexico. The close proximity of Texas and Mexico makes the gang prevalence much higher in the U.S

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