Mexican Gang Tattoos
Deciphering Mexican Gang Tattoos
There is no Mexican gang that doesn’t require gang tattoos.
Mexican gangster tattoos are used for many reasons such as showing gang membership, Mexican pride, intimidating others that are not members of the gang, to show one’s rank in the gang, his preference of certain weapon, the number of people he had killed, type of crimes he had committed, his remorse, the time he had served in the prison, etc.
Mexican gangs are very Mexican oriented and use every chance to show that they are proud to be Mexican, or of Mexican origin, which is why the most frequent colors that are used by Mexican gangs in their tattoos are the colors of the Mexican flag – green, white and red.
This so called patriotism is one of the reasons why young people and adolescents that are Mexicans or of Mexican origin decide to become members of a certain Mexican gang. Other reasons are protection, belonging to some social group, “easy” money and very short fame.
Unfortunately adolescents are easy targets for the gangs and more than 90% of people that have joined any gang in Mexico, United States and other countries have done so before they turned eighteen. In other words gangs survive across the world because we are not able to protect our children from them.
Symbolism of Mexican Gangster Tattoos
Numbers and initials are very frequent in Mexican gang tattoos. For example, the number 18 (East Cost Mexican Gang), the number 13 or the initials “M.M” and “E.M.E” (Mexican Mafia), Number 14 or the initials “N.F” and “N.S” (Nuestra Familia), and so on.
Other type of symbolism is also used for the gang identifications such as triangle of three small dots which is the identifying tattoo mark of the “Los Vatos Locos” Gang.
Since Mexicans in general are very religious praying hands are very common in Mexican gang tattoos as well as certain phrases such as “Perdoname Mi Madre” (Forgive me, Mother), “There is God, but not here”, “Waiting to be judged”, “Living is hard, dying is easy”, “My Crazy Life”, etc.
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