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Founded 1984
Named after Nahuatl for “Mexican Life”:
Founding location San Antonio, TX
Territory Texas
Ethnicity Mexican
Membership 2,000-17,000
Criminal activities Drug Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Extortion, Murder
Allies Mexican Mafia, Aryan Brotherhood
Rivals Texas Syndicate, Nuestra Familia, Black Guerrilla Family
Mexikanemi, Texas Mexican Mafia
Founding location Texas
Years active 1984 - present
Territory Prisons of Texas, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Ethnicity Hispanic
Membership 17,000
Criminal activities Extortion, Narcotics Trafficking and Murder

Mexikanemi is a gang known as the Texas Mexican Mafia, formed in the early 1980s in the Texan penal systems. It functions separately from the original California Mexican Mafia, and members consider themselves primarily tied to the area of Aztlán, formerly Mexican territories in the south western United States.[1][2] The group engages in a wide range of illegal activities including drug trafficking, loan sharking, and money laundering.[3][4]


The structure, rules, and procedures of the Mexikanemi are formalized through their written constitution.[5] As stated therein, "everything will be organized because we are an organization".


The hierarchy of the group begins with the president and vice president and then proceeds through general, captain, lieutenant, and seargent. All other members not occupying one of these posts are considered soldiers. All others who are not members are prospects in the process of being adopted into the group as a member.

President through captain function as a rank system, wherein the title is attached to the individual and follows the individual in all their doing. However, lieutenant and seargent are posts, which is to say that they are attached to geographical locations such as cities, ranches, buildings or institutions and remain with that location regardless of where the individual may go. When the individual leaves that location they no longer retain their title unless they then assume the same position at a different location.

The posts of seargent and lieutenant are semi-democratic/semi-merit positions. These posts democratic in that they are filled and can be vacated, according to the constitution, by a simple majority vote of the group that is to be, or is led by that person. These posts are meritocratic in that they may also be vacated by fiat through a decision made by any person captain or higher. Any person who leaves a post through a vote of no confidence or through removal by a higher office may never hold any other post.

All members of the group regardless of post or responsibility are expliticly placed below the authority of the constitution and are considered fundamentally equal, "Above all else, we are all equal and it is necessary that we all participate to the best of our abilities to be able to advance and make progress through Mexikanemi".


The Mexikanami utilize a distributed recruitment system based on democratic vote and the approval authority of lieutenants. According to their constitution, any member in good standing may recommend someone as a prospect so long as they are ethnically Mexican. The prospect is then introduced to the leadership and membership of their area and begin a 120 day process of becoming a full member. During this, the person recommending the prospect is responsible for educating and indoctrinating them into the group. They are also responsible for disciplining the prospect should it be necessary.

At 90 days the lieutenant of the area begins a 30 day investigative process regarding the prospect to determine whether they are "good". At the end of this the group votes on whether the prospect shall be admitted as a full member. Any member who does not vote must provide a reason for abstaining.


Mexikanemi is explicitly committed to gaining its revenue through any means possible. As the constitution states:

Being a criminal organization we work in any criminal aspect or interest for the benfit and advancement of Mexikanemi. we shall deal in drugs, contract killing, prostitution, large scale robbery, gambling, weapons and in everything imaginable.

A considerable amount of funding comes into the organization through the means or extortion through a method referred to as "the dime".[6] By the rule of the dime all illicit activity taking place in the group's territory, even by non-members, is taxed at a rate of 10% which is to be given to the group. This rule is strictly enforced, for example, in 1999 Mexikanemi member Manuel Vasquez strangled a local cannabis dealer, Juanita Ybarra, to death with a phone cord for refusing to pay the dime. Vasquez would later receive the death penalty for the act.[7]

Emblems and Tattoos[edit]

A Hand Tattoo Consisting of Three Dots

The Mexikanemi use a number of insignia to represent their affiliation.[8][9] Members are permitted but not required to receive tattoos indicating their membership in the gang.[10] At the most basic level is the word "Mexikanemi" itself or various abbreviations therefor. These include the letter M as a single letter or as a pair (i.e. MM for Mexican Mafia); the letters "eme" (Spanish for M), or the number 13 either in Arabic, Roman, or Aztec numberals (M is the 13th letter of the alphebet). The number 13 may also be represented in any number of graphical depictions combining one of something and three of something. For example, one dot under the left hand and three dots under the right hand.

A number of additional symbols stem from the groups cultural and ethnic heritage. Symbols such as the eagle or the serpent may be allusions to the Mexican flag. Additionally, as the group places emphasis on their pre-Spanish Aztec cultural heritage, a wide range of Aztec art, symbols, and arcitecture may be employed.

Corruption of Law Enforcement[edit]

In 2012 numerous law enforcement agencies collaborated in an investigation that resulted in the arrest of 25 alleged members of the group including a local law enforcement officer, Michael Mares of the Onalaska police.[11] The indictment alleged that Mares conspired with the group to provide them with "hand guns, assault rifles, hand restraints and even internal police information",[12] and that the group as a whole was working to "traffic drugs and carry out other illegal gang business, including selling numerous assault rifles, and detonation cord".[13]


  1. ^ Lyman, Michael D. (2010). Drugs in Society: Causes, Concepts and Control. Elsevier. p. 496. ISBN 9781437744514. 
  2. ^ "Texas Gangs: An Overview of Security Threat Groups and Other Major Gangs in Texas". Texas Department of Public Safety. Retrieved November 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.prisonoffenders.com/texas_mexican_mafia.html
  4. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/26/us-usa-crime-texas-mob-idUSKCN0JA2C020141126
  5. ^ http://www2.mysanantonio.com/PDFs/MexikanemiConstitution.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.prisonoffenders.com/texas_mexican_mafia.html
  7. ^ http://murderpedia.org/male.V/v/vasquez-manuel.htm
  8. ^ http://tomdiazgunsandgangs.com/2009/03/23/mexikanemi-the-mexican-mafia-texas-version-part-one/
  9. ^ http://www.prisonoffenders.com/texas_mexican_mafia.html
  10. ^ http://www2.mysanantonio.com/PDFs/MexikanemiConstitution.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Arrests-across-Texas-target-Mexican-Mafia-3941139.php
  12. ^ http://www.prisonoffenders.com/Officer_Michael_Mares_Mexican_Mafia.html
  13. ^ http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Arrests-across-Texas-target-Mexican-Mafia-3941139.php

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexikanemi — Please support Wikipedia.
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75 news items

KSAT San Antonio
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 19:56:15 -0800

Through the years, several local and federal cases against members have helped law enforcement piece together a detailed history of one of the state's most violent prison gangs, known to members as Mexikanemi or La Eme. The Mexikanemi constitution ...


Thu, 13 Nov 2014 11:25:22 -0800

Prison gang member arrests included 92 members of Tango Orejon, 32 members of Mexikanemi, four members of Hermanos de Pistoleros, three members of Texas Syndicate, three members of the Aryan Brotherhood and three Sureños. Street gang arrests ...


Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:40:48 -0800

The Texas Mexican Mafia, also known as La Mexikanemi, was founded in the Texas prison system in the 1980s. Police say it is involved in a range of illegal activities, including drug dealing and loan sharking, as well as collecting a portion of the ...
San Antonio Current
Tue, 06 Jul 2010 21:09:53 -0700

The Mexikanemi, distinct from the California-based Mexican Mafia, was founded in 1984 by Heriberto “Herb” Huerta in a Huntsville prison, where he was serving three life terms for murder conspiracy and racketeering. Huerta, now in a supermax federal ...

KSAT San Antonio

KSAT San Antonio
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:46:32 -0700

Oranday and his fellow defendants were all members of the Texas Mexican Mafia, also known as "La Eme" or "Mexikanemi." The gang was formed in the 1980s by Texas prison inmates. The group used murder, solicitation of murder, drug trafficking and ...

KSAT San Antonio

KSAT San Antonio
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:18:14 -0700

It sounds like the dead cop was small time pushing dope he confiscated from the streets..... just because he had some markings of "Mexikanemi" does not make him a soldier in Mexican Mafia or Mexikaneme... Yes, the hit was a collection hit; THAT's ...
Tue, 13 May 2014 13:05:48 -0700

A “merecido” — deserved one — is what Texas Mexican Mafia members call themselves, as they subscribe to the philosophy of the gang's founder, San Antonio's Herb Huerta. He pushed a philosophy that TMM, or Mexikanemi, is a mystical descendancy of ...
Newspaper Tree
Sun, 16 Feb 2014 12:26:15 -0800

The gang was formed by five El Paso inmates, living in the unit, to protect themselves from established Texas prison gangs, including the Mexikanemi and the Texas Syndicate. The Mexikanemi, also known as the Texas Mexican Mafia, was founded in the ...

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