|The Mexican Mafia, also known as La Eme (Spanish for "the M"), is a highly organized Mexican American criminal organization in the United States. Despite its name, the Mexican Mafia did not originate in Mexico and is entirely a U.S. criminal organization.|
Officials estimate that there are currently 155–300 official members of the Mexican Mafia with around 990 associates
Black Hand of Death
|Members are expected to engage in tests of their loyalty to La eMe, which often includes murder. The penalty for refusing orders or failing to complete an assigned task is often death. Members may also be punished or murdered if they commit any of four major infractions. These include becoming an informant, acts of homosexuality, acts of cowardice, and showing disrespect against fellow gang members.|
A member of the Mexican Mafia may not be murdered without prior approval by a vote of three members. The murder of non-members requires no formal approval. La eMe is involved in a large variety of criminal activities both inside and outside the prison system.
|La eMe has a blood in, blood out credo: Murder or drawing of blood is a prerequisite for membership and anyone trying to get out will be killed. The Mexican Mafia is the controlling organization for almost every Hispanic gang in Southern California. Members of almost all Hispanic gangs in Southern California are obliged under the threat of death to carry out any and all orders from Mexican Mafia members.|