Thursday, August 19, 2004

The cold, and sometimes hot war between MARAVILLA and the EME has been raging since the early 90s. If you remember your EME history, EME brothers like CHUCO CASTRO and SANA OJEDA, were sent forth to organize all SOCAL neighborhoods under the SURENO flag. Part of the deal was that all SURENOS had to kick up taxes to the brothers under penalty of death. Most neighborhoods fell into line and kicked up. Some did it happily. Other grudgingly. But almost all of them got with the program. But there were holdouts who basically told the EME to pound sand. The MS was one of those that declared themselves tax-free zones and immediately felt the heat. MARAVILLA was another no-tax gang as was LOWELL. As result the EME declared these neighborhoods as ALWAYS VERDE, giving every SURENO the greenlight to take care of any member of these neighborhoods.

With open war declared, MARAVILLA and LOWELL didn't didn't fare well in prison or on the street. Some of the hard core tax resisters decided on some get even. Any MV or LOWELL member who raised his hand to take care of a SURENO or a BROTHER became known as a MARAFIOSO, a moniker of distinction. According to people connected with the scene, there are apparently 20 or so MARAFIOSI currently formed up in what they call a GREENLIGHT GANG. This get-even gang within a gang is essentially a secret society whose members are known only to each other. Over time, close to 20 EAST SIDE neighborhoods have contributed members to the GREENLIGHT GANG. Among them are EASTSIDE 18th STREET and EASTSIDE CLOVER. The GREENLIGHT GANG operates undercover and their business is kept secret even from the rank and file members of their own neighborhoods. As an extra measure of security, the active shooters in the GREENLIGHT GANG have pictures take of themselves together. This is to discourage defection from the GREENIES. If they try to defect and become SURENOS, there's always proof that they were once resisters. Which means they'll be subject to sanctions from the EME as well as the GREENIES.

If the existence of a GREENLIGHT GANG who puts SURENOS and BROTHERS square in its sights is true, (and there's no evidence at this point that the GREENIES don't exist) it sounds to us like a DAVID and GOLIATH struggle. SURENOS and Brothers have the numbers on their side. They control the prisons and most of the SOCAL neighborhoods. That's a lot of eyes and ears and firepower. On the other hand, a gang of hard-core shooters who can maintain a high level of secrecy and operate undercover, can become a problem for the BROTHERS. The GREENIES might even become the vanguard of a movement that may over time recruit enough members to openly defy the EME.

HO CHI MINH once said that a tiger can defeat an elephant. All he has to do is bite the elephant hard once a day and run. Time will tell if UNCLE HO's philosophy works in the world of neighborhoods and brothers.