LINES BLURRING BETWEEN CARTELS, THE MEXICAN MAFIA AND STREET SOLDIERS.
We might start calling them hybrids. Or maybe non-traditionals. Or maybe we can graft the two criminal orgs together and call the new entity a MEXTEL.
What we're talking about here is a developing phenomenon that first showed up along the border and making its way into our local neighborhoods. Based on information from reliable sources, border cops making their usual intercepts of migrant workers are also coming across Mexican nationals already tattooed up with U.S. gang identifiers. Basically these individuals already have some working or personal relationships with U.S. street gangs even though some of them have never been north.
At this point, it's an unclear dynamic as to who these trans-nationals are working for. Are they cartel-connected and working on behalf of the cartels in the U.S.? Or are they neighborhood connected and working on both sides of the border for U.S. shot callers? Or could it be both?
Since the early 1990s, some neighborhoods such as Pozole and Logan Heights in San Diego, there's been an easy alliance between U.S.-born and bred soldados and Associates hiring themselves out to the Cartels. Some of these people were purely free-lance operators but others had the full backing, support and even participation of high ranking shot callers in the U.S. So this latest phenomenon does have historical precedent. We may be seeing an expansion of that alliance in other neighborhoods in California and Arizona.
In Los Angeles, there's also been evidence of street operators and Associates serving two masters - one in the Bay and the other in Mexico. Sometimes they're serving both masters simultaneously because both overlords are involved in the same operation.
What we might be seeing here is the beginning of a higher order merger where it might be hard to separate the domestic and cross-border operators living and working under the umbrella of traditional neighborhood structures.