New Mexican Mafia

  1. Scope of Reglas/ The Making of A Carnal
  2. Our Insignia, The Mexican Mafia
  3. Showing Your Carnalismo
  4. Sharing Opinions
  5. Always a Carnal
  6. Financial Treasurer
  7. The Rose
  8. When Released
  9. Final Decision or Vote
  10. Secured Conversation
  11. Conclusion


Around 1974, a group of Hispanic inmates at Arizona State Prison, Florence, formed a prison gang known as the Mexican Mafia. Arizona Department of Corrections officials at that time obtained information that this group patterned themselves after the California Mexican Mafia which had been in existence for several years. Several Hispanics who came into the Arizona Prison System brought the concept and philosophy of the California Mexican Mafia.

In 1978 the Mexican Mafia split into two organizations. One kept the original philosophy and structure and currently refer to themselves as the Original Mexican Mafia, "Califas Faction", "EME". The other, which came into prominence in 1984 and is the organization addressed in this workbook, refer to themselves as the New Mexican Mafia. Many assaults and murders of members of both groups have occurred as a result of each organization claiming the title of "Mexican Mafia" within the Arizona prison system.

Members of the New Mexican Mafia consider themselves autonomous with relation to the Original Mexican Mafia and the parent organization in California. They have created their own rules and regulations and have established an organizational structure. Each member is allowed to vote on issues regarding membership and leadership. The leader, approved by the members has the power to solely decide important issues (i.e., revoke present membership or reject new members) and may approve new members without an organization vote. As of the printing of this workbook, a few influential members are consulted on major issues by the leader. This may discontinue with a change of leadership.

Membership is comprised of inmates who have many years within the prison system, some were members of the Original Mexican Mafia, as well as first time offenders. Several newly recruited members have been identified as belonging to Hispanic street gangs throughout Arizona. Most members have been documented by law enforcement as having the New Mexican Mafia tattoo. All members are encouraged to wear it.

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The following reproduction of the Rules and Regulations of the Arizona New Mexican Mafia is verbatim as they exist. They were confiscated by the prison Special Security Team from a documented New Mexican Mafia member at Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence, Central Unit on 09-30-88. Two other identical documents have been found in the possession of documented members since the first confiscation.

A list of Spanish to English translation have been included.

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The Arizona Mexican Mafia is an organization which must consist of certain reglas in order to maintain a certain amount of discipline within its structure. In order to keep a wall defined structure of what we believe in these reglas must be met with considerable thought and respect. And since this (LA EME), is going to be what we make it, then we must meet its causes with determination & full force in order to accomplish what is best for our survival, the survival of the "Mexican Mafia", and for what we believe in as a whole, for now and for our future. It must be realized that we are our future and its for our future that we should be most concerned about, for what we do now will reflect upon the future, the future must always be at mind. We'll strive to meet our goals and in doing this, it is remembered to honor and exist within the scope of the reglas.

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When it's become known amongst the carrnales that a specific person has the potential of becoming parte, and he meets the standards in which we believe in, then this person is capable of becoming a carnal. And should there be a vote and this person accepted, " or any person who has potential", then which ever carnal who introduced this person into the "EME" carries no burden(s) for his future actions, if they may be vile, for we accepted as a whole so we must deal with it in this manner.

It is not necessarily wise to approach a "prospect" ask if he'd like to became a carnal, if he has it in his heart to be parte then time will lead him our way. But there can be an exception; the exception being that all carnales, [on that yarda], be consulted and if agreed that person is or can be beneficial to our cause, "then that person can be approached".

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This must always remain the same and should not change for any reason, and should exist throughout time without change.

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This is an issue which must be looked at very closely, because without carnalismo we cannot accomplish our goals as a whole, and setbacks will be sure to arise. No carnal shall conspire or plot against any of the carnales for any reason, behind their back, Nor shall any carnal sell out his carnal[es] for greed or lust, for none of these reasons can possess the value of your carnal[es]. And for no reason shall a carnal present treachery on his behalf towards any carnal, for any reason, since we are all carnals in the same, faith, trust and believing in one another is a must, even though some may vary. Faith in your carnal[es] is very important, it's an ingredient which cannot be overlooked. It's believing in him and what he stands for and in order to progress we must believe in ourselves & what we do. We've chosen our pattern of life, it's only wise that we do it the best way we can.

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Each and every carnal has the right to speak his mind and share what he feels is right or beneficial to our organization, and in no way should this right be jeopardized. It's only smart to check out every issue from all points of view, this right gives us that option.

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Once a person becomes a carnal he is "Parte De La Mafia Mexicana Por Vida", that is his life time guarantee. You cannot become a carnal and then choose not to associate or be a part of "The Mexican Mafia", this will not be permitted, there are no revolving doors to walk in or out whenever we please.

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Upon a vote a certain carnal is to become "Our Financial Treasurer", and upon his request may have on [1] or two [2] more carnales to assist him with this jale. Those who carry on this jale are to be trusted in "every way", unless shown and proven otherwise. "This pertains to each pinta individually". These funds are to be used solely for the "benefit and profit of the Mexican Mafia."

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Upon a vote a certain carnal is to become "Our Financial Treasurer", and upon his request may have on [1] or two [2] more carnales to assist him with this jale. Those who carry on this jale are to be trusted in "every way", unless shown and proven otherwise. "This pertains to each pinta individually’. These funds are to be used solely for the "benefit and profit of the Mexican Mafia."

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It's a special honor to be able to possess "The Rose", it reveals loyalty, and faith in what you believe in: True Carnalismo. And receiving the rose can only come by way of "Muerte", in this, showing your loyalty in what you believe in, "Por Vida". And for no other reason should anyone acquire the rose.

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Once a carnal is released from within the system, contact with his carnales inside the pinta should always be kept. Also contacting and associating with your carnal[es] out on libre is a mandatory issue also. The reason being, to organize and build a strong structure of what we believe in "The Mexican Mafia", our organization. When contacting or meeting with other carnales, a low profile should be exercised, for obvious reasons. The task force is aware of "The Mexican Mafia" and some of us who are involved, so a low profile and a good front should be kept, in order to prevent unnecessary harassment and possible incarceration by the law. Even though to prevent this may not be easy because of the task force full knowledge of the EME and it's members. So it's to be recognized that we are an organization and that's how we must conduct ourselves, as organized figures. There's different types of task forces but there's one which deals in only "Gangs and Organizations" and this is the one we must be aware of and not underestimate their potentials. And also, financial foundations can be based on, [Scope of Regals IV], but pertaining to the free world.

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The final decision, or the deciding vote, is to be determined by [X] or [XX], with X in the highest. This was concluded by an election which took place with the majority of the carnales present and stands valid for all purposes, and is to be recognized and respected by all carnales.

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When speaking of or about anything to do con la EME, it is mandatory that only carnales be present, no outsider is to hear what is to be said, this is strictly prohibited.

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These are the "Reglas" which must be considered and respected in every way; in no way should they be abused or disregarded. All decisions for penalties of violation for these reglas are in the hands of the carnales, those there who witnessed or have full knowledge of the violation [s], committed by that carnal. For deciding vote or final decision refer to, [S.O.T.R.IX]...

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English Translations

Spanish English
Carnal Brother
Carnales Brothers
Carnalismo Brotherhood
Con With
EME Mexican Mafia
Jale Job
La The
Libre Free
Muerte Death
Parte Part of
Parte de la Mafia Part of the Mexican
Mexicana Por Vida Mafia for life
Pinta Prison
Por Vida For Life
Reglas Rules
Yarda Yard

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The following tattoo patterns were found during 1987-88 in various Arizona State prison facilities where members of the New Mexican Mafia have been incarcerated.

The first pattern was confiscated by staff personnel at the Arizona State Prison Tucson facility. The second pattern was found in the Florence facility, 06-03-87, Central Unit during cell searches following the stabbing assault of suspected original Mexican Mafia member.

Since that time, numerous patters have been found and confiscated. Twelve have been found in the Florence SMU facility where the majority of the New Mexican Mafia members are housed.

Information received indicates that members are allowed to use their own creative individuality for the tattoo pattern, however all "Pachas" or patterns must have the skull, double "MM" and the flames around the circle. The double M. Must curve downward and cross at the bottom. This signifies that the member has crossed over from the original Mexican Mafia to the New Mexican Mafia, if he was a member of the former. The large flames are to lean counter-clockwise and be partially shaded. The small flames lean clockwise and are supposed to be completely shaded.

The rose is considered the highest honor a member can obtain. It signifies that the member has successfully completed an assault on his "enemies".

New Mexican Mafia Art & Tattoos click images to enlarge