Norteños is now in the Philippines (Filipinas)
Graffiti in a Norteño varrio in Northern California
Founding location Northern California
Years active 1978 – Present
Territory Northern California, Central California, Oregon, Washington State, Idaho, Kansas
Ethnicity Predominately Mestizo
Criminal activities Murder, Drug trafficking, arms trafficking, assault, Extortion, auto theft, burglary, robbery
Allies Nuestra Familia, Bloods, Latin Kings
Rivals Sureños, Mexican Mafia, Fresno Bulldogs, Crips
e Norteños (Spanish: Northerners), Nortenas for females, are groups of loosely affiliated street gangs. Norteño is a Umbrella term used to describe various street gangs that pay tribute to the Nuestra Familia while in Federal and State correctional facilities. Norteños may refer to Northern California as Norte, Spanish for “north” and their biggest rival are the Sureños from Southern California. The statewide dividing line between Norteños and Sureños has roughly been accepted as the rural community of Delano, California.
In 1978, Mexican-American inmates of the California state prison system separated into two rival groups, Norteños (northerners) and Sureños (southerners), according to the locations of their hometowns (the north-south dividing line is near Delano, California). Norteños affiliated with Nuestra Familia were prison enemies of the Southern Latinos who comprised La Eme, better known as the MexicanMafia. While the Mexican Mafia
had initially been created to protect Mexicans in prison, there was a perceived level of abuse by members of La Eme towards the imprisoned Latinos from rural farming areas of Northern California. The spark that led to the ongoing war between Norteños and members of the Mexican Mafia involved a situation in which a member of La Eme allegedly stole a pair of shoes from a Northerner. This event put into motion the longest-running gang war in the state of California.
The Norteño stronghold is Salinas, California and most of Northern California. They are also in many other states with a strong presence in Eastern Washington, specifically Yakima County, where they dominate over the Sureños. There are reports of Norteños being as far away as New York, Texas, Colorado and other states in the Midwest United States such as Kansas.