The Norteños (Spanish: for “Northerners”), affiliated with Nuestra Familia (Our Family), are a coalition of partially Latino gangs in Northern California. A member of these gangs is a Norteño (male) or Norteña (female); based on Spanish usage. Northern Californians who are not gang members, but feel a strong cultural affiliation with others in Northern California, may also refer to themselves as Norteños/Norteñas or simply “Northerners.”
The traditional rivals of the Norteños are the Sureños (”Southerners”). The statewide dividing line between Norteños and Sureños has roughly been accepted as the rural community of Delano, California. Norteños may refer to Northern California as Norte, Spanish for “north”. Any suggestion of a peace treaty between these two gangs, similar to that of Blood-Crip in the early 1990s, holds no weight with Norteños and Sureños in California.
In the late 1960s, Mexican-American (Chicano) inmates of the California state prison system began to separate into two rival groups, Norteños (northerners) and Sureños (southerners), according to the locations of their hometowns (the north-south dividing line is near Bakersfield, California). Part of the motivation for the split was the desire of the Norteños to be independent of “La Eme,” a.k.a. the Mexican Mafia, who had increasingly been referring to them as “lame farmers” due to the land from which many of them had originated.
As with many other gangs, Norteños have been involved in trafficking of drugs and contraband, and armed conflict with other gangs and with police. According to police investigators, a requirement for full membership in Nuestra Familia is committing at least one murder for the gang. Federal law enforcement agencies, long unable to infiltrate the group, began to step up their investigations in the late 1990s. In 2000 and 2001, 22 members were indicted on racketeering charges, including several who were allegedly serving as high-ranking gang leaders while confined in Pelican Bay. Thirteen of the defendants pleaded guilty; the other cases are still ongoing. Two of the defendants face the death penalty for ordering murders related to the drug trade. The largest of the federal investigations was Operation Black Widow.
In the 1980s, a faction of Norteños from the city of Fresno began to distance themselves from Nuestra Familia, allegedly for a lack of respect, and temporarily recieved protection from Sureños behind bars. Their final break from Norteño affiliation occurred when members of Nuestra Familia from San Jose were killed by Fresno Norteño drop-outs behind prison walls. Today, many gang members from Fresno and the surrounding area have labeled themselves as the “Fresno Bulldog Nation” (also Bulldogs or F14), and are primarily at war with Norteños. The term “Bulldog” was adopted from the Fresno State University mascot. They also refer to their area of California as “Centro” rather than “Norte” or “Sur”.
Most modern Norteño gangs uphold a pact of unity between themselves and follow a strict set of rules. This contrasts with Sureños in Southern California who regularly engage in inter-gang violence and rivalries. The unity shown among Norteños is one of several traits that have lead to them being labeled as one of the most organized gangs behind bars.
Norteño emblems and clothing are based on the color red. A typical Norteño outfit might include a red belt, red shoes, and red shoelaces. They may favor long hair “Indian” style, or sometimes shaved on the side with a Mongol top-knot in back. They will also favor sports team apparel that shows their affiliation through symbolism such as; the University of Nebraska (red with a capital “N”), UNLV (Us Nortenos Love Violence), K-Swiss (Kill Scraps When I See Scraps), and San Francisco 49ers (Red and Gold with a number 4). In areas where Norteños are allied with the Crips (C-14), the use of colors is less straightforward since the Bloods, the Crips’ historic rivals, also use the color red. (The Crips use the color blue.)
Norteños may refer to each other by using the term “Ene”, Spanish for the letter “N”. This follows the tradition of Sureno’s using the term “Ese”. Norteños use the number 14 in tattoos and “graffiti” because “N” is the fourteenth letter of the alphabet. It is sometimes written as “X4?, or in Roman numerals as “XIV”. A Norteño may sometimes tattoo four dots on themselves to represent “4?; this is a response to a Sureño tradition of tattooing three dots. A Norteño derogatorily refers to a Sureño as a “Scrap”, while a Sureño will likewise refer to a Norteño as a “Buster”.
Norteños also lay claim to images of the Mexican-American labor movement, such as the sombrero, machete, and “Huelga bird”, symbols of the United Farm Workers. At the same time that Norteños were first organizing in prisons and calling for liberation from the Mexican Mafia, the UFW and its leader Cñsar Chñvez were folk heroes and symbols of liberation to many Chicano youths, including several Northern California gang members who had met Chñvez when he was imprisoned for his union work. Chavez never actually endorsed the group, as he was a peaceful individual, but he did bring attention to the Northern Chicano presence by attracting the media to some of the most fertile farmland in the nation; California’s Central Valley.
Originally Norteños claimed traditional images of Chicano youth culture such as lowrider cars and cholo imagery; the predominant styles created by and emulated from Southern Chicanos. But recently many young Norteños have desired a style of their own, and have begun to adopt street slang that lies somewhere between African-American Hip-Hop and Chicano Calñ terminology. As a result, Calñ in its purest form is increasingly being thought of as a Sureño slang. This may be attributed to the fact that Southern California is geographically closer to Mexico, so Sureño culture is typically more closely tied to Mexican tradition. Norteños are often more Americanized and sometimes not even Latino, so they may not speak Spanish fluently, or even at all. A Northern California based Latino rap group called Darkroom Familia, who have openly admitted their Norteño gang membership, have long been established Norteño role-models. Caucasian and African-American Bay Area rap acts such as the late “Woodie” (who was a Norteño himself) and the late Mac Dre are also fast becoming modern Norteño role-models while the so-called Chicano gang influence of yesterday, which is becoming synonymous with Sureños, is gradually being thrown to the wayside. This is partially a result of the “Hyphy” fad which was pioneered by African-Americans in the Bay Area. Despite this, many young Norteño’s will usually still hold reverance for the traditional styles, and it is common to see older Norteños who still dress and speak in the “old school” Chicano gangster style despite its southern origins.
Below is a list of rules found by a Deputy Sheriff inside the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, California, giving some insight into the inner workings of the gang. The entire letter was written on a 2ñ3 card in “micro-writing” (letters being less than a few millimeters big), a trademark of many prison gangs. The letter is typed exactly as it was written so any spelling and grammar errors are those of the writer…
GREETINGS MI RAZA! THE ENCLOSED H.H.P’S (HOUSEHOLD POLACIES) HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED AND WILL BE ENFORCED THROUGHOUT “ALL OF SANTA RITA”FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF INSTILLING SELF DISCIPLINE, CONFIDANCE, AND FOREMOST SECURITY WITHIN OUR RANKS..IT IS IMPARITIVE THAT WE ALL AS A CLOSE KNIT RAZA RECOGNISE TO THE FULLEST OUR OVERALL RESPONSIBILITY’S BY UPHOLDING OUR HIGH STANDARDS IN CONDUCTING ONE SELF IN ACCORDANCE TO OUR SET GUILDELINES..AS OF BEING N.S WE WILL ACKNOWLEDGE AND RESPECT THESE POLICIES; NEVERTHELESS NOT FALTERING OUR WILL TO NOTHING LESS WITHIN THESE SET GUIDELINES..UPPON COMPLETION OF READ-ING AND GRASPING THE TRUE MEANING OF SAID POLACIES YOU WILL THEN, AND ONLY THEN BE CLEARED TO FUNCTION ON THE SAME LEVEL OF DISCIPLINE AND AWARENESS AS ALL BROTHERS RESIDEING HERE IN “SANTA RITA”..NOW, FOR SOME ODD REASON OR ANOTHER ONE CAN NOT MEET SAID REQUIREMENTS/GUIDELINES FOR HIS OWN SELFISH REASONS HE WILL REPORT IT TO HIS CHANNEL IMIDIATELY AND THE RIGHT PROCEDURES WILL BE TAKEN TO BETTER HELP FACILITATE HIS NEEDS. - - …”HENCEFORTH”…. 1. OUR N. PROGRAM WILL OPEN AT 8:00 AM AND CLOSE AT 10:00PM..DURING THIS TIME YOU WILL BE SUITED AND BOOTED. AWAKE, ~ - - ALERT AND AWARE OF YOUR IMIDIATE SURROUNDINGS..IF YOU CATCH YOUR FELLOW N. “SLIPPIN” ASLEAP TAKE THE INITITIVE TO WAKE HIM UP BEFORE HE GETS D.P …2. ONCE AGAIN ALL MOVEMENTS ARE MANDITORY! NO EXCEPTIONS.(THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS) WE WILL NOT BE CAUGHT SLIPPIN ON ANY LEVELS…3. A N. WILL ACKNOWLEDGE AND RESPECT HIS AUTHORITY IN CHARGE..ON THE SAME TOKEN NO N. WILL FEEL INFIRIOR TO ONE HOLDING RANK OR POSITION. 4.AT NO TIME WILL ANY N. ENDULGE IN ANY HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVITY, SEX PLAY, HORSE PLAY, SETRIPPIN, INDIVIDUALISM, OR HOMEBOY FAVORITISM. 5. NO RED ON RED ATTACKS/FIGHTING (AMONGST ONE AND OTHER) WILL BE TOLERATED. ALL FUNKING (BARRIO WARFARE) WILL BE LEFT ON THE STREETS. 6. NO DISRESPECTING ANY RAZAS OR K-9 WILL BE TOLERATED FOR IT ONLY JEPORDISES THE CAR AND THE LIVELYHOOD OF OUR PEOPLE..BESIDES WE DONT NEED THE UNWANT-ED AND UNECESSARY HEAT. 7. AT NO TIME WILL THE ABUSEMENT OF ALCOHOL OR ANY HARD DRUG BE TOLERATED. FOR THERE HAVE BE INCIDENTS IN THE PAST THAT WILL NO LONGER BE TOLERATED..WE ARE THE ELIETE AND WILL PRAMOTE PROFESIONAL ISM AND PROPPER CONDUCT AMONGST THE AIMLESS AND MISLEAD..9. HOUSEHOLD TIENDAS ARE ESTABLISHED FOR ALL NEW ARIVALS AND THOSE LESS FORTUNATE IN NEED. IT IS OUR SOLE DUTY TO PROMOTE UNITY AND CARNALISMO AMONGST OUR people. THEREFOR CONTRIBUTEING TO THE THE TIENDA IS HIGHLY ENCOURAGED AND HIGHLY APPRECIATED..10. POSTING UP AT SHOWERS FOR YOUR FELLOW N. IS ALSO HIGHLY ENCOURAGED.. 11. A N. WILL DEFEND HIS HOUSEHOLD TO THE FULLEST NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OR CONSIQENCES. THIS MEANS STANDING NEXT TO THE CAUSE OR BROTHER IN BATTLE OR STRUGGLE..12. A N. WILL BE HELD IN HIGH ~ REGARD FOR HIS PHYSICAL AND MENTAL WELLBEING..THEREFOR IT IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED AS WELL AS MANDITORY THAT YOU BUST DOWN 4 TIMES A WEEK FOR 1 HOUR A DAY..13. A N. WILL TEACH AND SCHOOL THOSE DESTINED TO THE PINTA..AT NO TIME WILL ANY PORTION OF THESE POLACIES BE MISINTERPRETED ABUSED OR USED FOR PERSONAL GAIN TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN SERIOUS REPROCUSSIONS..14. A N. WILL ESTABLISH A BRANCH IN UNION WITH ALL THESE SET PROCEDURES, MEANING UNDERSTANDING AND ACKNOWLEDGEING SAID PROCEDURES ARE MANDITORY….CON ESO ES TODO C/R
There is no evidence of Norteños ever being successful in establishing any subsets south of the Delano, California line. Although Southern California statistically has a warmer climate, a larger economy and several renowned cities; it is also gang infested and overpopulated with social services that are stretched to the limit discouraging relocation from less burdened areas in Northern California. Southern California is often considered “Dirty” to many Northerners. Ironically, many of the Northerners concerns regarding Southern California are also often the primary reason for southern Latinos migrating away from Southern California to other areas including Northern California, with the creation of Sureño allied youth gangs in these new areas being a side effect.
Another theory is that geographic expansion is not one of the Norteño’s primary concerns; yet Norteño sets can be found in Salt Lake City, UT, Spokane, WA, Albuquerque, NM, Denver, CO, Twin Cities, MN, Tampa, FL, Phoenix, AZ, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, McMinnville,OR, El Paso, TX, and Plant City, FL. It would seem that establishing a presence outside of California may be more important to Norteños than the attainment of any Southern California rival territory. However it is more likely that Norteños have not yet penetrated Southern California simply due to the immense numbers of Sureños (in L.A. numbering more than the Crips and Bloods combined) who have been embedded in Southern California neighborhoods for many generations.
Sureños, on the other hand, have migrated and established subsets in many cities north of Delano, California, violating the Northern/Southern California dividing line. Typically, they will choose sleepy dwellings where there is little or no Norteño gang influence to initially challenge them; though a Sureño presence in San Francisco’s Mission District, Salinas, Stockton, Richmond, Sacramento, and San Bruno have proven to be exceptions. Gang expansion into a rivals territory, especially a primary rival, usually demands that the threatened gang attack and drive back the offenders. But it would appear that due to the Norteños fewer numbers and the more open landscape of Northern California, that they are forced to concentrate their numbers and strength on defending primary areas while leaving secondary and less defendable areas open to Sureño occupation. Despite this, and due to the ratio of Sureños to Norteños throughout California, most Sureños outside of prison will never have a face to face encounter with a Norteño in their lifetime.
La Nuestra Familia Constitution
La Nuestra Familia anniversary day September 16th 1972.
The Nuestra familia philosophy:
All new members must spill the blood of the enemy to prove their nuestra familia loyalty, as the Nuestra familia will not hesitate to spill the blood of a member who turns coward, traitor, or deserter. Blood In, Blood out is, in fact, an Nuestra familia ritual, not a myth. Blood in relates to the Blood spilled during initiation, and Blood out alludes to the consequences of trying to depart from the gang.
The Nuestra Familia Original Constitution:
ARTICLE I. Supreme Commander
Section I. The Nuestro General ( NG ) is the supreme power in the organization known as la Nuestra Familia. His power shall have no limit ( within ART, I, II, III). Solely he can declare war for the entire O and once in a state of war, peace shall no prevail until the announcement from the Nuestro General.
Section II. The Nuestro General will automatically be released from any duties and responsibilities upon receiving a date of one year or less.
Section III. The Nuestro General will be a seasoned experienced warrior. This qualification is mandatory in order to hold this high office. When the time comes for the Nuestra General to pick a successor, he will do so from the ranks of the commanders at his disposal.
Section IV. In case of an emergency and the Nuestro General is downed, the captain at the pinta will take over and automatically declare war until the first captain can automatically assume the rank of Nuestro General. In this emergency, the home captain will have no power to appoint or replace any or all position in the high command of la nuestra familia.
Section V. The Nuestro General has the power, in the state of war conditions (as regards to structure), to appoint captains. In peace time, he will retain the power to discharge any commander that is negligent in the function of his position; however he will relinquish his power to appoint captains if the familia knows where the captain has been discharged at and has no reserve captain to take command. The familia body of said disposed captain will elect a successor.
Section VI. A discharged commander will lose his rank of captain and said authority of that rank.
Section VII. Only applies in time of peace.
Section VIII. The Nuestro General, upon receiving a complaint from one of his soldados that the authority of which he is under is unjustly using their powers over him due to personal conflict, He the Nuestro General will appoint a committee of no less then three soldados from that particular clan to investigate said charges, and each is to report to the Nuestro General.
Section IX. The Nuestro General will always keep in touch with all familianos leaving to the streets, until a branch in union of La Nuestra Familia is established.
Section X. The Nuestro General can have as many as ten (10) active commanders at one time. He will grade them as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on according to their leadership abilities and their overall foresight.
Section XI. The Nuestro General will appoint a first captain or commander who will be his successor, and is the Nuestro General becomes incommunicado, the first captain of the Nuestra Familia will have the responsibilities to see that every captain of said O works and governs within the constitution.
Section XII. The successor only applies as far as the first captain is concerned. The Nuestro General has the right to select the first captain.
ARTICLE II. Discharge from all duties of Nuestro General.
Section I. The Nuestro General may be impeached from office where it is the opinion of all commanders holding office at that time and that he isn’t working in the best interests of the organization and this can be derived by a petition or document with signatures of each captains own writing.
Section II. Upon receiving the document, the Nuestro General will automatically lose all power, but he may challenge the legality of the signatures, in which case a soldado will be appointed by the body to write to the captains and verify their vote.
Section III. Upon confirmation of a discharge of the Nuestro General, he will lose all power, rank, and the successor will move into that position.
ARTICLE III. Objective and Bylaws of Nuestra Familia.
Section I. The primary purpose and goal of this organization is for the betterment of its members and the building up of this organization on the outside into a strong and self supporting familia.
Section II. All Members will work solely for this objective and will put all personal goals and feelings aside until said fulfillment is accomplished.
Section III. A familiano will not be released from his obligation towards the organization because he is released from prison, but will work twice as hard to see that a familia is established and will work in the hand with the organization that’s already established behind the walls (pinta).
Section IV. A familiano will remain a member until death or otherwise discharged from the organization. And he will always be subject to put the best interest of the organization first and always above everything else, in or out of prison.
Section V. An automatic death sentence will be put on a familiano that turns coward, traitor or deserter. Under no other circumstances will a bother familiano be responsible for the spilling the blood of a fellow familiano. To do so will be considered as an act of treason.
Section VI. In order for (ART. II, Sec. V ) to be invoked, the regiment governing body will hold a vote amongst themselves and pass sentence. Majority rules. In the case of a tie vote, the decision will lie with the captain, and his decision shall be final.
Section VII. All present familianos is said organization La Nuestra Familia acknowledge said constitution upon reading it and will be held accountable for his actions is said constitution is not followed.
ARTICLE IV. Regimental captain.
Section I. A captain is a regimental commander of La Nuestra Familia and holds the rank just below el Nuestro General. Their responsibilities are to lead and direct La Nuestra Familia regiments under his care to successfully accomplish the goals set forth in
(ART. I, SEC V).
Section II. For the purpose, he (captain) shall have the choice of selecting his own lieutenants (tenientes) and shall have the power to dismiss the lieutenants if he (captain) feels that they are not accepting or handling their responsibilities of leadership. In times of peace, a dismissed lieutenant has the option of invoke (ART. I, SEC V).
Section III. Due to circumstances beyond our control, it may be that there will be more then one captain in the regiment at the same time. If a captain is transferred from a familia regiment to another where there is already a captain, the captain with the highest rank will take command, and the other will be in reserve according to their rank.
Section IV. A captain will have a grade rating of 1st, 2nd , 3rd and so forth, as
( ART. III, SEC. III) can be invoked. Also, the lower the number rating, the greater their authority. And no captain can override or contradict the orders of a higher- ranking commander without directions of the Nuestra Familias Nuestro General.
Section V. There shall never be more then ten ( 10 ) captains in the Organization at any time. This includes reserves. If there are already ten captains in the Organization and a regiment is without a captain or commander due to ( ART. III, SEC. III ), the 1st lieutenant will run the familia (regiment) temporality until a commander arrives or there is an opening of rank of captain.
Section VI. The reserve captains will only take power if the governing one is downed or discharge by the Nuestro General. It will be the duty of the governing commander to take and show him the internal functions of the regiment in order for that reverse captain will be qualified to govern the regiment if the need arrives.
Section VII. All captains will hold equal rank and therefore one cannot order the other, except under ( ART. III, SEC. IV ) or where the reserve captain has set forth efficiently running the familia ( regiment ). In that case, the reserve captain will cease to interfere or he will be brought before the Nuestro General.
Section VIII. The reserve captain only has as much power as the governing commander wants bestowed on him and not more. The familia body, should at all times know the Structure of the reserve captain.
Section IX. In time of war, the captain is only answerable to the Nuestro General, and no soldado shall question the order set forth by him personally or through one of his tenientes. To question said orders could be a treasonable act, as outlined in ( ART. I, II, SEC. V. ), depending on the seriousness of the offence, which will lie with the captain to determine.
Section X. In time of peace, as in a time of war, a captain is answerable to the Nuestro General; however, in time of peace, is a familiano soldado feels that the power or powers of the structure in his regiment is misusing their appointed authority against him to conflicted personalities, he has the right as an honorable member of this Organization to appeal to the Supreme Commander Nuestro General, as per ( ART. I, SEC. V ).
Section XI. The commander shall be responsible for the welfare and lives of the soldados under his command at all times, and there shall be no suicidal missions ordered by a commander. A suicidal mission shall be translated as an act where the soldado has no chance of survival.
Section XII. Home Captain where Nuestro General has his headquarters shall be held responsible if anything should happen to the Nuestro General. It will be the duty of the captain to personally see that two of his best warriors be with the Nuestro General whenever possible. If the Nuestro General is downed, the captain will be stripped of all rank after the state of war is over.
( ART. I, SEC. III ).
ARTICLE V. Functions and qualities of a lieutenant
Section I. A lieutenant is the third in the power ladder of La Nuestra Familia, he is under the captain. He’s the representative of La Nuestra Familia, as he will be in contact with all familianos at all times and, therefore, he should at all times set a good example for the soldados to follow.
Section II. While in the state of war, and the arms quota drops below the specified requirement, it shall be the first priority of the lieutenant to restore to par as outlined in ( ART. V, SEC. II ).
Section III. Each lieutenant shall have a certain number of soldados assigned to him. He shall be responsible for their schooling and basic needs and conducts.
Section IV. Whenever one or all of his soldados go into combat with any enemies of La Nuestra Familia, he ( lieutenant ) shall present the captain with a full report of what occurred.
Section V. The lieutenant shall have rating of 1st, 2nd, 3rd . This rating shall be given to them by the captain according to their experience and leadership abilities.
Section VI. It shall be the duties of the lieutenant to keep a record of all known names and numbers of La Nuestra Familia. Each day, he shall check all new arrivals who enter his territory against the record books and make a report to his captain.
Section VII. All lieutenants shall question all new familiano assigned to him for information as to unknown enemies of La Nuestra Familia. New information shall go into the record book and whenever one of his soldados is transferred to another pinta, a copy of the record book shall be sent with the soldado.
Section VIII. It shall be the responsibilities of the lieutenant to inform the captain of the departure of his soldados in order so that the familia of the other regiment can be informed.
ARTICLE VI. Familiano Soldados.
Section I. all requests for membership into this organization shall be made to the captain.Any member can make such a request for any individual providing such requesting is willing to accpept full responsibilities for said individual.
Section II. Final decision for membership shall not be made until 30 days have elapsed from such a request, and the governing body of the regiment must approve the request for any new membership.
Section III. No applicant will be considered for membershipif he the (applicant) misrepresents his qualifications. also once a member and soldado misrepresents his actions in battle for the benefit of making his action seem more valories, he will be subject to be disqualified under ( ART.I, SEC.V ), a minor offense, or ( ART.I, SEC.V), Expelled from the Organization, depending upon the circumtances and seriousness of the lie.
Section IV. Membership of this Organization shall be restricted one those of the latin extraction. No maximum or minium shall be involked by this constitution in so far as membership into this Organization is concerned; however, such limitations may be extablished by the Nuestro General as to be neccessary to maintain proper control, although others of other extractions ( Race’s ) will
will be considered with the consent of both the captain and the Nuestro General.
ARTICLE VII. Discipline and conduct.
Section I.The regimental captain shall pass sentence for all minor in fractions of
conduct. In time of war, there will be no appeal to the Nuestro General.
Section II. Punishment shall be administered by the lieutenant
( ART.IV, SEC.III ) or by the regiment as a whole, when ordered by the familia commander.
Section III. All familianos shall be subject to disciplinary action or immediate expulsion from this Organization ( ART.II, SEC.V ). In the case of misconduct or behavior unbecoming of a member, said conditions shall prevail with regards to the individual towards another member, the Organization as a whole, or his superiors.
Section IV. Under no conditions will there be any fighting between famialianos. To do so will bring on disciplinary action and if blood is spilled, it will result in the expulsion of one or parties invoked ( ART.II, SEC. V ).
Section V. No member of this Organization shall put material things, whether it be drugs,money,women, or punks ( related to pinta ) before the best interest of La Nuestra Familia or a familiano.
Section VI. No familiano shall lie about his position in La Nuestra Familia nor discussing familiano business to a superior or to a brother member. Ther shall be no lying or giving false impressions.
Section VII. It is the sacred duty of a familiano guerrero to do battle for La Nuestra Familia, and no soldado should feel that because he fought for his Organization that he is entitled to special privileges. All that matters is that you as a guerrero of La Nuestra Familia are living up to your responsibilities.
remember that a true guerrero does not need to boost of his accomplishments.
Section VIII. Under no circumtance is any portion of this constitution to be altered without notification of el Nuestro General and one third of his captains staff, nor shall a familiano or familiano regiment put their own interpretation upon said constitution. It is to be read in its entirely. All Sections that relate to one concept are to be read as such.
As familianos began to be paroled, they were given advance instructions, assignments, and other orders to report to the designated location, where they were reunited with other familianos already established on the streets. They were given additional orders and instructions and assigned a street regimental position. The main objective of a familiano on the street was to organize moneymaking ventures and establish a familiano bank and organizational territories. They would then be given a new set of rules, regulations and responsibilities.
The Nuestra Familia wrote a constitutional subdivision in order to avoid creating any unnecessary problems on the street’s and it reads:
The Nuestra Familia constitution subdivision for the streets:
Section I. The building up of this organization on the outside will be done in these three steps.
Section II. The first step consists of establishing a self supporting familia regiment. Each shall have a bank with $ 10,000 basis, or less than $1,000, and shall have both into business in part or in whole.
The Nuestra Familia constitution subdivision for the streets:
Section I. The building up of this organization on the outside will be done in these three steps.
Section II. The first step consists of establishing a self supporting familia regiment. Each shall have a bank with $ 10,000 basis, or less than $1,000, and shall have both into business in part or in whole.
Section III. The Familia ( regiment ) bank will be responsible for all financial matters that occur within its own territory ( Familia ) town or pertains to its own business ventures, and soldados under their juristruction shall assist any familiano in their regiment who, due to a mission. find himself in a need of a lawyer, doctor or bail. the bank that is supporting the venture will be obligated to furnish him with these items.The familia bank,is just like the main bank, will be into legal business…but unlike the main bank, it will have no restrictuions about the legality of such places. All the profit that are derived from the Nuestra Familia Bank will go into the familia bank and from it will be distributed to its barrios functions.
Section IV. The Familia lieutenant shall lead and direct the regiment to fulfill the goals set forth in the subdivision of the constitutionand the constitution in general. He, the lieutenant, shall be in charge of the bank and see to it that it function as described in ( ART. I, SEC. II ) of this subdivision.
Section V. The Familiano soldados at first will be expected to make sacrifices in so far as they commit an illegal venture. All profits will go into the familia bank. This should be until the bank is strong enough to buy its first bank. Once this is accomplished, the soldado can either be paid on a commission basis by a pay scale. The discretion will be up to the Familia until tstep three is put into effect.
Section VI. Mandatory rules and regulations in active service on the street:
1.) Neither rank-and-file familianos shall take narcotics or any other habit-forming drugs.
2.) All active rank-and-file familianos will be expected to have a legal job.
3.) No heavy or excessive drinking while on duty.
4.) No familiano shall take upon his own personal venture without authorization from his superiors.
Section VII. Upon a familiano reaching his fiftieth ( 50 ) birthday and has given at least twenty ( 20 ) years of loyalty and dedicated service, he shall be given an alternative whether he wants to go into semi-retirement, meaning that he will be put to manage one of the main banks business and will have nothing to do with the illegal activities. However, in time of war, he may be called back into active duty by the Nuestro General. If a familiano hasn’t got the mental capacity for a management job he will be given some other work with the authority within the main bank.
Section I. The second step will be to establish the main bank and the regiment captain. each regiment captain will have several familia regiments under him, depending on the ammount of active familianos under his structure.
Section II. The main bank will have dual functions of being a reseve in case of any emergancy for the familia bank and will also buy into legitimate business. the first responsibility consist of supporting all wars declared by the Nuestro General and all expenses that go to the Organization in the prison system. All expenses for a familiano sent on a mission outside of his terrotory of his home familia, unless said mission is a moneymaking venture, in which case the home familia of that soldado will pay all expenses. It will be used for primary expenses of building up a new familia regiment and as a payroll source for the regimental commander and Nuestro General.
Section III. The second function of the main bank will be to buy into legitimate businesses, but will always have enough cash resources to meet any emergency that the familia bank may have. All business being under the jurisdiction of said bank will be kept strckly legal, and no illegal activities will be used to broaden the legitimate business or to establish other businesses, Except in an emergency, the main bank may confiscate money from any familia bank as needed to combat any crisis. But it will be the responsibility of said bank ( main bank ) to repay all cash money to the familia bank. The only exception to this rule of reimbursement is when the emegency is war.
Secition IV. Regiment commanders as stated in ( ART.II, SEC. I ) of this subdivision will see to it that all familianos function within the structure. He, the commander, should be the communication link between the familia regiment, and Nuestro General security for the familia regiment under his care shall fall under the jurisdiction of the regimental commander.
Section I. The third step will only be activated when this organization has accomplished the two prior steps.
( ART.I, SEC. I,and ART.II, SEC. I ) of this subdivision and it authority in the pinta feels that the outside counterpart of this organization is strong enough to step up under their own government and in which he, the Nuestro General,
will instruct the regimental commander to activate step three.
The Nuestra Familia (CAT) System:
The Nuestra Familia Category (CAT) system was designed and/or developed in order to categorize each member according to his rank, caliber and educational status. This in turn allows our leadership to keep sort of track on a member’s educational standings and his progress, which will enable each member to be assigned to an individual responsibility or to a position with additional responsibilities according to his experience in a wide range of areas that coincide with the member’s knowledge and know- how. All members will start out as a (CAT I). Member and the highest ranking position is that of a (CAT III). Member. A new recruit is automatically given the ranking of a (CAT). I member.
CAT I. This member is basically a new member in training, and these new members are taught the very basic of the Organization and its history, functions and goals. It is at this first stage of Nuestra Familia membership when a member learns the Nuestra Familia Constitution, Weaponry skills and enemy identification. A (CAT). I member does not generally hold any type of leadership position.
CAT II. Once a member reaches this advanced phase of membership, he is considered to be completely knowledgeable of all (CAT I) requirements. (CAT II) Members are given in depth training in a wide variety of Nuestra Familia areas and in turn are responsible for training (CAT I) members.
CAT III. This is the Nuestra Familias Leadership, and these member’s are to seasoned soldados that have the authority to make Organization decisions for all those under their guidance, according to existing policies and procedures. A (CAT III) member is also responsible for establishing Organization territories, making sure (CAT II) members are upholding their responsibilities and that they are making sure all Nuestra Familia Members under their guidance are fulfilling their obligations within the Nuestra Familia Constitution.
Along with the CAT system, the new leadership put together an Organizational Governing Body (O.G.B) so that no one member could ever be given sole, completely and or supreme authority. Under this new leadership, overall authority resided in a three member board known as La Mesa or La Tabla (The Table). Unlike sosas unlimited dictatorial authority, the three top ranking Nuestra Familia members
(known as O.G.B representative) were voted into their leadership position, receiving equal yet limited authority. They were governed by a set of O.G.B rules and regulations that read:
1.) The Original Governing Body (O.G.B) will govern and oversee all organizational activities.
2.) There shall be no more then three Original Governing Body (O.G.B) members at one time.
3.) The three Original Governing Body (O.G.B) members shall be titled as such:
a.) Speaker and Chief.
b.) Leader of the guerreros.
c.) Keeper of the armies.
4.) All members of the Original Governing Body (O.G.B) will respectfully guide the directives and honor the will of the people.
5.) Any member who is considered to be a re-entry shall not be allowed to hold Original Governing Body (O.G.B) responsibilities.
6.) In order to fulfill any vacancy within the Original Governing Body (O.G.B), all prospective members must rank no lower then that of a (CAT III) member.
7.) All member’s who are selected to assume Original Governing Body (O.G.B) responsibilities must have already made the ultimate sacrifice for the Organization and can have no less then ten (10) years of loyal membership.
8.) The replacement and or removal of an Original Governing Body (O.G.B) member must arrive solely from a three fourth (3/4) majority rules vote honored by all (CAT III) member’s.
9.) No one Original Governing Body (O.G.B) member has the authority to make any major Organizational decisions unless in accordance with at least one other Original Governing Body (O.G.B) member.
10.) Any and all decisions made by a two-third (2/3) vote of the
Original Governing Body (O.G.B) shall be final.
In English, Nuestra Raza (NR) means our race. Its primary purpose and goals are to work for the betterment of la raza. Mutual respect, and social equality for all nortenos. The Nuestra Raza a spawned prison gang. It seen as an extension of the Nuestra Familia. Founded in new Folsom state prison, its also known as the northern structure. Its members, like familianos, are considered the hardcore inmates, and the majority are Latinos, who come from violent backgrounds, have lengthy criminal histories and are from Northern California. Most Nuestra Raza members and their associated refer to the Nuestra Raza as the cause, the struggle and/or the elite circle. The Nuestra Raza members themselves are called Nortenos, hermanos (brothers) or B’s. But are most commonly referred to as bros. Its insignia is an eagle holding a dagger in its beak with a sombrero in one talon and a book in the other and now the open book is inscribed:
A lion cannot avoid the cages. As a fox cannot avoid the trap, but if a lion learns to think like a fox, he can avoid being trapped…
The Nuestra Familia New Concept:
Our future behind the walls depending the largely upon each and every one of us as Nortenos. The will to leave old attitudes to the past and the will to adopt new and more meaningful and fulfilling ideas. The determination to fight and challenge all those whom oppose our unity and advancement towards equal justice. Let each of us as Nortenos recognize the true purpose of our struggle as a close knit raza. Furthermore, let us also be the enlightenment and inspiration of others behind the walls that stand victims to the prejudice and the abuse of the misused authority within the penal system. Advancement demands change. It is each Nortenos responsibility to promote unity amongst our kind as well as any other raza in need of our guidance, assistance or our moral support. A true believer of our struggle is to be treated with dignity and respect on all levels. The true purpose and goals of a Norteno behind the walls is to establish a strong positive attitude for himself as well as for the raza and any other minorities in such need. It is apparent that within a Notenos struggle for better educational opportunities, social respect, and equality, their exist those who are of the same heritage and background who for their own selfish reasons create obstacles and work alongside of other group segment that are contrary o the peoples struggle. These degenerates are known as vendidos, who thrive upon their own peoples hard work, sweat, and blood. Within our struggle there is no room whatsoever for the vendidos of their kind. Those who seek to destroy and undermine our razas efforts to rise above their standards of living have through their own actions made it possible for us and others groups like us to come together, henceforth presenting a strong united front. It is urgent that a Norteno understands his duties and responsibilities and at the same time asserts and anticipates the many sacrifices we will all come to endure at one time or another. Many of us will make it to the streets, and some will eventually return, while others will not make it for a very long time and still others will never make it beyond these walls. However, while we are on the inside, we must establish a strong foothold in the pinta for all of those who will remain and those who shall return. Our foremost and ultimate goal is to eventually establish a strong front in all the pintas where one is able to do his time and enjoy all the advantages and privileges that makes existence behind the walls a more bearable one, while at the same time, expanding ones area of need such as education, vacation and other necessities essential to our future accomplishments. Once firmly established in the pinta, our struggles will gradually expand into the streets. The struggle on the streets will of course be on a much greater scale and will basically follow the same concept of La Nuestra Raza. To fully succeed in our cause, the investment if hard work and time will be much. There will be stumbling blocks in the midst of our paths, but through this we shall allow our set backs to serve us as experience, and this experience will be the spirit that puts the fire in our hearts and minds for our future accomplishments and victories. To fully accomplish our set goals and objectives, all Nortenos must function on the same level of awareness and discipline. This involves the following of the 14 bonds of Nuestra Raza rules and regulations adopted for all Nortenos, as all fronts must function on the same level.
Nuestra Raza rules and regulations are known as the 14 bonds:
1.) All Nortenos will strive for a better education, respect, and social status of equality. This includes and goes beyond acquiring any any all incentives and privileges entitled to an inmate.
2.) All Nortenos will take a strong positive attitude towards aiding and assisting all those of Latin descent, as well as any other minority group worthy of our cause. it is out duty to work together in harmony and unite those forces in alliance with us to reach out set goals.
3.) All Nortenos will do everything in his reach and capability to acquire mainline status. for these are the grounds we must secure for our fellow nortenos and all those who live for the cause to have a strong establishment pinta to go to without the threat or interference of the opposition.
4.) In order to continue our struggle with far less difficulties, these shall be no tolerance created by internal confrontation, individualism or homeboy favoritism. No Norteno will spread false rumors or negative gossip about a fellow Norteno, and at no time will a Norteno attempt to take advantage of, or disrespect, a fellow Nortenos ruca or familia. To do so will result in serious repercussions.
5.) All Nortenos will acknowledge and respect the authority in charge at all times. No Norteno will feel inferior to one who holds rank or position. Nor will a Norteno holding rank or a position of some type feel superior over his fellow Nortenos because of his status.
6.) And and all data pretaining to a new arrival shall be reported through its proper channels immediately See Household Procedures, especially that which endangers a life or is contrary to the cause.
7.) At no time will a Norteno endanger the life of a fellow Norteno. Ther shall be no fighting amongst Nortenos, Nor shall any cowardice dealing with the K-9 or enemy be tolerated to do so will be dealt with accordingly.
8.) No Norteno will lie or boast about his status. Be the rank or file, he will take high regards for his physical and mental well being and will always strive to better himself and become more aware and educated in all aspects relevent to the accomplishments of our set goals.
9.) Should a Norteno be transferred from one facility to another it is his sole duty to establish a branch in union to procedures set henceforth and work hand-in-hand with other Nortenos at said facility and parallel with other pintas.
10.) Every chapter and stronghold of Nortenos will keep track of all enemy and enemy activities behind enemy lines.
11.) It is each Nortenos responsibility that is aware of our struggle to teach and school all those destined for the pinta. No Norteno should enter the pinta blind or without knowledge of our struggle behind the walls.
12.) A Norteno will protect and defend his household to the fullest, No matter the circumstances or consequence. This means standing next to a fellow Norteno or the cause both battle or struggle, To abandon such responsibilities will be considered as an act of treason.
13.) A Norteno leaving to the streets is encouraged to assist his fellow Norteno behind the walls in whatever form or fashion he may choose and this is not manditory, But is a step towards the elite circle of dedicated Norteno Soldados.
14.) A Norteno shall stay abreast of all new laws, policies and procedures. No portion or this format is to be misinterpreted or abused for personal gain. To do so will be considered as an act of treason.
In accordance with all other rules and regulations, the following household policies and procedures have been designed and or developed with the best interest, safaty and well being of all Nortenos.
1.) All Nortenos are expected to honor their commitment and to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.
2.) Our security and the chain or command are of the utmost importance and shall be respected as such.
3.) Orders and instructions are not to be questioned. It is each Nortenos responsibility to do everything in his capability to fulfill his obligations.
4.) If a Norteno has any questions and or a problem og some sort, It shall be brought to the attention of his squad leader.
5.) All Nortenos shall remain awake and alert during the hours of unlock. It is required that shoes must be worn during these hours.
6.) It is each Nortenos responsibility to stay abreast of his surroundings, as any and all internal discussions are to be kept within the circle, and no words pertaining to our schooling are to be spoken to any outsiders.
7.) All Nortenos shall be required to participate in our daily calisthelics. Those with a verified medical condition are the only exception to this rule.
8.) Yard is manditory, there are no exceptions.
9.) All paperwork, weapons and weapons stock must be secured at all times. Especially while away from ones cell.
10.) We as nortenos must lead as examples. Failure to adhere to these household policies and precedures will be considered as an act of insubordination and will be dealt with accordingly.
Revised Objective and Bylaws:
1.) The primary purpose and goals of this Organization is for the betterment of its members and the building up of this Organization into a strong and self supporting Organization.
2.) All Members will work solely for this purpose, putting all personal feelings and goals aside until said fulfillment is accomplished.
3.) All Members shall remain a member unless otherwise discharged. He will alwats be subject to put the Organizations best interests first and alwats above everything else.
4.) A Member will honor his commitment in fulfilling his responsibilities in establishing this Organizations territories and work in hand with other members.
5.) Expulsion is automatic for any member who turns coward, traitor or deseter. Expulsion is the revolking of membership respect and all benefits this Organization has to offer.
6.) In order to involk (Sec.5, Art 1), The regimental governing body will hold a vote amongs themselves (majority rules). In case of a tie vote, the decision will lie with a representative of the Original Governing Body and his decision shall be final.
1.) All requests for membership will be made to the Original Governing Body according to existing policies at all times the request is made, and any member can make such a request for any individual.
2.) Any individual seeking membership can be denied or excluded for misrepresentation of his qualifications or intentions.
3.) The Original Governing Body has the power to impose limitations or authorize exceptions regarding recruitment.
Article - III:
1.) All members are subject to disciplinary action or expulsion for his misconduct or behavior unbecoming of a member. Said condition shall prevail with regards to the member, his superiors, or the Organization as a whole.
2.) The Original Governing Body will govern and oversee all Organization policies and precedures. And and all decisions made by the Original Governing Body shall be final.
3.) The RSD will pass all sentencing and see to the administering of punishment for all minor infractions of conduct.
4.) A member will not disrepect a fellow member or his superiors, be that in actions or words.
5.) At no time shall their be any fighting amongs members. To do so will result in the expulsion of one or both parties involved.
6.) A member will not lie or give false impressions when discussing Organization business with another member or his superiors.
7.) No member shall put material things before a fellow or this Organization, including money, women or drugs.
8.) It is the sacred duty of a member to honor his commitment to this Organization and no member shall feel entitled to any special privileges because of his rank or actions. All that should matter is that you are living up to your responsibilities as a member. Remember a true familiano does not need to brag or boost about his accomplishments.
9.) Under no circumstances shall a member mislead another member nor misinterpret this constitution for personal gain, nor are there to be any alterations without notification of at least two - thirds ( 2/3 ) decision from the Original Governing body.