"The Mexican Mafia originated in the mid-1950s at the Duel Vocational Institute in Tracy, California. The prison, originally built to house young male offenders, soon became the home of many Mexican-American street gang members mostly from barrios, or neighborhoods, in East Lost Angeles.
During this time White inmates enjoyed control over most of the trustee positions which offered them many prison luxuries. But more importantly, the Whites controlled the prison underworld. The Mexican-American inmates wanted more freedom and more importantly, to control the prison drug trade.
A small group of Mexican-American inmates organized themselves into what would become to be known as the Mexican Mafia. They patterned their organization after the Italian Mafia, which was often discussed in the media during the 1950s. They even copied the Black Hand symbol used by the Italians. As the g
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