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Roleplaying with the Mexican Mafia

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This is a guide to give people a little insight on what's expected of them when role playing with or around the Mexican Mafia. Most players have little to no idea how the mafia works and don't feel like reading a two hundred page book. (The Black Hand by Chris Blatchford. If you want further information, you should read it.) Hopefully this guide will at least give you some background information. A heads up that lots of the prison related information was taken from here


It is suggested that you first role play as a Sureno gang banger in some of the many Sureno gangs that we have on BA:RP for development reasons, but it's not required. You can make up your own background, but it's suggested that you role play being a convicted gang banger Keep in mind that prison is a limited environment, same as it is in real life. Often at times your character's feelings and qualities will be the only thing possible to role play. If you are looking to become affiliated with or join the Mexican Mafia, you should keep in mind that the Mafia will only recruit Sureno gang bangers to conduct Mafia business, whether they be white or Mexican. Black members are strictly forbidden. Once you are in prison, you should think about your characters feelings, but most 
Sureno gang bangers have been taught not to show cowardice since a young age. Most Sureno gang bangers aspire to "graduate" to prison, earn a reputation and eventually join the Mafia. It's urban legend around the streets that the Mafia is a very secret organization and that even speaking about the Mafia could result in an eight inch bone crusher stuck in your sternum. You should fear the Mafia.

What crime should your character be in prison for? Your character is in prison, he has obviously committed some kind of a felony or repeated charge. The most common crimes for which people get put into state prisons are usually armed or violent offenses, such as an armed robbery or attempted murder. It is strongly suggested you do a research on the California penal system. You are to be expected to role play a realistic crime-to-years aspect. If you are strictly a lifer, you are not allowed to get out of your sentence, attempts to do so are power gaming. Unlawful acts you commit while in prison may raise your current sentence, depending on how investigation and sentencing goes. Crimes which are not allowed to be role played if you wish to get affiliated with the Mafia are pedophilia, rape and child murder related charges. Prisoners who get sentenced to those, usually have a very hard time with other inmates. A lot of them get moved to protective custody. Nobody in prison likes a pedophile or rapist.


If you are wanting to join the Mexican Mafia, you must learn how to act around the Mafia. You will most likely hear rumors about who's a member, and who you shouldn't mess with, otherwise you will end up dead. Members of the Mafia will often not speak with outsiders, unless they are a trusted camarada and even then it's very blurry. The Mafia does not recruit or "buddy up" with homosexuals, but they often use them for their prostitution business.

The Mafia does not only recruit Hispanic gang bangers, they also recruit white gang bangers for their ranks. Many heavyweights in the Mexican Mafia in real life are white. There are split opinions between carnal's on whether they should accept white members or not. Some Mafia loyalists believe that it should be 100% Hispanic while others believe that it's okay for white members to be recruited. Take this into mind, because it could develop you some enemies and make it harder for you to join the Mafia if you are white. 

1. Sureno gang members, either on the outside or in the inside, they are considered pawns. Most of them can't see past the gang banging mentality, but the ones that stand out are watched by the Mafia and considered for association.

2. Camaradas, they are the Sureno gang members that become associated with the Mafia. They will either run business for a mob guy on the outside, or they will become a lap dog for them on the inside. They are on their way to becoming members of the Mafia.

3. Meseros, they are trusted Camaradas on the inside of prison that are shot callers on the mainline yards of prisons. They are members of La Mesa and are on a fast track to becoming made in the Mafia.

You don't find the Mafia, the Mafia finds you. Keep in mind that the Mafia only recruits the most violent, yet smart individuals to conduct their business. You can't be too violent or too smart, otherwise the Mafia will consider you a threat and you will be taken out. Respect is key. If you happen to earn yourself a reputation in prison, you will be watched by members of the Mafia to see if you are trustworthy. If deemed a trustworthy and viable candidate a carnal will either: 

a) Make you his runner and take you under his wing. You will most likely be like a henchman for him, conveying kites or messages to other members of the Mafia, which will spread your reputation and earn you more respect.

b) Place you on the Mesa (the table,) which will make you a shot caller on the mainline yards of a prison. You won't answer to nobody but a carnal.

c) If you're serving a short prison term, carnales might use you on the outside to conduct business for them. This ranges from
conducting hits, trafficking drugs, collecting taxes from street gangs or taking care of his family.


When you end in prison, people will look at you and try to figure you. You make sure you get a good start and build your roots in. You can't be too soft, but you can't be too hard. You need to comply with the shot callers responsible for your race, get on their good side. Whites hang at the southern benches, blacks are at the northern benches, Hispanics have the gym. When inside, the Hispanics usually hang by the benches near the TV in A1. You need to respect those boundaries and work with them.

Prisoners from different race and different affiliation are not meant to hang together without a reason for the public eye. 
Prisoners who talk to guards may be viewed as untrustworthy or as snitches. That's why if you are new and you have no reputation, you should avoid doing any of those. In the beginning of your sentence, you would avoid the guards and refuse 
cooperation with them. If any business should be conducted with whites or African-Americans, it should go through a Mesero (shotcaller.) Gangs don't take too kindly to members hanging with other colors, unless they have a good reason or permission. If you keep on doing this, it might get you a bad reputation, get you labeled as a race traitor or cause you various other problems. Inmates still follow the code of silence, refusing to cooperate and talk to guards.

Respect the reputation of the guards and act accordingly to it. If there is a new guard on duty, a rookie, you may mess with him. You can try to abuse him verbally, get him in check with reality in prison, make his day a hard one. 
If you happen to bump into a guard who has a reputation of being tough and mowing down inmates, you may want to respect that and stay away from him. Your behavior towards guards is the same as towards other inmates, it is based on reputation.

In your free time, like any other person, you would aim to fill it with something. Apart from helping maintain prison-related issues, you will have to do something else. Some members choose to exercise their body, some choose to read, some choose to work a permanent job, some choose to make money, others choose to talk and play cards all day, some even choose to get an education. It's all about making yourself useful, a lot of the work, skills and connections built get you perks. Doing somebody a favor may result in him returning the favor. Having a good reputation with a cook might get you a bigger food portion. Having a hard reputation on the yard can cause some inmates to fear you. It all depends in what you build your character to be.

When there are issues with outside gangs or races, they get talked to with the gang responsible for it. 
A problematic white will usually be dealt with by speaking to a white shot caller. If a black inmate is acting out of line, 
talking with the Felons would be required. If the go is given (unless they decide to handle it themselves), then you do what you want.


A governing body that conducts Mafia business inside of the prison. It's a tight-knit group hand picked by Mafioso to 
run the general population yards, due to many members of the Mafia serving in determinant SHU sentences. They operate under the orders of the Mafia. Their activities range from narcotic distribution, prostitution (of other weak Hispanic inmates,) murder, and extortion. Members of the Mesa are usually trusted soldiers or family members of mob guys. The difference between a Mesero or camarada and a gang banger serving time in prison is that you have the respect of the Mafia and you are on a fast track to becoming a made member.


The books were opened, and the carnal you were working for pulled through, he put your name forth and the other carnal's agreed. You're in. There's no formal ceremony, which is often associated to the Italian Cosa Nostra. You are simply approached by your sponsor or "big brother" who is the carnal that put your name forward. He tells you that you are in, tells you about the Mafia and shows you the ropes. Keep in mind that you are just a young punk, and that older carnales have more "palabra" or influence than you. But being in the Mafia means that nobody can disrespect you, nobody can make moves on you. You feel like you're invincible. You will probably receive a prison-made tattoo that affiliates you with the Mexican Mafia, but you must be careful of the DOC's gang unit, because they may give you a in determinant SHU sentence for being a member of a violent prison gang, which will slow you down. You are told the rules of the Mafia (confidential), but as you progress, you learn that the rules are constantly broken, but you don't say anything, because that could put a target on your back. Mob guys are constantly politicking against each other, searching for power. You will probably be manipulated by Mafia heavyweights in order to get your support. You should watch out who you side with. If you decide to side with a heavyweight, you will be apart of a faction within the Mafia that shares the same goal. A faction is a group
of carnales that share the same goal, or they joined out of fear that they'd be put on the list. There's a constant power struggle in the Mafia and it's like a game of chess. You make the wrong play and you get squashed. If you refuse to join a faction, you could land yourself on the list with a more influential heavyweight, but you also become allies with the group that the heavyweight is after. You must always be careful of who you side with. It's recommended that you side with the more powerful force. After you start establishing connections and earn even more of a reputation, you may open a crew on the outside.

The structure of a carnal's crew from top to bottom.

Crew chief: A trusted camarada that's hand picked by you, he will pay you a fee weekly. He will traffic drugs, collect taxes and take care of hits for you beyond the prison walls. You will usually not have direct contact.

Facilitator: A wife or a family member (mother, sister or lawyer) that helps you run your crew on the outside. They will convey messages to your crew chief. You will communicate with them through the use of mail, visitation or by phone call.
You must be careful when contacting them, because you are most likely monitored by law enforcement. You must speak to them using coded lingo. This is done so that law enforcement cannot link your crew chief to you. A facilitator may also smuggle drugs in during a conjugal visit.

Crew members: Trusted associates of the crew chief, often recruited from street gangs. They will have no contact with you and may possibly not even know you.

Mules: They are picked by the crew chief to smuggle in narcotics into prison for you. They will normally swallow balloons or condoms filled with cocaine and meth and receive a small sentence. Later they will throw up the condoms and the Meseros will distribute them. Drugs can also be brought in through the mail by using several techniques.

You must be wary about which area you control, because you might be moving in on another carnal's racket. This could get you an enemy and result in years of politicking and in-fighting. It will slow business down and make you less money. You should also let it be known which territory belongs to you, in case another carnal tries to move on you. It's suggested that you make alliances with other carnal's to have your back. It's also every carnal for them self. Mob guys crews don't mix, and they barely work together. Think of EME as a large group of criminals that share the same goal, it's every man for them self essentially. There is no hierarchy, every member of the Mafia is equal, but it is true that some members hold more influence than others. 


Ninety nine percent of the Mexican Mafia's members are drug addicts, keep this in mind and don't be the person that says "I'm the 1%." Being a drug addict should influence your decisions and how you role play. There are plenty of persona's that your character can be. The most common that your character can be are: loyalists, a drifter, a power monger, or an idealist. A loyalist will most likely believe that the Mafia should be 100% Mexican. He will follow the rules often, pray to the Mexica gods and even consider himself an Aztec warrior. He most likely will not be friendly with outsiders. A drifter is somebody that doesn't often partake in politicking unless it's absolutely necessary. He will most likely be a drug addict and care more about drugs than the Mafia itself. A drifter often drops out of the Mafia and debriefs if he's in danger.
A drifter is more friendly with newer carnal's and avoids mixing with the power mongers. A power monger is somebody that often breaks the rules. He's most likely addicted to drugs and power. He'll do anything to get his way, through murder and intimidation. He'll always be planning and politicking to the point where it becomes an addiction. A power monger is somebody you should look out for he will be quick to betray you. An idealist is much like the loyalist, except he will most likely agree with white members. He will be educated and will not agree with the rules being broken or politicking. He's not a coward and will kill with proper sanction, but he's also a peaceful negotiator.


The list: It's a list of people that have been targeted by the Mafia. They will either receive a touch-up or a hard candy (murder.)

Mules: They are used in prison to smuggle prison shanks in and out of areas, drugs in and out of areas and also smuggle drugs inside of prison.

Shanks: Prison-made weapons that are used for murder. They are usually used as an offensive weapon, but mob guys have been known to carry one up their rectum to use for protection.

Nahuatl: Ancient language of the Aztecs. It's sometimes used by carnal's to hide their plans from law enforcement. Nobody's fluent in Nahuatl, but simple sentences can be constructed. Don't have full on conversations in this language. You should be taught it as well.

Kite/Mail/Phones - A Kite can be a note passed around prisoners containing some sort of information. It can be passed from cell to cell during lockdowns/night time, or it can be given to a low-ranked member for him to pass to a shot caller. When writing mail to the outside, you should consider mail gets checked, you can't write explicit things involving valuable information, same for talking on the prison-phones. If a crime happens on the outside and you are linked, they may check the recordings of a phone conversation you had.

Gassing - This is making a cocktail of feces, urine, blood and other fluids you can get your hands on and tossing it at an inmate or guard (mostly happens versus guards). It inducts some fear and shock into the guards as often a lot of them get diseases this way, Hepatitis C for example. They need to get their blood checked and it puts them under a lot of pressure and overall fear for their health.

Smuggling - It involves everything, not just drugs. You may need to smuggle a cellphone in, pornographic magazines, cigarettes, anything really, even zip-bags for keeping your Pruno better. Smuggling usually happens two ways, by a corrupt guard or by a visit (or conjugal visit). During those events an exchange may happen. Some prisoners actually mule drugs into prison by swallowing them. There are other ways of course too, it's all about the creativity, but also keeping the level of realism.

Murder - It's a common misconception that prisoners murder wherever and whenever. That is wrong. When a murder usually happens, the prisoner thinks how to get away with it as much as he would in the outside world. If you get caught in violent acts often, you may be assigned to department C permanently, and no sane prisoner wants that. Murders usually don't happen often as they result in lock downs.

Department C - Here they house inmates for violent acts, inmates too violent for gen-pop and so on. It's the scum of the prison. If you end there, you need to watch your back. It is advised that you role play being paranoid and aware of your surroundings. You don't loose track of yourself even when you tie your shoes. C is full of murderers, even some people who might not get a second chance. You can basically get stabbed for nothing. You are in the danger-zone.

Rape - Rape is forbidden by the Mafia. You can't be the one receiving or giving. If found out that you have raped somebody, you will be labelled as a faggot. This means you are open season.

La eMe - The Mafia is often referred to as 'La eMe.'

Carnal - "brother" in Spanish. It means a made member of the Mexican Mafia, when speaking in reference to the Mafia.

Heavy weight - A veteran member of the Mafia that holds heavy clout within the organization.


It's true that the Mexican Mafia started out as a prison gang, but it developed into a criminal organization with many members on the inside and on the outside. Once you are in the Mafia, you are in it for life, even if you make it beyond the walls. Dropping out of the Mafia is like issuing your own death. Once a member of the Mafia is connected, he'll most likely open up a crew on the outside. He will be allotted a turf or territory that his crew can operate in. If he controls a certain area, he will seek to control the drug trade within that entire area. If there's drug dealers in his territory, he will extort them or murder them. Members of the Mafia often have connections to the various Mexican cartels that reside in Mexico. The most notable one is the Arellano-Felix organization or Tijuana cartel. Members of the Mafia may even become sicarios (hitmen) for the cartel. This is where the Mafia gets their drugs from. Their most lucrative drug is heroin. They use it and they sell it, because it's highly addictive. If you cross the Mafia on the outside, you can expect a hit team to arrive at your front door. The Mafia has also been known to tell Sureno gangs what to do and if they don't comply, their entire gang can be put on the green light list. This will mean that any member of their gang can be whacked in any prison across California (San Andreas.) Sureno gangs that neighbor them will attack them more often to receive the respect of the Mafia. You do not want to get put on the list.

It's a common misconception that members of EME go around saying: "Orale ese, chale, hermano" and other stupid terms that date back to the 1950s up to the 80s. This is 2013, most members of the Mafia are Americanized. Members of the Mexican Mafia do not even associate themselves with outsiders. If you are an exceptional role player that's up to date on the current Mexican Mafia, you will be considered. It's all about a reputation, make sure you garnish a good one (both in character and out of character.) American Me is completely fictional and no information should be taken & used from it.



The guide belongs to it's rightful poster, Arnold_Berlanga on the LS-RP forums. Made it on BA-RP to make it easier for people to find.

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Lovely guide.

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Good job.

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