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Gang Activity in San Jose

San Jose, California

San Jose was ranked in CQ Press’ City Crime Rankings 2009-2010 as the fourth-safest large city in the nation, with a low homicide rate and despite recent budget issues in the city. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this level of safety, including effective law enforcement and city planning, and increased regulation. However, the metropolitan region known for the high-tech innovation of its Silicon Valley harbors a considerable amount of gang-related activity. In 2007, gang-related incidents involving youth ages 10-19 increased more than 35 percent.

Also, in August 2012, there were eight homicides in 11 days, and about half were gang-related. The City Council held a special study session to address concerns from the public.

The definition of a gang is: a group of persons associated for some criminal or other
antisocial purposes. 3 or more persons who regularly participate in criminal
or violent activity.

There are a number of reasons why youth join gangs, including:

  • Feelings of belonging
  • The desire for independence and a sense of identity
  • Sense of excitement
  • Short-term financial gain
  • Having scapegoats (police, etc.)

In San Jose, two of the more predominant gangs are the Nortenos and the Surenos. Their rivalry has its origins in the 1960s and is based on divisions between naturalized and immigrant Latinos and Latinas.

Signs of gang activity, including among youth, including:

  • Use of or association with certain numbers (i.e. 13 and 14) and signs (XIV and XIII)
  • Use of or association with certain colors (especially red and blue) or symbols (San Jose Sharks, for instance)
  • Changes in behavior and choice of friends
  • Poor academic performance

Gang activity and other forms of crime may be impacted by community factors including, for instance, economic development; more money in the local government budget can mean more relocation reimbursements for corporations to come to the city and bring jobs that allow families to provide more support and supervision for their children, keeping them out of gangs and out of trouble.

The Broken Windows Theory explains the importance of a healthy-looking community to decreasing and preventing crime. Removing graffiti is an example; in 2008, when there were 61% more tags in the first 6 months than the same time the year before, the City of San Jose’s Anti-Graffiti program removed 43,159 tags and 244,380 sq feet of graffiti.

With one third of gang-related incidents in San Jose happening on school property and campuses, it follows that programs at schools are significant in affecting youth involvement in gangs. Many schools encourage students to go to college by grouping students in teams named after colleges, and by displaying university pennants and posters around campus. After-school programs like Boys & Girls Club and CORAL promote safe environments for youth.

Please review the information in the links below as well to see what is being done to combat gang activity in San Jose.

Additional resources


chump00x on May 24, 2015:

I think rvsource is spot on. We should bring the troops back to the mainland and initiate Marshall Law. I grew up in a police state back in Saudi Arabia and believe me, there were no gangs.

Alternatively, and I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this yet, why not get these guys to blow off steam in constructive ways. Like dance? I understand that the gangsters, or gangstas as they are known on the streets, are mostly latino? There are some great dancers of the latino persuasion, Enrique Iglesias for one, that may inspire them out of such a life.

Gloria Siess from Wrightwood, California on March 02, 2013:

So sorry to know of this; part of my childhood was spent in San Jose and I still have step siblings living there..GOOD HUB!

creeper locaz on November 30, 2012:

Scroll to Continue

VES- Varrio East Side

Green eyes on June 18, 2012:

Varrio north side controla hope u dont like it . Green eyes locon

Peter Landy from Niskayuna, New York on May 17, 2012:

Yep and now add to this Organized Gang Stalking which is basically made up of every kind of members from all ages, sex, culture, race and religion joining in for the same reason. The human race basically has regressed back into tribal divisions controlled by militant, war lord minded community leaders. Unbelievable until you realize it's not and it's every where on every level of society.

Big Tone on March 09, 2012:

Northerners dominate San Jose and all of Northern California. There are Nortenos in all 50 states and in Mexico, Spain, France, China, UK, Canada, South America

mr:.lucky on December 14, 2011:

Vml's varrio mexicanos locos



tamaly gangsters

vsm varrio surenos malditos

nk187sk on April 05, 2011:

San Jose is home to many gangs. Dominantly the Norteños and Sureños, but a new gang has been herd of to come into action. A gang which defines theese two gangs as ignorant, misguided, human beings.. there is no name for this new upcoming gang but it has

john on November 13, 2010:

their are many ways in getting into gangs and every person has their own way of getting into one you can get into one by siblings,hanging out with wrong crowd,dressing like it,for fun but sometimes people get in for revenge on another gang that has killed like a love one and that's why many join gangs

kjnhldsfjkhglfjdg on June 20, 2010:

SAN JO hoods

norte gangs in san jo:

-Las Casitas Gang

-Varrio Roundtable

-Roundtable Boys

-Trailer Park Boys

-Varrio Norte Pride

-Norte Por Vida

-Colonia Mara Villa (The OG's from Capitol Park)

-Capitol Park Locos

-Mclaughlin Parke Gangsters

-Chicano Pride Gangsters

-Barrio Mas Locos

-Varrio East Hills

-Barrio Rio Seco

-West Side Mob

-San carlos boys

-east bound mob

-Vario libre

-Bario grande tiera

-New generation nortenos

-Cold Blooded Gangsters

-Varrio Bloody Waters

-Varrio San Jo

-Varrio 12st (12street homeboys)

-Varrio Monte Alban

-Shark City Locos

-Roosevelt Park Locos

-El Hoyo Palmas

-Varrio Horseshoe

-Varrio Meadow Fair

-Las Casitas Gang

-Norte Por Vida


-Chicano Pride G's

-Barrio Mas Locos

-Varrio Bloody Waters

-Varrio San Jo

-Varrio Monte Alban

-Shark City Locos

-East Side Hoodz

-El hoyo palmas

-Barrio East Side

-Varrio 33rd

-Varrio Norte Catorce

-Jackson Kings

-Varrio 95

-Varrio Lochridge Locos

-M Street

-Varrio Norte Grande

-Varrio Fenton Locos

-Verde Block

-Barrio True Nortenos

-Loco Norteno Vida

-Varrio Norteno Homeboys

-Varrio North Side

-San Jo Grande

-Julian Street Posse

-Varrio Feldspar

-Varrio Hoffman Locos

-Snow Drive Locos

-Nortenos Por Vida

-Varrio Azteca Nortenos

-Barrio Toro Locos

-Norteno Brothers

-Varrio Norteno Pride

-seven trees

Crip hoods:

-Tru Crip Mafia

-San Jo Crips

-Crip Nation Gang

SCRAP hoods:

-Sur Santos Pride (super socor players)

-Varrio Sur Town Malos (vatos selling tacos)

-Vario sur trece

-Vario virginia st

-poco way

esolefl on June 13, 2010:

The end time provokes most of the people to act as if they were beast on earth. God created man in His own image and after His likeness. Man has lost both the image and the likeness. A very few has the fruit of the Spirit. The flesh rules the earth so we can see all the fleshy things all around the earth. No one can stop the violence on earth. It becomes bad to worse! Kneel down and pray you will have an answer!


stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on May 24, 2010:

Great hub. Very interesting. GBY

tfhodge from California - U.S.A. on April 29, 2010:

Conflict and warfare manifests in many ways. In this country, at least, gangs are, and have been, historically profitable for the enterprise of the criminal justice system. It is unfortunate that those who choose such a negative lifestyle do not appreciate this knowing.

Great Hub!

De Greek from UK on April 02, 2010:

This is the only way to get in touch :-)

Someone wrote a nice hub about me. If you have a chance, will you have a look at this please?

Just an ego trip :-)

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on March 24, 2010:

Thanks habee!

Holle Abee from Georgia on March 22, 2010:

Gangs are everywhere - even in small towns here in South GA. Very informative hub!

De Greek from UK on March 14, 2010:

And my advanced age should entitle me to comment on your nice appearance in your new photo :-)

De Greek from UK on March 14, 2010:

10 year olds involved in crime? How sad. Those poor babies must be so unhappy...

Renee S from Virginia on March 11, 2010:

Gangs are a problem everywhere. It's good to know and be aware of what's going on in your neighborhood.

cupul from jakarta on March 02, 2010:

tanks for your information very nice fren!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 02, 2010:

This is a very interesting hub. The gangs are a problem in so many cities and I don't think they are going away any time soon. There is a certain mentality that gives them a good feeling about belonging to a group even when violence is a part. I wish I had the answers. Good hub.

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on March 01, 2010:

Thanks everyone! RVsource, I like your thinking. Great comment.

rvsource on March 01, 2010:


This is a good hub. It aggravates me to know that gang activity is so easy to eliminate. We can't do it using our current methods, however. My thoughts are this.

Gangs are peer pressured into existence. My brother is a school teacher in Houston, where gangs run freely on the streets and every campus. He has often times taken his life into his own hands breaking up a fight. I tell him all the time, it's not his place to do that. It is too dangerous!

I believe that the fix is this simple. We STOP spending money overseas on make believe wars and bring the peace keepers to our own country!

It wouldn't take long until the gangs learned the hard way, that they couldn't get away with what they have up until this point. Unfortunately our government would rather be chasing pirates, or taking over oil fields!

Just my opinion

Katie McMurray from Ohio on March 01, 2010:

Again, good to be in the know. I have other relatives living there as well. It's interesting to drive across town, here in Columbus Ohio, where I live... Peace :)

Hello, hello, from London, UK on March 01, 2010:

A very interesting and informative hub. Thank you.

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