Who is the Barrio Azteca?
The Barrio Azteca prison gang also called Los Aztecas is a prison gang that started in El Paso Texas in 1986. With an estimated 3000 members in the United States and another 5000 estimated members in Ciudad Juarez Mexico. The BZ is considered a ruthless prison gang. The list is long of criminal activity that the Barrio Azteca do. From murder, drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, torture, and more.
Because this gang has double citizenship in Mexico and the United States it makes them especially difficult to pin down as they can cross the border to commit a crime and then leave. this is possible because of gang members being in both Mexico and the U.S.
3000 United States
History of the Barrio Azteca
The Barrio Azteca prison gang started in 1986 in El Paso Texas prisons system. Many believe the unique nature of the cross-border nature of gang members being able to travel to and from Mexico to the United States makes the gang extremely dangerous and powerful.
Many Mexicans who are imprisoned within United States prison systems in Texas join the Barrio Azteca. Upon their release from prison, they are sent back to Mexico where they then join the Barrio Azteca Street gang on the outside. This is part of how the gang has grown on the outside of prison walls.
As BA grew in power it started working with Juarez Cartel and their alliance and power grew stronger. They started to move large sums of cocaine and their money grows larger. This allowed them to purchase large quantities of guns from Texas and them smuggle them back to Mexico.
Symbols, markings, and territory
Symbols: Symbols of the Barrio Azteca are the number 915, 21. The letters ‘BA” and Azteca tattoos
Territory: Ciudad Juarez, El Paso Texas, Midland Texas, Odessa Texas, Las Cruces New Mexico, northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, and smaller chapters across the United States
How does Barrio Azteca make money?
Like most gangs, Barrio Azteca makes money from drug trafficking and sales, hired murder, kidnapping and ransom, prostitution, and other forms of organized criminal activity.
How is the gang structured?
Much like an army, there is a hierarchical structure at play. There are generals that operate within the prison and on the street that rule by consensus. Below the generals are the captains which control plazas which are run by lieutenants. You also have sergeants who may or may not be full-fledged gang members. At the bottom of the hierarchical structure are the solders. They are used for the distribution of smaller amounts of narcotics.
Ally and Enemy’s of the gang
The gang’s key ally is the Juárez Cartel and its armed wing, La Linea. Barrio Azteca also works with the Zetas. A principal enemy is the Sinaloa Cartel, along with its subcontractor, the Mexicles gang.
- Juárez Cartel
- La Linea
- Sinaloa Cartel
- Mexicles gang