The Norteños, also Norte, are affiliated with Nuestra Familia (Our Family), a coalition of traditional Latino gangs in Northern California. A member of these gangs is a Norteño (male) or Norteña (female); based on Spanish usage. In the late 1960s, Mexican-American 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 was near Bakersfield. 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. 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, Operation Black Widow, caused controversy when it became public that some gang members were serving as FBI informants while still continuing to organize violent crimes. 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 will also favor sports team apparel that shows their affiliation through symbolism such as the Nebraska Cornhuskers football, UNLV, K-Swiss, and San Francisco 49ers. Norteños may refer to each other by using the term "Ene,” Spanish for the letter "N.” 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". Some Norteños will tattoo themselves with four dots. Norteño derogatorily refers to a Sureño as a "Scrap" or "Sur (Sewer) Rat,” while a Sureño will likewise refer to a Norteño as a "Buster" or "Chap" (Chapete). 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.
by ♫ Highway to Hell ♫ December 29, 2010
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One who belongs to the Mighty NORTE. Representing rojo and not that flue.
Speedy Loc was a down ass Norteño. May He Rest in paradise.
by Kriminal XIV March 29, 2008
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Norteño is a gang Member who went against the Mexican Mafia Protecting all Mexicans in prison from the law, cliques & basically anything. They didn’t stay true to The south. On the map Mexico is down south of the U.S, They run the north part of California.
Look at that norteño he has a red rag around his neck
by WickedSyk April 1, 2019
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A Mexican slang to refer a person who has sex or is in a relationship with someone of their family, often a cousin or sibling
A: Did you find out that she and her brother are expecting a child?
B: *Facepalm* They had to be norteños...
by Thatrandomusername April 13, 2023
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Norteño is what they call Tex-Mex south of the border. Norteño songs, or "corridos," are named for the ballads about 19th century battles between the U.S. and Mexico. The music's origins are as mongrel as can be: mazurkas, waltzes and even a central European dance called the schottische all contributed to its distinctive sound. With the addition of the accordion (and polka influences), modern Norteno was born; today it's marked by nasal singing, accordion flourishes and streetwise lyrics that celebrate the deeds of the little guy: petty criminals, down-and-outers, people fighting the ubiquitous "system." Unlike most regional styles, Norteño is popular throughout Mexico.
Norteño Music: Espinoza Paz, El Trono De Mexico, Alicia Villarreal, Chalino Sanchez, Conjunto Primavera, Grupo Limite, Intocable, Julio Preciado y Su Banda Perla De Pacifico, La Mafia, Los Huracanes Del Norte, Los Invasores De Nuevo Leon, Los Tigres Del Norte, Los Traileros Del Norte, Los Tucanes De Tijuana, Luis y Julian, Tony De La Rosa, Jenni Rivera
by ♫ Highway to Hell ♫ October 6, 2009
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A ''Downstate Norteño'' is a term describing a chicano gang member that bangs Norte 14 in Southern California. The term became popular as more Norteños from Northern & Central California began moving to Southern Cali. They are much superior than Sureños(their rivals). Their signature color is RED, contrast to the color of their Sureño enemies whom wear BLUE as a color. Downstate Norteños are affiliated with NF(Nuestra Familia)prison gang. Rumor has it that the Sureños are nothing but pussies & are afraid of the Norteños that live in Southern California. I takes alot of courage for a Norteño to move down south since its considered Sureño territory. Mr. Criminal from Hi Power Entertainment got shot by Norteño from Silver Lake a few months ago. Downstate Norteños are true gangsters!
Norteño from Salinas: Ey Ene, where you from?

Donwstate Norteño from Hollywood: I'm a Downstate Ridah Ene, im from SoCal, Hollywood to be exact.

Norteño from Salinas: Damn Ene, thats gangster, so you go hard in L.A.

Downstate Norteño from Hollywood: Hell yea Ene, these surratas dont fuck with me. I'll lay 14 bullets to their chest.

Norteño from Salinas: Simon carnal, puro Norte!!

Downstate Norteño from Hollywood: Asi mero!!!!
by Papi83 July 25, 2011
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WVNL - Watson Varrio Norte Locos

WVN - Watson Varrio Norte
NSWC - North Side Watson Chicos
CML - Clifford Manor Locos

L$T - Landis $T
LPW - Loco Park Watson
MVN - Mesa Village Norte

CHW - City Hall Watson

GV - Green Valley
WATSONVILLE Norteño Gangs located in the 831 Santa Cruz County area. We be some down Norteños.
by skChucky May 2, 2019
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