East Los Angeles and Chicago Gangs

Claudio Vera, University of Illinois at Chicago

Mexican gangs have long been a fixture in East Los Angeles and Chicago. While there has been considerable attention to Los Angeles gangs, Chicago's Mexican gangs have received less recent scrutiny. This paper reviews the literature on Los Angeles and Chicago Mexican gangs, and compares the political economy of Mexican neighborhoods in the two cities. It reports on beginning field work in both cities and discusses the impact of gentrification, de-industrialization, female participation, and institutionalization of gangs in each city.

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Updated 05/20/2006