Santa Cruz NorteÑo Graffiti

The following local photographs represent Santa
Cruz criminal street gangs: Brown Pride Santa
Cruz (BPSC), Beach Flats Surenos (BFS), Santa
East Side (SES), Villa San Carlos (VSC), Mara
Salvatrucha (MS)
The purpose of gang graffiti is to
glorify the gang.
Gang graffiti is meant to create a
sense of intimidation
and may increase the
sense of fear
within a neighborhood.
Gang members use graffiti
to mark their territory or turf,
declare their allegiance
to the gang, and to challenge rivals.
Brown Pride Santa Cruz
Brown Pride is a Sureño criminal street that is
known as Brown Pride Santa Cruz or BPSC.
“Surcali” stands for Southern California which
is the strong-hold of Sureño criminal street
gangs in the state of California.
Brown Pride Santa Cruz
“NK” stands for “Norteño killer” and the two
lines crossing out the “N” is a sign of
disrespect towards Norteños. “BPSC” stands
for Brown Pride Santa Cruz and the “X3”
stands for the number 13.
Brown Pride Santa Cruz
This drawing depicts a heart with
“SC” in it and a banner with Brown
Pride which symbolizes Brown
Pride- a Sureño gang.
Note what appears to be three tear
drops on the bottom portion of the
cross and what appears to be three
candles at the bottom of the
drawing. Sets of three items are
commonly used by the Sureño
Beach Flats Sureños
The blue notebook with “BFS SUR” stands for Beach Flats
Sureños and Southern United Raza. “Raza” is the Spanish
word for race. “Beach Flats” is written on the sombrero (hat)
that the woman is wearing.
Santa East Side (SES)
Depicted in the drawing is a
man behind bars in the Santa
Cruz county jail as written at
the top of the drawing.
The individual has a “1” and “3”
on his shoulders (13) and “NK”
(Norteño killer) on his right arm.
He also has 3 dots on his left
wrist. Written on his chest is SES
(Santa East Side) and “Sureño” is
on the bottom portion of his upper
torso. A tear drop is drawn
beneath his left eye.
Santa East Side (SES)
“SC SES” stands for
Santa Cruz Santa East
Side – a local Sureño
criminal street gang. The
number 13 is their
numerical symbol
(bottom left photograph).
Santa East Side and SUR
along with the 3 dots were
written on the box that
appeared to have been made
in a woodshop class. “ES” on
the white shoes stands for
Santa East Side.
Villa San Carlos (VSC)
“Villa San Carlos” is a Sureño criminal street gang that
claims an apartment complex on Soquel Avenue as their
territory. Note the “N” in the word “San” is written
backwards and crossed out which is meant to be a sign
of disrespect towards Norteños.
Typical Sureño Symbols
13 is the numerical symbol for the Mexican Mafia which derives from
the 13 th letter of the alphabet being the letter M. The Mexican Mafia is
the prison gang that controls the vast majority of the Sureño criminal
street gangs. The 3 dots is also a symbol for the Sureño criminal street
gang and can also mean “mi vida loca” or “my crazy life.” Sureños is
the Spanish word for southerner.
Typical Sureño Symbols
“Buster” is a derogatory term used towards Norteño criminal street
gang members/associates. The graffiti here says “Buster Free” meant
as both a threat to Norteños and as a claim to the area. 831 is the
area code for Santa Cruz.
“NK” stands for Norteño
killer. It is a saying
commonly used by Sureños.
The drawing depicting a broken,
falling star in conjunction with the
words “Stay Falling” is a sign of
disrespect towards Norteños. The
northern star is a symbol of the
norteño criminal street gang.
3 dots over two lines parallel
to one another in a horizontal
fashion represent the number
13 in the Mayan numerical
system. Each dot is equal to
one and each line is equal to
“Sureño [email protected] is an email address
used by an active participant of the
Sureño criminal street gang. Sureño is
the Spanish word for southerner, 13
being the numerical symbol for
Sureños and “NK” meaning “Norteño
“Norteño killer” with the “n”
backwards and crossed out is a
sign of disrespect towards the
Norteño criminal street gang.
“I hate red it is so bad it is not cool” was written by an
active participant in the Sureño criminal street gang. It
should be noted that Sureños use the color blue and
Norteños use the color red.
Talk to your child/student. Ask open-ended questions, listen with an open-mind.
Encourage an honest discussion.
Ask questions to understand their level of involvement.
Understand who is influencing them (friend, neighbor, relative) and set limits accordingly.
Discuss the consequences and dangers of being in a gang .
Set clear expectations.
Parents: talk to a teacher, school counselor or administrator at your child’s school and ask
them if they have noticed any changes. Make sure they are aware of your concerns.
Teachers: talk to the school counselor, administrator and to the student’s parents.
Get your child/student involved in extra-curricular activities like sports, clubs, music,
volunteer work, etc. Make sure to have positive, fun family time.
Within the City of Santa Cruz:
Call the Graffiti Hotline at 420-5303
24-hours a day, 7 days a week
Report graffiti tagging on public or private property within City limits
Call 911
If you see someone “tagging” or suspect vandalism is going to take place, do not hesitate to
call 911.
Do you keep seeing the same pole on your street getting tagged? Get a free graffiti removal
kit as a volunteer for your home or work place. You can make a direct difference in your
community with the convenience of a no-hassle volunteer program. Call the hotline at 4205303 for more details about getting the free graffiti removal kit.
For more information:
Email: [email protected]

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