Santa Cruz NorteÑo Graffiti
Transcript Santa Cruz NorteÑo Graffiti
The following local photographs represent
Norteño criminal street gangs in Santa Cruz North Side Santa Cruz and
West Side Santa Cruz/West Side Chicos.
WHY GANG GRAFFITI IS DANGEROUS
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
to the gang, and to challenge rivals.
North Side Santa Cruz
“NSSC” stands for North Side Santa Cruz.
NSSC claims 17th Avenue in Live Oak as their
“Norte” is the Spanish word for north.
The photo to the left shows
“NS” which stands for North
Side. The “S” with a small line
through it is a sign of disrespect
towards the Sureño criminal
The number 14 is a numerical
symbol for the Norteño criminal
street gang as it stands for the
14th letter of the alphabet, “N.”
The photo to the right shows
“NSSC” which stands for
North Side Santa Cruz. The
small lines through both of
the S’s are a sign of
disrespect to Sureños. The
X4 stands for 14 as the X is
the roman numeral number
This graffiti illustrates two
rival gangs attempting to
The first tagging (in blue) was done
by the Sureño gang Beach Flats
Sureños in blue “BFS” and includes
“Sur 13.” Sur is the Spanish word
for Southern and 13 is for the 13 th
letter of the alphabet, “M,” which is
for the Mexican Mafia. The Mexican
Mafia is the prison gang that
ultimately controls street-level
The second tagging was done by the Norteño criminal street gang NSSC (North Side Santa Cruz)
with the S’s crossed out as a sign of disrespect towards the Sureño gang. In addition XIV was
tagged which is the roman numeral number 14.
The initial tag by the Sureños was a claim of territory and the second tag by the
Norteños was a sign of disrespect and challenge to the Sureños.
West Side Santa Cruz
“SC” with the “S” crossed out is a sign of disrespect towards the Sureño criminal street
gang. The one and four dots stands for the number 14 along with the actual number 14
which is the 14 th letter of the alphabet, “N.” The letter “N” stands for Nuestra Familia
which is Spanish means “Our Family.” Nuestra Familia, also known as “NF” is the
prison gang that controls street-level Norteños. “Norte” is the Spanish word for North
and the “WS” stands for West Side.
West Side Santa Cruz
Note: the “S” is crossed out
Common Norteño Symbols
Norcal clothing and
writings are commonly
used by the Norteño
criminal street gang as
signs or symbols. The star
is also a symbol that
Depicted in the drawing below is a
bird that is known as the “huelga”
bird which was originally used as a
symbol for Cesar Chavez and the
United Farm Workers. Norteños
have adopted this symbol and use it
to represent themselves. “XIV” is
also drawn here.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU SEE THIS
KIND OF GRAFFITI IN YOUR CHILD/STUDENT’S
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.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU SEE THIS KIND
OF GRAFFITI IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?
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
If you see someone “tagging” or suspect vandalism is going to take place, do not hesitate to
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]