Maravilla (Spanish: for “Marvel” or “Marvelous”) are a group of Mexican street gangs in the United States, which originated in the unincorporated areas of East Los Angeles, California. The largest known Maravilla gangs are the Hoyo Maravilla and Marianna Maravilla. Maravilla can be traced back to the early 1940s; which date back to the pachucos and zoot suits. Research still goes on as to the exact date or birth of the gangs, which may date back further than the 1930s. The Maravilla gangs that formed in East Los Angeles developed the most notorious reputation for their ruthless violence. As the number of street gangs grew, so did the tendency of these gangs to claim turf, and to settle their problems with action. Honor and respect among them came first, perceived and actual insults against a gang members were not to be tolerated, so intense rivalries formed among gangs. The Maravilla gangs today are as diverse and dissimilar as the ideologies and belief systems which influence and motivate them. However, in the prison system they are one united under the Maravilla flag.
During the 1990s, Maravilla gangs broke away from Sureños. The geographical dividing line between Sureños and Maravilla is in East Los Angeles. During 1993, the Mexican Mafia had a meeting to unite all the Southern California gangs under the Sureño flag, but said gangs were to be taxed (percentages of drug profits were compulsorily handed over to the Sureño leadership.)
Maravilla is regarded as one of the first gangs to refuse to pay taxes to the Sureños (declaring themselves tax-free) and the first to disaffiliate with the Sureños. The Mexican Mafia then gave them the "Greenlight", meaning that any Sureño must expeditiously attack them.
As of 2007, some Maravilla members will go on the mainline in the jail system. As opposed to before being incarcerated in their own modules, according to some sources, Maravilla no longer has the "Greenlight", although Sureños who live in areas surrounding Maravilla cliques still see them as enemies and vice versa.
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