skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 249842 Find in a Library
Title: Charting Out the Digital Ecosystem of Gangs in the U.S. and Mexico
Journal: Small Wars Journal  Volume:Online First  Dated:April 2016
Author(s): Julian Way; Robert Muggah
Date Published: April 2016
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2012-R2-CX-0028; NCJ 249842©Ð¨¢
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
810 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: HTML|PDF
Type: Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Drawing on research conducted in partnership with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and University of San Diego in 2015, this article discusses the digital ecosystem that links gangs in San Diego, Tijuana, and more widely across Mexico and other parts of Latin America, including the dynamic interaction among gang members, affiliates, and the wider public.
Abstract: In considering gangs’ digital activities, the focus is on mapping online gang involvement in sex trafficking in San Diego, the United States as a whole, and Tijuana, as well as the dynamics of online gang networks in southern California, Mexico, and wider Latin America. The study then applies a combination of social media analytics, social network analysis, and digital forensics to determine the distribution and dynamics of cartels and gangs in cyberspace. The study did not find strong empirical evidence of Latino cartels and gangs in either the United States or Mexico using Twitter to solicit, sell, or profit from sex work. It found that various Latino cartels and gangs use Twitter and other social media to coordinate and conduct criminal activities. The Latino cartels and gangs in Mexico and the United States have adopted varied approaches to interacting on Twitter and other social media. Some Mexican cartels and gangs have developed large fan bases on Twitter, where they post photos, text, or codes. Latino cartel and gang members are also using Twitter to communicate with a transnational network. There are examples of specific cartel and gang members with digital connections to street gangs in the United States. After conducting multi-stage and iterative research, it was possible to begin charting the digital presence and networks of a host of gangs and affiliates. The research was conducted between April and June 2015. 10 figures and 51 references
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): California; Communication techniques; Hispanic gangs; Latin America; Mexico; Social Media
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.