Monday, December 14, 2009

More on gangs in Indian country

Erik Eckholm reports in today's New York Times on the rise in gang violence on Indian reservations. Even as the story notes that many crimes in Indian country go undocumented, it reports that "gang-related thefts, assaults — including sexual assaults — and rising property crime over the last three years, along with four murders," on the Oglala Sioux Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

Here are quotes that indicates a differentiation between these (rural) gangs on reservations and gangs in urban areas. These excerpts also help situate this phenomenon in socio-economic context.

Compared with their urban models, they are more likely to fight rivals, usually over some minor slight, with fists or clubs than with semiautomatic pistols.

* * *

The Justice Department distinguishes the home-grown gangs on reservations from the organized drug gangs of urban areas, calling them part of an overall juvenile crime problem in Indian country that is abetted by eroding law enforcement, a paucity of juvenile programs and a suicide rate for Indian youth that is more than three times the national average.

If they lack the reach of the larger gangs after which they style themselves, the Indian gangs have emerged as one more destructive force in some of the country’s poorest and most neglected places.

Read an earlier post about gangs in Indian country here; the possible links between the gangs about which Eckholm writes and these "Mexican" gangs are not self-evident.

1 comment:

Spec said...

Below is my post on the rise of Indian gangs, in addition to the post regarding the rise of Mexican pot gangs on Reservations. What is interesting is that there doesn't seem to be much conflict between the Indian gangs and the Mexican pot cartels.