MS-13 Tattoos: Understanding the Gang Tattoos Used by MS-13

MS-13 Tattoos: Understanding the Gang Tattoos Used by MS-13

Decoding the Secret World of MS-13 Tattoos

Updated May 6, 2023


MS-13 is one of the most notorious gangs in the world, with a reputation for extreme violence and criminal activity. One of how the gang marks its members is through tattoos. These tattoos can be intricate and complex and often hold significant meaning to the gang member. This article will examine MS-13 tattoos in further detail, including their significance and gang use.


What is MS-13?

Before we dive into MS-13 tattoos, it is essential to understand what MS-13 is. MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, is a transnational criminal organization that originated in Los Angeles, California, in the 1980s. The gang has since spread to many parts of the world, including Central America, Mexico, and Canada. They are involved in various criminal activities, including drug trafficking, human trafficking, and extortion.


MS-13 Tattoos: Meaning and Symbolism

These tattoos are often intricate and complex, with multiple layers of symbolism. The tattoos mark the gang member as part of MS-13 and indicate rank and status. Some of the most common MS-13 tattoos include:


  1. The MS-13 Hand Sign: This tattoo depicts the gang’s hand sign, which consists of the thumb, index, and little finger extended and the middle and ring fingers bent towards the palm. This tattoo is often found on the hand or wrist.
  2. The MS-13 Logo: The MS-13 logo features a devil’s head with a halo and two horns. This tattoo is often found on the chest or back.
  3. The Number 13: The number 13 is significant in MS-13, representing the gang’s origin in the 13th Street area of Los Angeles. This tattoo is often found on the face, hand, or arm.
  4. The Three Dots: The three dots tattoo is often associated with MS-13 and represents the phrase “mi vida loca” or “my crazy life.” This tattoo is usually found on the face, hand, or arm.
  5. The Salvadoran Flag: Many MS-13 members are from El Salvador, so the Salvadoran flag is a common tattoo. This tattoo is often found on the chest or back.
  6. The Aztec Sun: The Aztec sun is a common tattoo among MS-13 members, representing the gang’s connection to their Central American roots. This tattoo is often found on the chest or back.

MS-13 tattoos are often used to intimidate rival gangs and law enforcement. They are also used to show loyalty and commitment to the gang.


How MS-13 Tattoos are Applied

MS-13 tattoos are typically applied using a needle and ink. The process can be painful and may take several hours to complete. Gang members may also apply tattoos to themselves using makeshift tools, such as a sharpened guitar string or a pen.


The Risks of MS-13 Tattoos

While MS-13 tattoos hold significant meaning to gang members, they can also have severe consequences. In addition to the pain and potential health risks associated with tattooing, gang members with visible tattoos may be targeted by law enforcement or rival gangs. MS-13 tattoos can also make it difficult for gang members to escape the gang lifestyle or reintegrate into society.



MS-13 tattoos are a significant part of the gang culture and hold deep meaning for gang members. Law enforcement, social workers, and other professionals who engage with gang members must comprehend these tattoos and their symbolism. While the risks of MS-13 tattoos



Q: What are MS-13 tattoos?
A: MS-13 tattoos are used by members of the MS-13 gang to show their allegiance to the gang and its beliefs.

Q: What do MS-13 tattoos look like?
A: MS-13 tattoos can vary in design and placement but commonly include the letters “MS” or the number 13, as well as other symbols and imagery representing the gang and its values.

Q: Why do people get MS-13 tattoos?
A: People get MS-13 tattoos to show their loyalty to the gang and gain respect and recognition from other members. It is also seen as a rite of passage for those who want to become full-fledged gang members.

Q: Are MS-13 tattoos illegal?
A: MS-13 tattoos are not illegal, but they can be a sign of gang affiliation, a crime in many places. Additionally, some imagery used in MS-13 tattoos, such as violent or racist symbols, can be illegal to display.

Q: Can MS-13 tattoos be removed?
A: MS-13 tattoos can be removed through various methods, including laser removal and surgical excision. However, tattoo removal can be expensive and may leave scarring.

More Must-Reads: Compelling Articles You Don’t Want to Miss

TSM Stock Price Projections for 2023: Analyzing Potential Trends

TSM Stock Price Projections: Analyzing Potential Trends

TSM Stock Price: Reflecting Innovation and Revenue Updated Aug 21, 2023 Taiwan Semiconductor ManufacturingLimited (TSM), the world's largest dedicated independent ...
What Is a Contrarian Mindset? Challenging Conventional Norms

What Is a Contrarian Investor? Embrace Unconventional Thinking

What Is a Contrarian Investor? Mastering Trends with Unconventional Wisdom Aug 18, 2023 A contrarian investor, within the realm of ...
College Debt Woes: Graduates Unwilling to Sacrifice Luxuries Despite Drowning

College Debt: Graduates’ Luxury Habits Amidst Struggle

College Debt Reality: Luxuries vs. Graduates' Strain Updated Aug 2023 In the realm of higher education, the spectre of college ...
Navigating CHKP Stock Price Trends: Timing Pullbacks for Strategic Capital Deployment

Mastering CHKP Stock Price Trends: Timing Pullbacks Strategically

Move on for it takes very little effort to stand still and do nothing. Sol Palha  CHKP Stock Price Strategy: ...
Stock Investing for Kids; Simple strategies

Stock Investing for Kids: A Comprehensive Guide

Exploring Stock Investing for Kids: A Beginner's Guide Aug 12, 2023 The fundamental principles of Mass Psychology, Mob psychology, and ...
Stock Market Outlook Today: Trending

Stock Market Outlook Today: A Journey through time

The Evolving Stock Market Outlook Today: A Futile Endeavor Updated Aug 2023 Let's begin by taking a step back into ...
dividend strategy

Dividend Investing Strategy: A Guide to Building Long-Term Wealth

Aug 11, 2023 Dividend investing is a time-tested strategy that generates consistent income and long-term growth. By investing in stocks ...
Market Psychology Cycle: The Key To Successful Investing

Inside the Market Psychology Cycle: Unveiling Trends and Tactics

The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about Derek Bok Quotes Mindset Mastery: Cracking the Market Psychology ...
OVV Stock Price: Is it going to breakout

Decoding OVV Stock Price: Patterns, Gains, and Insights

Evaluating OVV Stock Price: A Comprehensive Analysis Aug 7, 2023 Formerly known as Encana Corporation, Ovintiv Inc. is a Canadian ...
compound with potential health benefits

Succinic Acid: Powering Sugar Control, Energy, and Inflammation

Aug 3, 2023 Succinic Acid: Enhancing Sugar Control, Energy Production, and Inflammation Management Succinic acid, a naturally occurring compound found ...
Japanese Yen to Dollars Dynamics

HIMX Stock Price Trends For 2023

HIMX Stock Price Trends For 2023 Updated Aug 3, 2023 Himax Technologies, Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company specializing in ...
Inductive vs Deductive reasoning; Which one is superior

Inductive vs Deductive Reasoning: Unlocking the Mystery

Updated July 2023 The Power of Perception: Inductive vs Deductive Reasoning In a world where information is readily available at ...

The Myth of the Jewish Genome Unveiled

 Unravelling the Jewish Genome: The Khazarian Hypothesis and Jewish Ancestry The narrative of Jewish ancestry has been a subject of ...
Mastering the Market: A Comprehensive Guide to Stock Market Education

Stock Market Education: How To Win The stock Market Game

Stock market education: Focus On The Trend Updated July 2023 The early bird gets the worm; the late bird the ...
girl studying

Price to Sale Ratio Meaning: Unveiling its Significance

Demystifying Price to Sale Ratio Meaning: A Quick Introduction July 29, 2023 The Price to Sales (P/S) ratio is vital ...