4

Cover Story: Tango Blast Houstone

Courtesy of HPD
^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

I first heard about the Hispanic prison gang Tango Blast Houstone from a social worker here in town who said he was alarmed at how many of the kids he was dealing with seemed to admire the gang’s members. He told me the group’s symbols, such as the Astros logo and area codes “713” and “281” are popping up in schools and on sites such as MySpace, and that even teens who have not been to prison and officially joined the gang are pretending to belong and are wearing its tattoos. He said he was worried because so many people view it as the cool, new, hip thing and are aligning themselves with the gang, equating it to city-pride, not realizing that members are as violent and dangerous as those in the established, more notorious gangs.

To be sure, Tango Blast Houstone bills itself as a milder and kinder alternative to other prison gangs such as the Texas Syndicate and Mexican Mafia. Members follow a looser code and set of rules and are not nearly as organized. But don’t believe all their hype. As we detail in this week’s feature, Tango Blast Houstone members can be just as vicious, and while the gang and its seemingly relaxed approach may look fresh and unique, in many ways it’s just an act members are using to recruit unprecedented numbers of people into the largest and fastest growing gang in Texas. – Chris Vogel

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.