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  1. witness

    Vespucci 13

    Vespucci 13 Vespucci 13 (V13, VX3) also known as West Side Vespucci 13 (WSV13) is a Mexican-American street gang with deep roots along Magellan Avenue. First established in the 1960s, Vespucci 13 was one of the most violent and dominant Westside gangs, but today it is only a shell of its former glory after most of its cliques were wiped out by gang injunctions and gentrification. Ghost Town is one of the last Vespucci cliques, struggling to survive in this new era. They take their name from the last remaining low-income hoods, which are a "ghost town" squeezed between the tourist spots and the expensive developments. Gentrification and History The gentrification of Vespucci began in the late ‘90s and targeted the lower-income Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods of West Los Santos. The rich culture and history of Vespucci was replaced by tourist traps and million-dollar homes. This process was aided by gang injunctions targeting Vespucci 13 and their Black and Hispanic rivals, but it wasn't just gang members who suffered, as their families and neighbors were often impacted too. Rent, housing prices, and the cost of living began to spike, causing many lower-income families to move across the city to more affordable areas in South and East Los Santos. This ultimately resulted in the remaining gangs having fewer young people to influence and recruit into their ranks. Tensions were on the rise between neighboring street gangs, with more violent crimes being reported throughout the ‘00s. Members of gangs were being incarcerated or killed in rival shootings, including Ignacio “Spooky” Atenas, a high-ranking member of Vespucci 13 who was believed to be shot and killed by rival Crips at a party in ‘08. One important rivalry was with the Vespucci Shoreline Crips, which left many dead on both sides. But when both gangs were suffering from gang injunctions, crackdowns, and gentrification, they declared a cease-fire and started to grow closer together to survive the changing situation in Vespucci. The two gangs now share a hood day on the 2nd Saturday of June. Ghost Town is one of the last Vespucci 13 cliques active on the streets. They take their name from the last remaining hoods to avoid gentrification, a "ghost town" that exists between the tourist spots of Vespucci Beach and the richer areas around the Puerto Del Sol Yacht Club and Vespucci Canals. Ghost Town is one of the younger cliques since it was old VX3 members (from cliques like Bay City Locos and Lil Jokers) who attracted the most heat from police. Locals say that Ghost Town is like the old Vespucci haunting the new Vespucci. Writers have called it "a nasty hive of evil surrounded by the most expensive real estate in San Andreas". You can find them in the dead-end alleys off Melanoma Street and the run-down areas between Magellan and Bay City Avenue. Throughout the day Vespucci is full of tourists, hipsters, and people with high-income jobs, enjoying the beaches and marinas. However, after dark, it can be a different story. One journalist suggested gentrification will never completely kill the old Vespucci, claiming "the gunplay is as much a part of life in Vespucci as Pitbulls at the local dog park". Older generations did not welcome the changes of gentrification, but the surviving members of Vespucci 13 know they have to adapt and change with the times. For the young drug dealers of the Ghost Town clique, they know rich people have expensive tastes. The arrival of tourists and rich people has boosted their sales tremendously, with gang members often selling drugs along the boardwalk. And if you're on a yacht doing lines with a high-powered lawyer, he probably got that from Ghost Town. Present Nowadays Vespucci 13 is a shell of its former self, the gang is still active and the street operations are primarily being handled by its youngest clique. While past conflicts and rivalries have settled down between Vespucci 13 and some of its neighboring gangs, tensions still linger on a much lesser scale. Gentrification has played a large role in pushing out many of the families and continues to clamp down and suppress street gang activity throughout the Vespucci area. The gang is a family for those without one, especially as many members lost loved ones to gang violence and arrests. They value community, the protection of their reputation, and Vespucci. Members of the gang are expected to pull their weight to make as much money as possible and keep the neighborhood in order without drawing the attention of police as their big homies did. These money-motivated gang members are notorious for their violent behavior, with some of the older members having served time in the "gladiator school" of juvenile detention, or even prison.
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