Little Mexico in Suburban Los Angeles: Southern California has an enormous number of municipalities, some of which increasingly resemble Cicero, Illinois in Al Capone's day. Here's an LA Weekly article about a town I'd never heard of, but is home to 28,000 unfortunate people.
The Town the Law Forgot
An L.A. ’burb is mired in gangs, cartels and south-of-the-border-style politics
By Jeffrey Anderson
Cudahy resembles a Mexican border town more than it does a Los Angeles suburb. Entrenched gangs and Mexican drug trafficking have trapped working-class legal and illegal immigrants in a cycle of violence and fear, in a city where less than a quarter of the 28,000 residents are eligible to vote. An uneducated city council, a deeply troubled police force imported from Maywood two towns over, and the raw power of the 18th Street Gang — a complex criminal organization with a knack for setting up business fronts and obscuring underground drug activity — make Cudahy residents seem like hostages in their own city...
With its narrow, deep lots — the result of an agricultural past that is long gone — its glut of rundown apartment buildings and its lack of economic growth, Cudahy offers a good example of how Mexican drug cartels, the prison-based Mexican mafia and gangs like 18th Street are attracted to the Los Angeles–adjacent industrial sprawl populated by poor immigrants. Do these criminal elements influence Cudahy’s leaders, with city officials answering to someone other than the public or the rule of law, in a town policed by another town’s troubled police force? [More]