I have been considering getting a tattoo for sometime, it's important to me not to have something branded onto my body that is too big and too tacky or just utterly stupid. I would like to get three dots, in the shape of a small triangle, that mean “Mi Vida Loca” or “My Crazy Life”. I'm not a member of any gang, I do not wish to be either. I want the dots on the web of my left hand. Are the dots gang affiliated, does the location of the dots matter?
The original three dot represents a gang member gangbanging with each other as equals. Adding two more dots represents a gangster who earn the right to command others or a senior gang member known as an “OG”, original gangster. One surrounded by others in protection. As a Sureño (gang) symbol, the tattoo is worn between thumb and forefinger because it is believed to be harder to remove. The Sureño gang number is thirteen, using Arabic or Roman numerals, or a combination of both: 13, XIII, or X3. This signifies the 13th letter of the alphabet, the letter M, meaning “La Eme” or “The M”; the Mexican Mafia. Numerals are also incorporated into the tattoos, such as Tres Puntos (“Three dots”) or X3, which is the representation for the number 13 within the Aztec numeral system. This may explain the origins of the tattoo amongst Hispanic gang members. However, along with the pachuco cross, the three dots is also a popular “generic” tattoo among Hispanic teenagers with no gang involvement whatsoever.
This is also popular in German prisons among current and former convicts as a symbol of their time done behind bars. Generally it implies the person does not know, see or hear anything and has therefore no information for the police. This tattoo also usually appears on the skin between the thumb and forefinger. Also for some groups it means 'I hate cops.'
In France, the dots stand for 'Mort Aux Vaches', literally 'Death to cows', in slang 'Death to cops'. It can also be interpreted as '**** the World'. In Greece, the three dots in a triangle signify affiliation with anarchist beliefs/ideals (The three dots can be seen as points of the letter “A”, the symbol for many anarchists around the world).
The three dots in a triangle are also used as a protective symbol for hobos, sailors, and convicts, known as “hobo dots.” Among sailors it's a traditional tattoo to get on their first voyage.
The three dots in a triangle are also used widely in the southeast region of Turkey as a symbol of being one of the tribesmen. The three dot symbol is known as “Gormem, Duymam, Soylemem” meaning that “I hear nothing, I see nothing and I tell nothing”. Bearing this mark is an oath to the person's own society, and requires great responsibility such as being willing to sacrifice himself in favor of the society.