On the historical and geographic origins of the Sicilian mafia

On the other side of the ocean, several Italian-American culturalorganisations decry the persistent cinematic image as nothing less than bigotry, citing the (accurate) statistic that fewer than one percent of Italo-Americans are in the Mafia. A few of these organisations,echoing the official position held by the FBI until the 1970s, denied the veryexistence of the Mafia until it was mentioned in criminal cases in federal courts in the 1980s. Until then, anti-defamationlobbying garnered some isolated and unexpected results; it was strange, forinstance, to hear references to "the syndicate" in American telefilmswhen everybody knew from context that the teleplays' characters were referring to the Mafia, which American mafiosi usually referred to as "our thing" or "our business." Sicilians laugh at the charming Italo-American myth that "the Mafia doesn't exist," but they also enjoy and

Origins of the Mafia - PopMatters

Using two sets of historical crime and ..

the historical laxity of law enforcement in protecting citizens

How does such an organization survive into the twenty-first century? It has a great deal to do with social factors - things like high unemployment, widespread lack of confidence in the competence of law enforcement authorities, distrust of the state. But the general secretiveness of the people is one of the main reasons organised crime is still so powerful in the Italian South, where common folk often seem suspicious of even the most ordinary social forces. The Italian ethos is based on the realities of everyday life: Italians presume that their elected leaders are thieves motivated by greed. Businessmen presume that associates will steal at the first opportunity. Labor unions presume that employers will seek to exploit employees whenever possible. Spouses presume that marital infidelity is simply a question of human nature, and even use a particular word, to describe cuckolded husbands.

Our history of the Mafia presents information on its origins.

During the 1960s, the Sicilian "Cupola" and the American"Commission" began to seriously cooperate in the narcotics trade,despite their expressed sentiment that heroin and cocaine were somehow less"respectable" products than extortion and murder. The Sicilian faction was still more ruthless than its American counterpart, often resorting to the murder of judges and other public officials, as well as journalists, whose activities they considered inconvenient. Palermo's Falcone-Borsellino Airport is named after two such judges, and there is a monument in Piazza 13 Vittime (13 Victims), at the end of Palermo's Via Cavour, dedicated to the memory of people killed by the Mafia.

Origins of the Mafia
Find out more about the history of Mafia in the United States, including videos, interesting articles, pictures, historical features and more

GameTrailers is your destination to see official trailers first

By the start of the 21st century, the American Mafia was a shadow of its former self. However, the Mafia remained active in some of its traditional ventures, including loan-sharking and illegal gambling, and its involvement in labor unions and legitimate industries such as construction hadn’t been completely eliminated. Contributing to the Mafia’s continued survival may be the fact that following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America, significant resources devoted to investigating organized crime (which had already seen cuts prior to 9/11) were shifted to counterterrorism work.

Olof Palme and Swedish Crime Fiction | Nordic Noir

The American Mafia, a separate entity from the Mafia in Sicily, came to power in the 1920s era after the success of Italian-American neighborhood gangs in the booming bootleg liquor business. By the 1950s, the Mafia (also known as Cosa Nostra, Italian for “Our Thing”) had become the preeminent organized-crime network in the United States and was involved in a range of underworld activities, from loan-sharking to prostitution, while also infiltrating labor unions and legitimate industries such as construction and New York’s garment industry. Like the Sicilian Mafia, American Mafia families were able to maintain their secrecy and success because of their code of omerta, as well as their ability to bribe and intimidate public officials, business leaders, witnesses and juries. For these reasons, law-enforcement agencies were largely ineffective at stopping the Mafia during the first part of the 20th century. However, during the 1980s and 1990s, prosecutors in America and Italy began successfully employing tough anti-racketeering laws to convict top-ranking mobsters. Additionally, some Mafiosi, in order to avoid long prison terms, began breaking the once-sacred code of omerta and testified against fellow mob members. By the start of the 21st century, after hundreds of high-profile arrests over the course of several decades, the Mafia appeared to be weakened in both countries; however, it was not eliminated completely and remains in business today.

*FREE* shipping on qualifying offers

It exists. It is a symptom of Sicily's endemic political corruption and a general cynicism regarding public institutions and the criminal justice system, its life sustained by a widespread mentality which breeds a general distrust in even the youngest Sicilians - distrust of everybody and every thing. The people who claim or imply that the international Mafia does exist or is not very powerful (and that unfortunately has included one or two "Italian-American" ethnic organisations despite news of the Mafia in American publications such as and ) are either in denial, intentionally deceptive, self-serving or plain ignorant.