men can keep a secret,
as long as one of them is dead"
to legends of the long life of the Sicilian Mafia, it hasn't
been around for that many years. The Mafia in Sicily was just
born old. The key to it's strength is it's great ability to
spread devestation around the world and get away with it, not
it's longevity of life.
term 'Mafia' arose in Italy around 1865 to characterize some
powerful Sicilians or Sicilian families engaged in violent and
criminal activity who also achieved considerable control of
local economic activity
island of Sicily, with a long tradition of resistance to outside
domination, saw the rise of the Sicilian mafia in the second
half of the nineteenth century, especially after the unification
of Italy in 1870.
of large estates hired gabelloti [custodians] to run the estates
in their owners' absence. The mafia put many of its men in gabelloti
positions and thus achieved control over products and manufactured
goods going to market as well as control of the peasants.
The mafioso played critical roles of mediation among peasants,
landowners, and the state and between the countryside and the
nobility may not have actually created the Mafia, but they unwittingly
permitted the development of social conditions that facilitated
its macabre growth.
Between 1925 and 1929 the Italian Fascists made a concerted
effort to dissolve the mafia and re-establish government control
of the use of violence, but Prefect Cesare Mori - the man implementing
this effort - was dismissed when he targeted powerful people
supporting the Fascist regime. Mori's effort did replace mafia
control of the relationship between peasants and landowners
with state control, but it did not eliminate the problem. The
mafia reestablished itself when fascism fell and was given a
further boost when the Allied occupation in 1943 turned to local
powers for assistance in governing.
the second world war, Whilst American generals contemplated
how many Purple Hearts, headless corpses of American soldiers
should get, they had no time to think about food distribution
and other economical things.
They turned to mafiosos, who returned from prisons where "they
were unjustly held by a Fascist regime".
and Power were the keywords to best describe what happened.
the Sicilian Mafia is like joining a religion, once you're in
there, you're in it for life! There is no retirement from the
Mafia, the only way is Death.
types of Mafia reign in Italy. The greatest of these is the
Sicilian Mafia based in Palermo. This Mafia has 186 ruling families
with 67 of them located in Palermo. The hierarchy of these 186
families, when united, is as follows:
of the individual families
is a strict code of silence that reigns over Sicily. This is
due to the over 2,000 years of enemy inhabitance. This code
is called. "omerta." It reigns especially true in
literally means "manhood," and refers to the idea
of a man resolving his own problems, but the term has become
synonomous with the Mafia's code of silence. The Mafia's secret
rituals, and much of the organization's structure, were based
largely on those of the Catholic confraternities and even Freemasonry,
colored by Sicilian familial traditions and even certain customs
associated with military-religious orders of chivalry like the
Order of Malta. The duel, for example, gave way to the vendetta,
but both were known among Sicilian feuding families in times
relates to a person's capacity of maintaing silence in bad conditions.
It is held by those who view it as manly. Secrecy and intelligence
go hand in have in the Mafia.
italian MAFIA is supposebly four distinct crime gangs
the Sicilian Mafia or Cosa Nostra, the Ndrangheta or Calabrian
Mafia, the Camorra and the Sacra Corona Unita (SCU). The Sicilian
Mafia remains the most powerful of the four groups, with an
estimated 5,000 plus members serving in some 180 factions.
Members of all four rely on a vow of silence and family associations
that are reinforced by fear of retribution and even death. That
fear has been regularly underscored over the years by brutal
murders aimed at either eliminating members of the opposition
including prosecutors and judges or dispatching
a comrade who failed to live up to the law of silence.