(80) Many Italian families are a major influence on the organized crime melting pot. Families such as the Colombo's, the Gambino's, the Bannanno's, and the Luchesse's have migrated from Italy, and play an important role in the organized crime system. (Worsnop 267) The Colombo family, which consists of approximately 100 members is currently led by Victor Orena. Victor is currently acting as boss due to the absence of Carmine Persico, who is serving a prison sentence for racketeering. (268) The Colombo families main activities include loan sharking, gambling, smuggling, and narcotics.
Stemming from the enormous crime syndicate called Cosa Nostra, meaning “our thing” in Sicilian, the Gambino family and Cosa Nostra became a national menace. La Cosa Nostra, as it was referred to by law enforcement¬ and members, was a title for the American Mafia. The Mafia emerged during the late 1900’s and early 20th Century in New York's Lower East Side, then in many other areas of the East Coast and in several other major cities. The mob was greatly populated by the wave of Italian immigration. Many of immigrants came from economically downtrodden southern Italy, with many Mafia members in Sicily and Naples who were fleeing the rule of fascist Benito Mussolini, who began to crackdown on the Mafia in Italy.
Some of these refugees formed a secret society that gave protection to the people in exchange for money. This group took their name, “Mafia” based on the Arabic word for refuge. In America today, one can hear it also be called “La Cosa Nostra”, or “This Thing of Ours.” In the 1700s,Wealthy people would receive a card with a black hand drawn on and if they did not pay the money, they could expect murder, theft, and violence. During the time Mussolini was ruling Italy, this secret society was under heavy persecution and many fled to the United States. “Don (term for the boss or head of a Mafia family) Vito Cascio Ferro fled to the United States in 1901 to escape arrest.
The Mafia: Wealth and Politics in the 1920 MAFIA - "a secret association having for its object the illicit control of any enterprise, legitimate or illegitimate, which it decides to infiltrate" (Allen 6). The decade of the 1920s was full of deception, corruption, and degeneration. The very embodiment of these qualities was the institution of the Italian-American Mafia. The syndicate began in Sicily and spread to encompass United States politics and the national economy. The post war era left the nation in a recession and vulnerable to organized crime.
President Harrison who disproved of the vigilantes and gave a large cash settlement to the families ... ... middle of paper ... ...ia consists of a large group of glorified thieves, pickpockets and murderers. Although it began with the adoption of much of the Sicilian heritage it has evolved into an organization that's sole purpose is to make money using any illegal means possible. The members of the American Mafia use extortion, bootlegging, prostitution, gambling, kidnapping, and murder to achieve their ends. The above research has shown that the Mafia has become a wide spread problem. The Mafia has continued to grow and infest our society from the early 1900's.
Sneaking mobsters in our government to spread corruption, destroying rival businesses, and assassinating nation’s leaders are just some of the few things the mafia has done to America. During the cold war the spread of communism was a fear for many Americans. The mafia decided to take advantage of this and decided to strike a deal with the government. “In 1945 and 1955 43 socialists and communists were murdered in Sicily, often at election time.” (Quoted in Stille 1995: 19). The government hired assassins to kill communist politicians in Italy ultimately changing how their country’s government.
Some people get the impression that all Italians are in the mafia. Movies can have an impact on society and culture, after the release of the Godfather, many Italian American criminals began to sound like the characters in the film, in taped recordings of their conversations. The film gangster’s stereotypical mold that they are usually materialistic, street smart, immoral, tough, and self-destructive. Their main goal in life is for power and money because they have an ambitious desire for success and recognition in life, but sometimes underneath all ... ... middle of paper ... ...s, bank robbers, underworld figures, or ruthless hoodlums who operate outside the law, stealing and murdering their way through life. The misunderstandings that lead to bloodbaths, the little arguments that start wars, the girlfriend who wants her man to go legit, all are given in some movies that often finds a great reason for us to want to see what happens next.
Organized crime is a global problem. It now not only includes the ever so cliché Italian and Sicilian mobsters we all have seen movies based on but now, encompasses the Russian mobesters who left after Soviet Union collapsed. African groups that are escalating the drug trafficking problem. Chinese tongs, Japanese Boryokudan and other Asian crime groups and Eastern European nations that are so big into the human trafficking that is a global epidemic. Organized crime groups can manage to manipulate financial markets, labor unions and even legitimate industries.
Today's "mobsters" are highly educated extortionists dressed in suites. The old ways of organized crime will never be the same again. The desire, need, brutality, wisdom, and style of what we know as the Italian Mafia only exists in books and movies. In my opinion, the time of the Prohibition was, and always will be the most recognizable time of the underworld because of the Italian Mafia.
Born in 1899 in Brooklyn, New York, to poor immigrant parents from Italy, Alphonse Capone, nicknamed “Scarface” due to a youthful fight in which a blade slashed his left cheek, went on to become the most infamous gangster in American history. In 1920 during the height of the Prohibition, Capone’s multi-million dollar Chicago mafia operation known as “The Outfit” specialized in bootlegging, prostitution and gambling dominated the organized crime scene. Capone was originally thought by the public to be a “Robin Hood” type figure but was later seen as an incorrigible menace. He struck fear into the hearts of many, even saying, “You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.” (Iorizzo 41) Capone was known for taking extreme and cruel measures against his enemies and was responsible for many brutal acts of violence, primarily against other gangsters.