Sicilian Mafia popularly known as Cosa Nostra is a society of criminals that is said to have been formed sometimes in the 19th century. Sicilian Mafia is actually an association, made of various criminal groups with a common structure in terms of organization and behavior. Every criminal group has a particular territory from which they carry out their operations and they have sovereignty of that particular area. The focus of this paper is o carry out an in-depth research on the history, structure, operation, activities, and participants of the Organized Crime Sicilian Mafia.
This paper will also attempt to determine what law enforcement efforts have been directed toward the activities of the group, if any. Sicilian Mafia is made up of “families” or coscas. By estimation currently Sicilian Mafia has an average of 100 coscas and 4,000 members in total. Every single family has a leader whom they refer to as the boss. The boss is aided in his duties by an under boss and a couple of advisers. In the line of command and leadership but under the authority of the under boss is a crew of soldiers all for security purpose of the mafia.
One thing that is very distinct about the Sicilian Mafia is their heavy reliance on associates. Associates are people who closely with distinct family or even families but they are considered as actual members of that family. Most of the corrupt government officials in various countries will more often be associates of particular mafia groups like the Sicilian Mafia. The person in charge of all families is known as capo di tutti capi and is considered as the most powerful boss. (Gambetta, 1993)
The Cosa Nostra has a commission that is charged with the responsibility of making critical and vital decision in regard to the organizations. Some of these decisions are in regard to disputes within the organization. The commission is made of representatives from various families in different regions. Every province has its own commission. Sicilian Mafia engages in a couple of activities which are all criminal in nature, crime being their main basis of operation. Some of the activities include extortion.
Research carried out indicates annually, Sicilian Mafia gets up to 10 billion dollars through extortion. This they do by requiring all the business to pay particular amount of money on monthly basis which ranges depending on the size of the business. The second major activity that the Sicilian Mafia engages in is the trafficking of drugs. Sicily has over the years been identified as major route of trafficking of heroine. In the year 2003 alone more than 8 billion dollars of Sicilian revenues came form drug trafficking.
Sicilian Mafia is also heavily involved in trafficking of firearms and weapons of massive destruction. Loan sharking is yet another source of money for this criminal group. Loan sharks are groups of people that give loans in which they do not require security which loans are payable on interests. Another major activity that Sicilian Mafia gets involved in and which generates quite a large amount of money is controlling contracts both private and public. There are some rituals that all members of the Sicilian Mafia are required to go through.
These rituals include initiation. In order to be a qualified member of the Mafia one has to go through a number of processes which are a part of initiation process. All these are done to test one’s ability to be ruthless and obedient. During the initiation process one is also require to abide by the codes of behavior of this criminal association and is made aware of the dire consequences that would follow incase of betrayal by a member. During the initiation process there are some introductions that are done.
According to the regulations of the organization, a member of the association commonly referred to as Mafioso cannot introduce himself to another member. (Dickie, 2004)A third party must be involved who is supposed to do the introductions. The Sicilian Mafia also has a set to Ten Commandments just like the Biblical commandments given to Moses. These commandments are seen as a guideline to the members so that they are able to honorable and respectable members of the Mafia.