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La Cosa Nostra - Essay Example

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Running Head: LA COSA NOSTRA LA COSA NOSTRA By La Cosa Nostra The existence of organized crime poses the biggest threat to the existence of civilized society more than any other form of crimes. This is because it openly and deliberately challenges the legitimacy of legal authority and overtly taunts its effectiveness…
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La Cosa Nostra
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Download file to see previous pages It is the most notorious American organized crime in the country’s history, a notoriety that has often been depicted on the big screen such as the classic films The Godfather and The Untouchables. La Cosa Nostra: The Beginning When Sicily was annexed to Italy in the 1860s, the Sicilian authorities had trouble enforcing order due to a restructured society engendered by a land reform that redistributed public land to Sicilian peasants. Banditry became prevalent as peasants were forced to lawlessness to survive as the lands given to them were too small for them to live on. Traditional sources of livelihood such as firewood gathering were lost when church estates and public land were confiscated and redistributed by the government. The state of lawlessness gave rise to the formation of a secret society that offered its services for a fee to protect merchants and landowners from bandits and other lawless elements. This underground society was called the Mafia and protected merchants and landowners. Although the group operated through vigilante means, a member is considered “A Man of Honor” because of the protection he gave his family and society. Eventually, members became abusive and turned to extortion to force landowners and merchants to hire them at high price. This was, however, tolerated because of their role as protectors (FBI). The Sicilian Mafia eventually branched out to politics, forcing people to vote for the candidates they want, but when Benito Mussolini came to power in the early 1920s he felt threatened by it and ordered a relentless campaign against its members. This became the turning point of the Sicilian Mafia as many of them were arrested and imprisoned. Some mafia members or Mafiosi, however, were able to flee to the United States (FBI). The American Mafia Mussolini’s campaign against the Mafia in Sicily drove many of them to flee to the US illegally. However, the first Sicilian Mafia who came into the US was Giuseppe Esposito, who fled with six other Mafiosi after murdering the chancellor and vice chancellor of a Sicilian province. He was deported to Italy after arrest in 1881 in New Orleans. In 1990, the first major Mafia operation took place with the execution of David Hennessy, New Orleans police chief superintendent. Although hundreds were arrested and 19 eventually indicted, a subsequent acquittal led New Orleans citizens to organize lynch mobs and killed many of the defendants (FBI). The LCN operates in such cities as Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and in Miami, but the group’s greatest stronghold is New York. Previously, the group also operated in Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Las Vegas, LA, New Orleans and Pittsburgh, but has been greatly weakened and is now almost non-existent. Eighty per cent of its estimated 1100 membership are said to be operating in the NY metropolitan area where five families are lording it over: the Bonanno family; the Colombo family; the Genovese family; the Gambino family; and the Lucchese family (Finckenauer 1). LCN operation in the US officially began in the 1920s and since then this group has been known as the foremost criminal organization in the country associated with organized crime. The group is known for ruthless violence such as beatings and killings, which it uses as an operational tool externally and internally. Arson, bombings, explosions are used as tools by the LCN in operating its business and gain ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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