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Comparative Perspective on Organized Crime Groups - Assignment Example

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This paper "Comparative Perspective on Organized Crime Groups" focuses on the fact that the Sicilian Mafia and the Medellin Cartel are both born out of political unrest.  They both operate internationally and their actions can have a significant impact on the related countries.   …
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Comparative Perspective on Organized Crime Groups
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Download file to see previous pages The Medellin Cartel of Columbia and the Sicilian Mafia are the two groups chosen for comparative analysis. In what aspects do they differ? What are their similarities? Suchlike questions will be dealt with in the passages that follow.

Both the crime groups emerged in regions with a history of political volatility. The civil war of 1948-1958 had the harshest impact on the city and its surrounding areas. The civil war was essentially one of the struggles between poor Campesinos and the rich landowners. It is no coincidence that most of the populace of Medellin are poor and are émigrés from the countryside. The industrial city of Medellin served as the operating base for the Medellin Cartel, whose founders include Pablo Escobar, the Ochoa clan, and Carlos Lehder-Rivas. The city is also notorious for smuggling and pickpocketing (Griswold 2005).

Similarly, the union of Sicily with Italy proved significant in the growth and consolidation of the Mafia, which could be considered as a special social class. The Sicilian Mafiosi filled in the gap caused by an inefficient government and hence functioned as an unofficial police force that maintains order. The Italian government is heavily partisan towards the bourgeois north. It meant that the Sicilian peasant, without any political representation, was heavily exploited. The landowners, of course, evaded such oppression. Such conditions of inequality and injustice made necessary a protective force, and hence the Mafia. But the Mafiosi were more than just police, in that they were a political force themselves. Election results were largely determined by the Mafia through coercion and intimidation. (The Economist, 1995)

In 1982, Escobar was elected as an alternate Colombian representative in Envigado, a region nearby Medellín. There he established himself as a saviour of the underprivileged by implementing construction projects for slum dwellers and soccer fields for the youth.    ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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