Sicilian Mafia

Organized crime syndicate / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Sicilian Mafia, also simply known as the Mafia and frequently referred to as Cosa nostra (Italian: [ˈkɔːza ˈnɔstra, ˈkɔːsa -], Sicilian: [ˈkɔːsa ˈnɔʂː(ɽ)a]; "our thing"[3]) by its members, is an Italian Mafia-terrorist-type[4] organized crime syndicate and criminal society originating in the region of Sicily and dating to at least the 19th century. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organisational structure and code of conduct and honor and present themselves to the public under a common brand. The basic group is known as a "family", "clan", or cosca.[5] Each family claims sovereignty over a territory, usually a town or village or a neighbourhood (borgata) of a larger city, in which it operates its rackets. Its members call themselves "men of honour", although the public often refers to them as mafiosi. By the 20th century, following wide-scale emigration from Sicily, mafiosi established gangs in North and South America which replicate the traditions and methods of their Sicilian ancestors. The Mafia's core activities are protection racketeering, the arbitration of disputes between criminals, and the organizing and oversight of illegal agreements and transactions.[6][7]

Quick facts: Founding location, Years active, Te...
Sicilian Mafia
Founding locationSicily, Italy
Years activeSince the 19th century
TerritoryMostly western Sicily, particularly Palermo, Trapani, and Agrigento[1]
Membership5,500 members[2]
Criminal activitiesRacketeering, drug trafficking, murder, extortion, loan sharking, assault, smuggling, terrorism, illegal gambling, prostitution, theft, money laundering, arms trafficking, fraud, fencing, kidnapping, robbery