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Cosa Nostra

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Here is another quick powerpoint support for my presentation for university, on the Sicilian Mafia "Cosa Nostra", on how it works, how it is linked to politics, etc...

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Cosa Nostra

  1. 1. The Sicilian Mafia, or “Cosa Nostra”
  2. 2. Part I: What is Cosa Nostra? 1) Definition 2) Birth 3) Operating Mode
  3. 3. 1) Definition - Mafia is not every criminal organization, it is particularly the Mafia of Sicily, or Cosa Nostra (“What's Ours”) - Secret organization - Each network has a territory - Networks of Italy: the Camorra, the 'Ndrangheta, the Stidda (Southern Sicily), and the Sacra Corona Unita. - The Mafia cultural trait inherent to the Sicilian society: it is→ the “consciousness of one's own worth, the exaggerated concept of individual force as the sole arbiter of every conflict, of every clash of interests or ideas […]” (Giuseppe Pitrè) - “Cosa Nostra” defense of one's property, following the→ Sicilian way of being - Today, there is also an organizational level: Mafia groups have a structure, a hierarchy, an economic activity... - Goal: to provide “private protection”
  4. 4. 2) Birth 1816: The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies = Kingdom of Sicily + Kingdom of Naples 1861: The new formed Kingdom of Italy = Kingdom of the Two Sicilies + Kingdom of Sardinia Sicily abolished feudalism → large redistribution of public and Church lands to citizens →Large number of new landowners (new liberal system) Absence of effective governance vandalism and no protection of→ properties creation of the first→ Mafia clans, to satisfy the demand for social services
  5. 5. 2) Birth Low quality of government basis of the credibility of the→ Mafia: the population (actors) don't trust the public institutions replacement by another→ institution: the Mafia The change in the landowning system make preferences of→ actors change appeal to the→ parallel system of the Mafia it→ changed networks, moving from a formal one to an informal one
  6. 6. 2) Birth If it was reversed, and the administration employed more means, then it would weaken the system little by little and the Mafia would lose its credibility and power → incremental change For now, the Mafia is the beneficiary: corruption more→ lack of efficiency in bureaucracy → more inequality →lack of social trust corruption→ Inequality: because those who benefit from the Mafia's services are those who pay others are disadvantaged→ A lot of politicians – the more powerful people, so the more networked, the richest – are closely linked to the Mafia
  7. 7. 3) Operating Mode It is both an informal institution and a criminal organization: Institution: the actors benefit from it; legal framework of its own; Mafia survives to people and to the organization itself (over almost 2 centuries now) Informal: exists in parallel of the formal system of government Organization: also lives longer than the actors; it takes actions organizational structure (hierarchy) with an→ executive body Criminal: takes illegal actions, punishable by law: whereas the formal institution of the State (law) is enforced by the legal organization of government, the Mafia is an informal institution enforced by its illegal organization
  8. 8. 3) Operating Mode Mafia = negative network strongly tied→ →familism (type of bonding social capital) Mafia = case of stickiness: part of the system, anchored culturally as well as socially and economically Familism: when the purpose of the family is more important than the one of the community at a bigger scale (country) (Edward C. Banfield) What will be good or bad for the family/Mafia, won't be the same for the State (example: Mafiosi's “men of honour”: not the same meaning for the Mafia or for the State) Reason why it is dangerous for the efficiency of the State: strong ties not allowing any flow of information it allows→ the development of the family only, not of the country sort→ of social cancer
  9. 9. Part II: Cosa Nostra Facts 1) “Christian Democracy” and the Mafia 2) The Most Famous Anti-Mafia Trial: the Maxi Trial
  10. 10. 1) Christian Democracy and the Mafia 1946: Italy becomes a Republic Fear of communism leads to the victory of the political party Christian Democracy (Democrazia Cristiana), founded in 1943, which will dominate the political life in Italy until its dissolution, in 1994, accompanied by a general belief of its corruption implications Its founder and first leader, Alcide De Gasperi, became prime minister from 1945 to 1953
  11. 11. 1) Christian Democracy and the Mafia Giulio Andreotti is a famous Italian politician from Christian Democracy, who became Prime Minister in 1972 Salvatore Lima, close to him, has been the mayor of Palermo, elected with the help of Mafiosi →profitability corruption In five years, he also signed over 4,000 building licences, more than half of them in the names of three clients who had no connection with construction at all → grand corruption Salvo Lima was one of the most important contacts of Cosa Nostra in politics
  12. 12. 1) Christian Democracy and the Mafia 1979: Carmine Pecorelli, a journalist who was about to publish allegations that Andreotti was linked to the Mafia, was shot dead in his car Tommaso Buscetta, one of the high bosses of Cosa Nostra, later turned informant (a turncoat, pentito), will tell that this murder had been conducted to help Andreotti, who was in government
  13. 13. 2) The Most Famous Anti-Mafia Trial: the Maxi Trial February 1986 – December 1987: Criminal trial against Cosa Nostra, in Palermo. An enormous number of Mafia bosses were judged, either in presence or in absentia Though soon after its end, the appeals process began: a lot of criminals were granted their freedom the judged had→ been appointed by Salvo Lima (so potentially bribed by the Mafia) Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, two famous anti-Mafia magistrates, were greatly disappointed
  14. 14. 2) The Most Famous Anti-Mafia Trial: the Maxi Trial However in 1992, they succeeded in refusing some appeals, and forced some Mafiosi who had come out of jail to get back in The Mafia, seeing that Andreotti and Lima could no longer protect them, killed Falcone, Borsellino and Salvo Lima the same year Maxi Trial acknowledged the Mafia as→ being a network and not merely isolated criminals Cosa Nostra was weakened: many Mafiosi were imprisoned 2006: Bernardo Provenzano, who ordered the murders of Falcone and Borsellino, was finally arrested

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