14 Cosa Nostra Today, it is impossible to tell the story of the mafia without reckoning .. This book is the first history of the Sicilian mafia, from its origins to the. Read Cosa Nostra PDF - A History of the Sicilian Mafia by John Dickie St. Martin's Griffin | Hailed in Italy as the best book ever written about the. Editorial Reviews. Review. "The inspiration of far too much pulpy entertainment, the Italian Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? . As it stands now, one is better off downloading the printed version and use a PDF or.

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Editorial Reviews. Review. "The inspiration of far too much pulpy entertainment, the Italian Highlight, take notes, and search in the book; In this edition, page numbers are just like the physical edition; Length: .. As it stands now, one is better off downloading the printed version and use a PDF or, even better, PDF/OCR. PDF | How can organizations that lack mechanisms of legal dispute resolution and in the Sicilian “Cosa Nostra” and the American “La Cosa Nostra”. Mafia Organizations: The Visible Hand of Criminal Enterprise. Book. PDF | History of the Mafia in America, how it has changed over time, and the " The Italian-American Mafia (or Cosa Nostra)" in L. Paoli, ed. In book: Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime, Publisher: Oxford University Press.

More money circulated in the property and rental sectors than anywhere else on the island. It was here that much of the farmland in the surrounding province and beyond was bought, sold, and rented. Palermo also set the political agenda.

The mafia was born not of poverty and isolation, but of power and wealth. The lemon groves just outside Palermo were the setting for the story of the first person persecuted by the mafia ever to leave a detailed account of his misfortunes.

He was a respected surgeon, Gaspare Galati. Almost everything that is known about Dr Galati as a person—his courage most notably—emerges from the testimony he would later submit to the authorities, who subsequently confirmed the authenticity of what he wrote.

In , Dr Galati came to manage an inheritance on behalf of his daughters and their maternal aunt. The fondo was a model enterprise: But when he took control of it, Gaspare Galati was well aware that the huge investment in the business was in danger. Two months before his death, he had learned from the steam-pump operator that the sender of the letters was the warden on the fondo, Benedetto Carollo, who had dictated them to someone who knew how to read and write.

Carollo may have been uneducated, but he had attitude: Galati describes him swaggering about as if he owned the farm, and it was widespread knowledge that he creamed 20—25 per cent off the sale price of its produce; he even stole the coal intended for the steam engine.

Between the Sicilian groves where the lemons grew, and the shops in northern Europe and America where consumers bought them, a host of agents, wholesale merchants, packagers, and transporters plied their trade. Financial speculation lubricated every stage of the process, beginning while the lemons were still on the trees; as a way of offsetting the high initial costs and spreading the risk of a poor harvest, citrus businesses usually sold the crop well before the fruit was ripe.

Upon taking control of the Riella fruit farm from his brother-in-law, Dr Galati resolved to save himself trouble and lease it to someone else.


Carollo had other ideas. When prospective tenants came to view the fondo, he made his views abundantly clear to them as he showed them round: The doctor stood firm. At around 10 P. The attackers had made a terraced platform out of stones inside another grove so that they could shoot him from behind the surrounding wall—a method used in many early mafia hits.

The victim died in hospital in Palermo a few hours later. An inspector ignored this lead and arrested two men who had no connection with the victim. Subsequently they were released when no evidence was found against them. Despite this lack of support from the police, Dr Galati hired another warden. Looking back a year later, by which time he had found out exactly what he was up against, Dr Galati was able to explain this new terminology: He was promised that Carollo and his associates, who included an adopted son, would be arrested.

But the inspector—the same man who earlier had sent the investigation down a false trail—was not so keen.

Three weeks passed before he took Carollo and his son into custody, and even then they were released after two hours on the grounds that they had nothing to do with the crime.

Galati became convinced that the inspector was in league with the criminals. Father Rosario, a man with a record as a police spy under the old Bourbon regime, was also a prison chaplain and took advantage of his role to ferry messages to and from inmates.

But Father Rosario was not the leader of the gang. He had been born into a desperately poor peasant family and had started his working life as a labourer. The revolts of and gave him the chance he needed to show his mettle and win important friends. By , at the age of fifty-five, Giammona was a man of status; he owned property worth some , lire, the Chief of Police of Palermo reported.

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He was strongly suspected of having executed several fugitives from justice to whom he had at first given shelter. Their deaths became necessary, the police thought, when they started to steal from local properties while under his protection. Giammona was also known to have received a sum of money along with instructions to carry out mysterious business on behalf of a criminal from near Corleone who had fled to the United States to escape prosecution.

The Uditore mafia based their power on running protection rackets in the lemon groves. They could force landowners to accept their men as stewards, wardens, and brokers. Giammona was not just picking on Dr Galati; he was orchestrating a concerted campaign to control the citrus fruit industry of the whole Uditore area. New threatening letters arrived: But he was fortified by the knowledge that his complaints had led to the removal of the police inspector whom he suspected of collusion with the mafia.

Dr Galati also reasoned that the mafia was unlikely to take the risk of killing a man of property and status like himself, so he decided to ignore the ultimatum. Just after the deadline passed, in January , his new warden was shot three times in broad daylight.

Benedetto Carollo and two other former workers on the fondo were arrested on suspicion. Before the warden collapsed from his wounds, he was able to see and identify his attackers. At first, lying in hospital, he did not respond to police questions. Then, as his fever rose and death seemed near, he called for the investigating magistrate and gave a statement: Encouraged by the magistrate, Dr Galati treated the wounded warden himself, tending him day and night.

He never went out without his revolver and kept his wife and daughters at home. Dr Galati was told that he, his wife and daughters would be stabbed, perhaps on their way out of the theatre; the blackmailers clearly knew that Dr Galati had a season ticket. Nevertheless there seemed to be a hint of desperation to these latest blackmail letters. Dr Galati became more hopeful that, with a case being prepared and a witness ready to testify, Benedetto Carollo had finally been cornered.

As soon as he was well enough to move, he went to Antonino Giammona and asked to make peace. He was invited to celebrate the deal at a banquet, after which he changed his statement and the case against Carollo collapsed.

Without even waiting to say goodbye to his relatives and friends, Dr Galati took his family and fled to Naples, leaving behind his property and a client list that he had taken a quarter of a century to build up. All that he could then do was to send a memorandum to the Minister of the Interior in Rome in August Nothing had been done to investigate these crimes.

A war to control the citrus fruit industry in the area was going on while the police force remained impassive. A capable young police officer was put to work on the Galati case. It turned out that, like his murdered predecessor, the second replacement warden was a fearsome character. Although Dr Galati either did not know it or would not admit it, the likelihood is that both of the wardens he employed were also affiliated to the mafia. He was probably being used all along in a war between rival mafia cosche.

The Uditore mafia responded to the new investigation by showing off its friends. A series of landowners and politicians lined up behind Antonino Giammona. In the end, a police caution and intensified surveillance were the only response that the authorities could muster. As will become clear later, the origins of the mafia are closely related to the origins of an untrustworthy state—the Italian state.

The case also produced evidence of the most distinctive component of all: When Dr Giuseppe Galati sent his memorandum to the Minister of the Interior in , he provoked the Minister into asking for a report from the Chief of Police of Palermo.

It is in this report that the Chief of Police revealed the mafia initiation ritual for the first time. Then the oath of loyalty would be taken as the image was burned and its ashes scattered, thus symbolizing the annihilation of all traitors.

Now a huge and intricate field of investigation has opened up for the authorities. The ritual undergone by Brusca makes for a striking comparison with the version, and that comparison creates a better understanding of how and why it made sense for the mafia to be a secret association right from the outset.

The man who would later blow up Judge Falcone at Capaci was initiated young, at nineteen. The fact that his father was a boss had helped put him on the fast track; his first murder was already behind him. About committing crimes? He did not know it but the initiation had already begun. At a certain point, the others gathered in a room, leaving Brusca outside. The men of honour began to fire questions at Brusca: Among the statutes of the organization that Riina set out to Brusca that day was the now famous one relating to introductions.

No one is allowed to introduce himself as a mafioso, even to another man of honour. My tooth hurts! Mine too. When did yours hurt? On the day of Our Lady of the Annunciation. Where were you? Passo di Rigano. And who was there? Nice people. Who were they? Antonino Giammona, number 1.

Alfonso Spatola, number 2, etc. And how did they do the bad deed? They drew lots and Alfonso Spatola won. He took a saint, coloured it with my blood, put it in the palm of my hand, and burned it.

He threw the ashes in the air. Who did they tell you to adore? The Genesis of the Mafia 47 B: The sun and the moon. And who is your god? What kingdom do you belong to? The index finger. Passo di Rigano, mentioned here, is another village on the outskirts of Palermo. This original recognition ceremony is more cumbersome and less reliable than the contemporary version explained to Giovanni Brusca.

One wonders how the two mobsters know which of them is supposed to take the lead.

All the same, for the first time this strange dialogue confirms something very simple and very important about the early mafia: More than anything else about the mafia, the initiation ritual bolsters wide- spread myths about how ancient the organization is.

In reality, it is as modern as everything else about the mafia. It was almost certainly borrowed originally from the Masons. Masonic secret societies, which were imported to Sicily from France via Naples around , rapidly became very popular among ambitious middle- class opponents of the Bourbon regime.

The societies had initiation ceremonies, of course, and some of their meeting rooms were adorned with bloody daggers as a warning to potential traitors. In Sicily such groups sometimes developed into political factions and even criminal gangs; one official report from tells of a carbonaro circle involved in cornering local government contracts. Becoming a single, secret association using Masonic-style rites of this kind offered many advantages to the mafia.

Creating a sinister ceremony, and a constitution that has the punishment of traitors as its first article, helped create trust because it was a sensible way of putting up the price of betrayal among criminals who might normally betray each other without a second thought.

In that way, the high risks involved in running protection rackets would be reduced for everyone who joined. The ritual was probably particularly effective in keeping ambitious and aggressive younger members in line. The secret society also offered a system of mutual guarantees with neighbouring gangs that would allow each cosca to operate relatively unmolested on its own patch. Many illegal activities, like cattle rustling and smuggling, involved not only travelling across territories ruled by other gangs but also finding trustworthy business partners all the way along the route.

Membership of the association offered the guarantees required by all parties involved in these activities. Yet it still remains to explain where the mafia came from. The road he travelled ran through the prosperous countryside just outside the city walls; it was lined with lemon trees.

At a point between the villages of Noce and Olivuzza, five men firing from different points at the roadside shot down the horses of his carriage before taking aim at the occupant. Turrisi Colonna and his driver were quick to pull out their revolvers and return fire while they ran for cover. A blast of his shotgun was followed by a scream of pain from the roadside greenery. The would-be assassins gave up and dragged their wounded companion away.

Turrisi Colonna wrote a study titled Public Security in Sicily the year after he was attacked. It was the first of many books published after the unification of Italy that made the Sicilian mafia a subject of analysis, controversy, and confusion.

With the benefit of hindsight afforded by the work of Judge Falcone, historians now also have a good idea of which participants in the earliest debates about the mafia to believe.

Turrisi Colonna turns out to have provided a peculiarly well-informed and credible account. Part of the reason why Turrisi Colonna is such a good witness derives from his status and the important role he played in the dramas of the early s. He had an impeccable record as an Italian patriot. He was already a member of the Italian parliament when he wrote his little book on the crime issue in Much later, in the s, Turrisi Colonna would serve twice as mayor of Palermo.

Even today he is honoured with a marble bust in the committee room of the Palazzo delle Aquile, the seat of the Palermo city council. Turrisi Colonna had an equanimity equal to his status. Law and order was a burning political issue when he wrote his pamphlet in The government was trying to claim that the opposition was conspiring against the new Italian state and was bent on causing disorder to further its aims. Opposition politicians maintained that the government was amplifying the law and order crisis in an effort to brand them as criminals.

Turrisi Colonna took a careful line that would have pleased neither camp: We should not delude ourselves any more. In Sicily there is a sect of thieves that has ties across the whole island.

The sect protects and is protected by everyone who has to live in the countryside, like the lease-holding farmers and herdsmen. It gives protection to and gets help from traders. The police hold little or no fear for the sect because it is confident that it will have no trouble in slipping away from any police hunt. The courts too hold little fear for the sect: This sect, Turrisi Colonna guessed, was about twenty years old. In each area it recruited its affiliates from the brightest peasants, the wardens who guarded estates around Palermo, and the legions of smugglers who brought grain and other heavily taxed items past the customs posts that the city depended on for its income.

In some places the sect was so well organized, receiving political protection from the disreputable factions that dominated local government, that it could frighten any citizen. Even some honest men found themselves turning to the sect in the hope that it might be able to bring some semblance of safety to the countryside.

Driven by its hatred of the brutal and corrupt Bourbon police, the sect had offered its services to the revolutions of and He mentions the kind of kangaroo court that can be found in many later tales of mafia business; the sect members meet to decide the fate of any of their number who has broken the rules—with a death sentence a frequent outcome. In its rules, this evil sect regards any citizen who approaches a carabiniere [military policeman] and talks to him, or even exchanges a word or a greeting with him, as a villain to be punished with death.

No one should provide the police or judiciary with facts that help uncover any crime whatsoever. The balance, astuteness, and honesty that Turrisi Colonna demonstrated in his account of the sect was matched by his gentlemanly reserve. But reasons have now emerged for suspecting that they may not have lived for very long afterwards. A dozen years later, on 1 March , Leopoldo Franchetti and Sidney Sonnino, two wealthy, high-minded young Jewish intellectuals from Tuscany, arrived in Palermo with a friend and their manservant to conduct a private investigation into the state of Sicilian society.

There was even uncertainty about how to spell it: Franchetti and Sonnino had no doubts that the mafia was a dangerous form of criminality, and intended to blow away the mist of different opinions that enveloped it.

Here they say he is linked to the mafia. We want to hear what he has to say. Mind you do not tell anyone what I have told you about Baron Turrisi Colonna and his supposed links with the maffia.

Some friend of his could write to him about it and that would do us a nasty service. Rumours of his mafia connections were widespread; even members of his own political grouping were expressing their concerns about him at court in Rome. In , Turrisi Colonna had made a leading sect member into a captain of his National Guard unit. The man was chosen because of his authority and military experience; earlier he had led one of the revolutionary gangs that descended on Palermo from the surrounding countryside as the patriotic revolution spread.

The man in question was a canny thug named Antonino Giammona—the same Antonino Giammona who would later orchestrate the takeover of the Fondo Riella from Dr Galati. In three separate interviews with Franchetti and Sonnino in , Turrisi Colonna was his usual lucid self on matters of economics. In addition to his interest in the sect, he was a forward-thinking farmer and an agronomist with a long list of academic publications on the citrus fruit business to his name.

But he was uncharacteristically evasive on the crime issue. To Franchetti and Sonnino he protested their innocence, as, indeed, he had done at the time of the arrests. Landowners like him were the victims, he complained; out on their country estates they were forced to deal with bandits because otherwise they would be unable to protect their valuable crops and trees. He made no mention of a sect. Other interviewees quickly changed the subject when asked for an opinion of him.

Turrisi Colonna embodies the puzzles of the violent years that saw the mafia appear. He probably based his pamphlet about the sect on inside sources— perhaps even on what he was told by Antonino Giammona himself.

When he wrote it, he may also genuinely have hoped that unification with Italy could normalize Sicily. He may have been a victim of mafia intimidation, who wanted a powerful, efficient new state to help landowners like himself put the mafiosi in their place.

If so, these were hopes that he had lost long before he was interviewed by Franchetti and Sonnino in A less generous interpretation is that Turrisi Colonna was never a victim at all. Perhaps Turrisi Colonna was simply the first of many Italian politicians whose pronouncements on the mafia did not match their actions.

For all the sophistication of its structure and the insidious grip of its code of honour, the Sicilian mafia would be nothing without its links to politicians like Turrisi Colonna. If credibility has to be bought with thundering speeches against crime, or with learned diagnoses of the state of law and order in Sicily, then so be it.

The mafia deals with politicians in a currency that is rarely printed on the paper of parliamentary proceedings and law books. Rather it is stamped on the solid gold of small favours: Thus, in public, Turrisi Colonna could take a detached, scientific interest in the sect, gazing down on it from the height of his intellectual and social prestige.

In private, away from the domain of open debate, a close relationship with men like Giammona was integral to his business interests and political support. In September , armed gangs once again marched on the city from the surrounding villages.

Whereas Giam- mona, like many other men of violence, had speculated on revolution in the past, he now realized that the Italian state was a body with which he could do business.

Key members of the sect like Giammona were beginning to put their revolutionary past behind them, and as they did so the sect began to enter the bloodstream of the new Italy. They will only start to tell the truth when the nightmare of the Mafia comes to an end. In , the two men who interviewed Turrisi Colonna published their own research on Sicily in a substantial two-part report. But it has a unique stature; it is an analysis of the mafia in the nineteenth century that is still considered an authority in the twenty-first.

Franchetti would ultimately influence thinking about the mafia more than anyone else until Giovanni Falcone over a hundred years later. Political and Administrative Conditions in Sicily is the first convincing explanation of how the mafia came to be.

Both men were great admirers of British liberalism and Sonnino owed his first name to his English mother. When they travelled to Sicily they were entering a land where the vast majority of the population spoke a dialect they could not understand. In the university and salon milieu that Sonnino and Franchetti left behind, the island was still a mysterious place known primarily from ancient Greek myths and sinister newspaper reports.

So they planned for the considerable stresses and dangers of their journey with the resolve of explorers setting off for uncharted territory. Among the equipment they took on their journey in the spring of were repeating rifles, large-calibre pistols, and four copper basins each. The plan was to fill the basins with water and stand the legs of their camp- beds in them to keep insects away.

Because roads were poor or non-existent in the interior of the island, the two researchers often travelled on horseback, choosing their routes and guides at the last possible moment to avoid brigand attacks.

Franchetti in particular was far from entirely naive when he went to Sicily; two years earlier he had hacked across large areas of the mainland of southern Italy on a similar expedition. The notes that Franchetti actually took during the journey have only recently been published; two of the many stories that emerge from those notes can serve to explain the shock of his encounter with Sicily.

Franchetti recorded that, on 24 March , he and Sonnino rode into the central Sicilian city of Caltanissetta. Two days earlier, a priest had been shot dead in the nearby village of Barrafranca, a mafia stronghold, according to the authorities who informed them of what had happened.

Sixty metres from where the priest lay dying stood a witness, a new arrival in Sicily, a government inspector from the northern city of Turin whose job was to supervise the collection of taxes on milled flour. Profoundly disturbed, the tax inspector jumped on his horse and rode off to tell the carabinieri. Not wanting to upset them by blurting out what he knew, he told them to follow him to where the priest needed help.

Along the way, he gently broke the news. Grateful for his sensitivity, they told him that the murder was the culmination of a twelve-year feud between the priest and his cousin. The priest himself was a wealthy man with a fearsome reputation for violence and corruption.

Twenty-four hours later local police arrested the tax inspector, threw him in jail, and charged him with the murder. Mercifully for the tax inspector, the government authorities in Caltanis- setta got wind of the case; when he was released the real murderer went into hiding. He was carrying a letter from the local mafia detailing what his mother had done.

When he confronted her and asked for money to download some new clothes, her evasive response triggered a furious row after which the man stormed out.

He returned shortly afterwards with his cousin and together they stabbed his mother ten times—the son six times and his cousin four. They then threw her body out of the window into the street before giving themselves up. Everyone the travellers interviewed during the two months they were in Sicily seemed to have a different understanding of the new buzzword; everyone seemed to accuse everyone else of being a mafioso.

The authorities in some places were confused. As one lieutenant in the carabinieri lamely told them: On the surface, this was the centre of a thriving industry in which the locals took great pride: A patriotic shame burned within him at the thought that foreigners seemed to know Sicily much better than did the Italians.

By patiently covering the territory and by studying its history, Franchetti overcame his doubts and confusion. He produced an account of the mafia business that is starkly systematic. Sicily was not chaotic; on the contrary, its law and order problems had an underlying and very modern rationality to them.

Until the abolition of feudalism, Sicilian history was shaped by tussles between a long series of foreign monarchs and the feudal barons. Baronial privileges were wide-ranging and long-lasting. A custom dictating that vassals should greet their feudal lord with a kiss on the hand was only formally abolished by Garibaldi in These practices were widespread in Sicily, and were not just mafia habits.

The abolition of feudalism did not immediately do more than change the rules of the tug-of-war between the centre and the provinces. The power of the landowners was slow to fade; the last of the great estates was only broken up in the s. However, forces for long-term change were set loose when feudalism ended; the legal preconditions were put in place for a property market.

Quite simply, bits of the estates could now be bought and sold. And land that is acquired rather than inherited needs to be paid for; it is an investment that has to be put to profitable use. Capitalism had arrived in Sicily. Capitalism runs on investment, and lawlessness puts investment at risk.

No one wants to download new machinery or more land to plant with commercial crops when there is a strong risk that those machines or crops will be stolen or vandalized by competitors. When it supplanted feudalism, the modern state was supposed to establish a monopoly on violence, on the power to wage war and punish criminals.

When the modern state monopolizes violence in this way, it helps create the conditions in which commerce can flourish. Franchetti argued that the key to the development of the mafia in Sicily was that the state had fallen catastrophically short of this ideal. It was untrustworthy because, after , it failed to establish its monopoly on the use of violence. As feudalism declined, a whole range of men seized the opportunity to shoot and stab their way into the developing economy.

In the city of Palermo, societies of artisans demanded the right to carry arms so that they could police the streets and force up prices or run extortion operations. When modern local government institutions were set up in the towns of the Sicilian provinces, groups that were part armed criminal gang, part commercial enterprise, and part political clique, quickly organized themselves to get their hands on the spoils.

The state also set up its courts, but soon found that they were subject to control by anyone who was tough and well organized enough to impose his will.

Even the police became corrupted. Instead of reporting crime to the authorities, they would often broker or impose deals between the victims and perpetrators of theft.

Dickie, John - Cosa Nostra. a History of the Sicilian Mafia

For example, rather than send stolen cattle along the long chain of intermediaries to the butchers, rustlers could simply ask the captain of the local police to mediate. He would arrange for the stolen animals to be handed back to the original owner in return for money passed on to the rustlers. Naturally the captain would get a percentage of the deal. In a hellish parody of the capitalist economy, the law was parcelled up and privatized just like the land.

Franchetti saw Sicily as being in the grip of a bastard form of capitalist competition. It was a violent market in which there were only notional boundaries between economics, politics, and crime.

In this situation, people hoping to run a business could not rely on the law to protect them, their families, and their economic interests. Violence was an essential asset in any enterprise; the ability to use force was as important as having capital to invest.

Indeed, Franchetti thought that in Sicily violence itself had become a form of capital. Mafiosi, for Franchetti, were entrepreneurs in violence, specialists who had developed what today would be called the most sophisticated business model in the marketplace. This was what he called the violence industry. As Franchetti wrote, [in the violence industry] the mafia boss. He unifies the management of the crimes committed. Discipline is indispensable in this as in any other industry if abundant and constant profits are to be obtained.

He has to adapt to market conditions to choose which operations to carry out, which people to exploit, which form of violence to use. Men with commercial or political ambitions in Sicily were faced with two alternatives: If Franchetti were around today, he might say that threats and murder belonged to the service sector of the Sicilian economy.

Yet in doing so he makes Sicily sound like a complete anomaly. In fact all capitalism has a bit of the bastard in it, particularly in the early stages. Even the English society that Franchetti so admired had had its violent entrepreneurs. In Sussex in the s, for example, semi-militarized gangs made huge profits for themselves and their contacts by smuggling tea.

They caused a breakdown in law and order by corrupting customs officials, directly confronting troops, and perform- ing armed robberies as a sideline. One historian has described England in the s as resembling a banana republic, its politicians masters in the arts of patronage, nepotism, and the systematic pillaging of the public revenue.

Political and Administrative Conditions in Sicily met with a mixture of hostility and indifference on its release. Many Sicilian reviewers berated its author for ignorant prejudice. For one thing, his proposals for solving the mafia problem were outlandish and authoritarian: Sicilians were not to be allowed any say at all in how their island was policed.

He seemed not to realize that people very often went along with the mafiosi simply because they were intimidated and did not know whom to trust. After publishing his research in Sicily, he went on to serve as a backbench member of parliament, but his political career did not take off. In the end, it was the very same grim patriotism that had impelled him to investigate the mafia in that eventually killed him. The mafiusi are a gang of prison inmates whose habits look very familiar in retrospect.

The Genesis of the Mafia 61 I mafiusi di la Vicaria is at heart a sentimental fable about the redemption of criminals. This first ever literary representation of the mafia is also the first ever version of the myth of the good mafia, a mafia that is honourable and protects the weak.

Next to nothing is known about the two authors of I mafiusi, other than that they were members of a troupe of travelling players. Sicilian theatrical legend has it that they based I mafiusi on inside information given them by a Palermo tavern owner involved in organized crime.

The character of the gang boss in the play is supposed to be based on this real-life mobster. There is no way of confirming this story, and I mafiusi is consequently destined to remain an enigmatic historical document. But a play alone was not enough to give the mafia its name. Many Sicilians thought that the challenges of ruling their island had led the Italian government completely to abandon its liberal principles. It was cases like these that completely robbed the state of its credibility, and made many Sicilians very reluctant to trust it on any matter, let alone when it started to complain about the mafia.

On the evening of 1 October , in an apparently synchronized operation carried out within the same small area of Palermo, thugs emerged from the shadows to knife thirteen randomly chosen citizens, one of whom subsequently died of his wounds. Police on the spot only caught one of the perpetrators, a shoe-shiner and pedlar who also had a record as a police spy under the old Bourbon regime.

The attacks caused consternation in Palermo. Only the twelve men who were believed to have actually carried out the attacks were in the dock. The judge handed down death sentences to three ringleaders; the other nine got hard labour. Yet the court showed a curious lack of interest in discovering who had funded the conspiracy and what its aims were. I had cattle on the farm. I had racehorses, some of them very valuable, up to R2.

Investors who poured over m rand into Wealth4U were concerned that the assets of a multi-million rand company, including the valuable Concession 10, were now the property of African Dune, officially bought at auction by Pina for the rock bottom price of just over 2m rand.

Liebenberg was forced to reassure investors, telling them that they would not lose money if they signed up with African Dune, free-of-charge. He thought he had taken all the necessary steps to protect himself. But a fool in love is no ordinary sucker. We believe you. We still do business with a handshake.

So I thought that was enough. The Colonisation Diamonds ready to be cut African Dune company website From mid until the end of , the Ferrante-Liebenberg partnership appeared to only expand. The Italian family wanted to trade diamonds with as many African countries as possible.

And so the South African trader decided it was time to open up his little black book of contacts and bring the Ferrantes properly into the business. Liebenberg contacted two governors he knew from the Kasai-Occidental and Kasai-Oriental provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC , where the best diamonds in the country are located.

He had been trading with the politicians since , downloading diamonds and exporting them to India. Sight-holders are authorised to bulk-download rough diamonds on behalf of De Beers.

And the Ferrantes were very interested in the kind of deals they could make through him. Marius De Kock proved to be a well-greased hinge on the door to Angola for the Ferrantes.

Liebenberg had an idea. But Marius De Kock was also instrumental in the push into Zimbabwe. But Ferrante Jr wanted his hands in the deal. Salvatore seems accomplished at finding investors in Europe. According to Liebenberg, another investor scouted by Salvatore Jr. Palazzo refused to answer questions from journalists. Blood Diamonds?

I download them cash. Marange has the largest deposit of diamonds of Zimbabwe. With Zimbabwe suffering an economic crisis, civilians in their thousands flowed to the diamond fields, hoping to find a few gems. Fifteen hundred Zimbabwean soldiers armed with automatic weapons and military choppers, trapped and then massacred hundreds of civilians. Following the carnage, the Kimberley Process KP , imposed a sales ban on Marange diamonds, lifted only in November They were cementing connections for the Zimbabwe Diamond Opportunity, and scouting other deals.

He brought lots of expensive gifts from Italy to the family. I only got to know what Pina told me about him: that he was her cousin and had lots of money.

I only discovered later, on the press, that he had been jailed for mafia.

Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia

He came back with one million carats of diamonds, downloadd in cash. downloading one million carats with cash is unimaginable to Europeans, but is daily life in Zimbabwe.

They do not go through customs or immigration [control]. The Military are deeply involved. Where these diamonds are now is speculation, but many of them likely made it onto the fingers or necks of rich Europeans, who are unaware that their expensive download is tainted with blood and mafia money.

With the blood barely dry, the Marange fields became an exploration ground for a new Sino-Zimbabwean partnership. And ZANU called in its three secret partners.

Since , the three companies have extracted from the Marange fields an incredible number of diamonds. These gems were either sold to India via Dubai, or to local acquirers such as Billy Tanhira, a Ferrante man. The contract Liebenberg obtained for the Ferrantes allows them to download up to The Ferrante picked the right time to download Marange diamonds.

One can only guess at exactly how many millions of carats have been moved by the family since , and at the enormity of the profits gained.

Some of the most popular films and television shows of all time focus on the mob. The money.

The power. The respect. Many people only know what is depicted in films and television shows. Membership shows that you are exclusive… a man of honor who will remain loyal to the family.

Failure to abide by these commandments is a sign of dishonor and breakage of that loyalty. We are obviously not members, but these laws are still worthy of being studied. Do they apply to us? No one can present himself directly to another of our friends. There must be a third person to do it.

This ties in nicely with overall social skills. You must know how to conduct yourself.

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More importantly, you must realize the importance of becoming a man of many friends aka becoming multidimensional. Never look at the wives of friends. This is an easy one. It means be loyal. Close friends can often be considered brothers in many instances. They could be throwing themselves at you. They could tempt you with the fact that no one will ever know.To fulfill this role, the consigliere must be impartial, devoid of conflict of interest and ambition.

This need for trust also explains the components of mafia honour that relate to sex and marriage. Rome would not become the capital of Italy until His objective was to conquer Rome, which still remained under the authority of the Pope. Corruption in High Places — Judge Falcone once compared entering the mafia to being a convert to a religion: Many people only know what is depicted in films and television shows.