The Mafia Essay

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The Mafia It exists. You probably won’t see it if you visit Sicily. You probably won’t see any of its effects, either, unless you look very closely. But considering it’s profound influence on Sicilian life, no twentieth-century history book on Sicily would be accurate without mentioning the most famous Sicilian fraternity. “The word ‘Mafia’ was formally recorded by the prefect of Palermo in 1865, after the unification of Italy (57 Robb).” It wasn’t until 1982 that it was added to the Italian penal code. Until the end of World War II, the Mafia was a force that the landowners and state of Sicily found useful to maintain power and property. In the nineteen seventies The Oxford English Dictionary was still listing the Mafia as…show more content…
In fact, the United States had reason to believe that the Mafia wanted the Axis forces off the island so that they could return to the level of power that they once held. In turn, they solicited the help of the capo di tutti capi, the boss of bosses of the United States branch of Cosa Nostra, the presently jailed Salvatore “Lucky” Luciano. He agreed to help, and pre-arranged the support of the Sicilian Mafia. “The vanguards of the invading Americans carried flags and foulards of yellow silk, embroidered with the letter L (Robb 52).” One had been dropped by a lowflying U.S. reconnaissance plane on the hill town of Villalba, at the doorstep of the local priest who was brother of Don Calogero Vizzini. Don Calo was about to be made an honorary colonel in the U.S. army. He was already capo di tutti capi of the Sicilian Mafia, and was heavily into black market business when the U.S. dropped the flag. As the Americans were moving into Palermo, two thirds of Italian troops deserted. The L was for Lucky Luciano, who was said to be aboard the plane that dropped the flag. Luciano appealed for a reduction of sentence for “services rendered to the nation,” and was immediately released and deported to Italy. American writer, Gore Vidal once remarked that Sicily was liberated by Lucky Luciano, Vito Genovese, and the American army. Genovese, Luciano’s second-hand man in New York, and

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