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What is the Mafia Many people ponder the true definition of Mafia The literal translation of the word Mafia means my daughter According to Rick Porello of American Mafiacom the Mafia more specifically the Italian-American Mafia is a group of criminals organized into families and operating primarily in North America Also known as La Cosa Nostra at one time there were 26 families in the United States - roughly one for each major city The Mafia commission composed of bosses of numerous families mostly New York was the overseeing authority for all of the other La Cosa Nostra families The Mafia has its roots in Sicily and South Italy where the larger and more powerful Sicilian Mafia operates With Prohibition came the birth and growth spurt of nationally organized crime Newly conceived Mafia families jockeying for power were waging battles that killed scores frightened citizens and gave birth to screaming headlines and grand funeral processions never before experienced in the New World But it all began years ago and miles awayPorello AmericanMafiacom Vito Cascio Ferro is adhered to be the one man essentially responsible for establishing the communication between the Sicilian and US Mafia or the Black Hand as it was known in the early 1900s In 1900 Cascio Ferro came to New York with security from the Inglese family after having ascertained himself in the honored society in Sicily where he was accused of kidnapping extortion arson and threatening officials Murderinccom Basic operations of most Mafia families include extortion labor rackets hijacking high-class robberies gambling narcotics trafficking racketeering contractual murder and more recently stock market frauds In the stock market frauds Mafiosi find out ahead of time what the fate of the stock is whether it will decrease increase or split when the stock becomes double The five principal Mafia families are the New York families The names of these families are The Bonanno Family The Colombo Family The Gambino Family
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