Comparative Perspective on Organized Crime

Essay by dollygUniversity, Bachelor's June 2010

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Comparative Perspective on Organized Crime

Organized crime until the end of time will be occupied with a negative label, of course, with good reason. Perhaps this is due to the endless changing situations in America as well as the social state of its homeland, Italy. Today's culture is convinced that so called organized crime organizations are just downright evil criminals, pimps and murderers. No matter what the opinion maybe, there is no doubt that organized crime plays a big part in the history of America and the ways Americans view crime today.

Organized crime has many faces throughout the world. The people who engage in organized crime are as diverse as the types of criminal activities they engage in. At hand there are more than a few categories of organized crime that exist in communities; Outlawed motorcycle gangs; Traditional Italian mafia families; Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias Colombianas (FARC); The Mexican Mafia; youth gangs and the ever so emerging Russian Mafiya. Any of these organizations can be linked to criminal and illegal activities that range from trafficking narcotics, loan sharking, extortion, fraud, human trafficking, prostitution, murder or gambling. Despite the fact that each criminal organization's activities may vary, all the crimes listed are possible, it is just a matter of having the right "staff" to carry out the crimes.

Gangs were present back to at least medieval times and became prevalent in the United States dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The activities associated with gangs have become much more extensive and violent in nature at this time and have continued to evolve across the United States, most notably the Mexican Mafia. The Mexican Mafia or as most commonly known La EME (pronunciation for M in Spanish) is one of America's deep rooted prison gang dating back to 1957.