«Mafia» is a peculiar form of organized crime. It should not be confused with the usual patterns of criminal behaviour. It has its historical origins in the feudal large landed estates in Southern Italy, especially in Sicily. It is based on a family solidarity which, in its corrupt version, becomes «omertà», that is delinquent solidarity. «Mafia» provides to its members a special protection ad personam that challenges any kind of equality under the law.
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