25 years after the massacre of Capaci and the ambush of Via D’Amelio, where anti-mafia judges Falcone and Borsellino were killed, the Philatelic Office of San Marino dedicates a stamp series to the fight against the mafias to promote collective civic engagement in combating all forms of organised crime, which undermine the foundations of society, to spread the culture of legality at all levels and to remember the innocent victims of the mafias.
StampNews.com invites our readers to support this initiative and to appreciate the originality of this stamp issue.
Since first becoming well known in the 18th century, organized crime in Italy and its criminal organizations have infiltrated the social and economic life of many regions, particularly in Southern Italy.
Five major mafia-like organizations are known to exist in Italy: Cosa Nostra (or the Sicilian Mafia) of Sicily; ‘Ndrangheta of Calabria (who are considered to be among the biggest cocaine smugglers in Europe); and Camorra of Naples, are the oldest and most powerful of the five, having started to develop between 1500 and 1800. In the 20th century, two new criminal organizations, Stidda of Sicily and Sacra Corona Unita of Apulia, were created. Two other Italian organized crime groups, the Banda della Magliana of Rome and Mala del Brenta of Veneto, held considerable influence during their heights of power but are now largely defunct or inactive. The latest creation of Italian organized crime (IOC), Mafia Capitale, has recently been disbanded by the police.
The most notorious Italian organized crime group is the Mafia or Sicilian Mafia (referred to as Cosa Nostra by members). As the original “Mafia”, the Sicilian Mafia is the basis for the current colloquial usage of the term “mafia” to refer to organized crime groups.
The Mafia or Sicilian Mafia notably expanded into some foreign countries, especially the United States, where Sicilian mafiosi eventually joined together with Neapolitan criminal groups in the U.S. and other Italian-American and Italian immigrant criminal groups to form the modern Italian-American Mafia (or simply the “American” Mafia.) Though less well-known, the Neapolitan Camorra, Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta, and offshoots of both these groups have also operated or set down roots in foreign countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Latin America, and Great Britain.