The Sicilian mafia emerged when the rule of the law collapsed in Sicily leading to the development of an illegitimate government. This created a closed system that encouraged the grabbing of resources and the development of outlaws in the town. The Sicilian mafia gained a lot of power in the absence of a legitimate government and started controlling land and business deals in the country. To intimidate their critics, they would use threats of violence and they would also use these threats to seal deals. The vacuum of power and authority that existed was filled by the influential nature of the so-called Sicilian bosses.
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Sicily is a geographically isolated part of Italy and the mafia ruled the island for almost five years with abandon and terrorism. They would kill anyone that challenged their actions and authority. Members of the political; and the judicial systems were the main victims of the brutality of this atrocious mafia that wreaked havoc in Sicily for almost half a decade. The people of Sicily lived in fear of the mafia until the mafia brutally murdered two anti-mafia jurists. This enraged the people of spicily who for the first time rose in protest to combat the mafia (Arlacchi, 1988).
Arlacchi, P. (1988). Mafia Business. The Mafia Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press