Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mafia 2.0

Although the Mafia has gotten a reputation as am efficient, ruthless killing machine, that perception, like so many others, is founded more on myth than reality. While it did achieve a significant amount of underworld power, the idea that Mafioso's achieved power by slaughtering dozens of people is mostly unfounded. The Mafia was run as a business, and achieved prosperity the same way your average business does. (The infamous Saint Valentine's Day Massacre was the most notorious example of Mafia violence, and only seven people were killed. In present day Chicago, that wouldn't even make the front page.)

This normalcy in the crime business takes a bit of the romance away from the Mafia of crime novels and movies. After all, if the real-life Godfather is more a hard-working business man than master criminal, it makes the Mafia seem a little less threatening.

But don't worry. Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, is a large gang that more than makes up for any crimes the Mafia missed. They are a Hispanic gang that, according to an ex-member: "[T]hey wanna be the top gang, the top Hispanic gang. That's what they want. They want to be the one with the most killings, the most murders.” (That ex-member is now dead, murdered by MS-13.) In addition to the standard organized crime goals of controlling drugs, prostitution, and theft, MS-13 also engages in human trafficking and assaults of law enforcement officials. They are, naturally, a major player in the smuggling of illegal aliens across the border.

It isn't only poor Mexicans wanting to move across the border. Al-Qaeada has also been interested. (Links here and here) So in addition to being an internal threat, this organization is also a national security threat.

The Mafia was effectively broken up during the Seventies. That won't happen with MS-13. MS-13 is based in Mexico (much as the Mafia was based in Italy) The difference is, Italy is separated from the United States by an ocean and a sea. There is nothing separating the U.S. and Mexico- and given the foot-dragging on the building of a border fence, there won't be for the foreseeable future.

We might as well get used to the idea of MS-13. Since its leadership is safe in Mexico, it will be very difficult for any US law enforcement agency to take out any leaders. Since our politicians refuse to do anything about protecting our borders, the outlook is bleak.


At November 9, 2007 at 5:39 AM , Blogger Beth said...

I hate to think it would take another wake up call like 9-11 for our government to take this seriously. Hopefully there is lots of covert operations on top of this dangerous situation.

At November 9, 2007 at 5:58 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

From what I've learned, MS-13 is historically rooted in El Salvadorian culture and was actually originally established in the Los Angeles area to compete against the established Mexican gangs.

But that's really sort of moot considering they are, as you correctly pointed out, a Latin American gang (and a powerful one at that) at present.

I think it's pretty interesting (almost sickly hilarious really) that just a couple of days ago up here in Minnesota, some inspectors stopped an illegal shipment of Zebra mussels from crossing the border:

Meanwhile, the Federal government can't seem to do piss diddly about illegal immigrants (some state's are now doing a fine job but in all truth, illegal immigration is a Federal issue is it not?).

What is wrong with this picture?

At November 10, 2007 at 6:14 PM , Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Good the dang fence already!..great read and...Happy Vets day and blessings to all the ones fighting!:)

At November 10, 2007 at 7:47 PM , Blogger MTHorvat said...

From what I know of the Mafia, they were also engaged in "standard organized crime goals of controlling drugs, prostitution, and theft." Hardly just a business. Their operations may center on money-making like a business, but the means are not licit or moral.
I wonder why it is always the Mexican gangs everyone focuses on. If you lived here in California, you would know that the Chinese mafioso is as brutal or worse.

At November 11, 2007 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Obob said...

the Triad is flippin' scary as is the Yakuza. MS-13 won't be deemed an issue until is starts to rear its head in Mid West. Which is starting to happen.
In Indy, the Hispanic gangs have been increasing their numbers. But until there is a public crime, they will stay under the radar.

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