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The Old Mob and the New (1984)

Crime Inc. - Episode 7/7

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STORYLINE


In this final episode, the documentary investigates the presence of the Mob in the illicit drug trade. Since the mid-’80s, drug trafficking has reached epidemic proportions in America. The episode portrays how Mafia cartels in both the United States and Latin America are behind much of the drug scene, with its attendant culture of violence and death.

The efforts and efficacy of the American government to stem the tide of illegal drugs are examined. This episode explores how narcotics is now the main source of income for organized crime and the fact that the traditional mafia is no longer the major power. Cubans, the Afro-Americans and the Hispanics are dealing in narcotics with increasingly violent consequences. The first footage shows a typical drug raid, recovering a large haul, but put in the perspective of an annual turnover of $80 billion across the USA for the drugs trade, it is a needle in a haystack.

There is no structure with the rival criminals to compete with the mafia organisation in the long term, according to Cantalupe. This is echoed by Lt. Remo Franceschini, in reference to the Columbians. The lack of organisation and connection to the right people leads to more indiscriminate violence. The mafia are so embedded in American society that there is little threat to their survival. Robert Blakey, the Senate Crime advisor, states that, with all the powers available to politicians and law enforcement agencies across the USA from the 1960s to the current day (1983), not one of the 24 mafia families has been destroyed.

John Cusack of the Narcotics bureau expands that all mafia activities are still going strong, but the Colombians and Cubans are muscular rivals especially in the distribution of cocaine. Having said that, heroin smuggling and distribution is still a strong mafia racket originating mainly from Palermo and Asia. Footage is shown of a huge mafia run heroin factory in the Sicilian capital. The connection with ‘the old country’ is still thriving and Reena Raggi, another rackets prosecutor, illustrates the often ingenious way the mafia smuggle heroin in to the US.

There follows a brief summary of the figures integral to the rise of the mafia, which is followed by the final thoughts of the mafia informers and detectives who have contributed to the series.


IMDB (5.6)