Read the text about the mafia and match the titles with the paragraphs. There is one extra title that you do not need. Lee el texto sobre la mafia y relaciona los tíbulos con los
párrafos que correspondan. Hay un título de sobra que no necesitas.
The Italian-American Mafia, also known as ‘La Cosa Nostra’, is a group of criminals organized into "families," and operating mainly in North America. At one time there were 26 families in the United States - approximately one for each big city. The Mafia "commission," composed of bosses of many families, mostly New York, was the general authority for all of the other La Cosa Nostra families. The Mafia has its roots in Sicily, where the larger and more powerful Sicilian Mafia operates
from Vito Genovese. Genovese was in charge for four years, until 1959. The family was then ruled by a three man "ruling council". In 1972 Frank "Funzi" Tieri took control of the family. Funzi was the boss for nine years. He died in 1981.
New York City is the place of origin for organized crime in the United States. At the moment, there are five families in La Cosa Nostra of New York City.
The five families are Gambino, Genovese, Colombo, Bonanno, and Luchese. We know the names of the families because of Joe Valachi. He was a contract killer who was the first man to break the ‘omerta’, or code of silence. He became a witness for the government in 1963, and made public the names of the five families and the inner structure of the Mafia.
The Genovese family's first boss was Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria. He had control until 1931. He was succeeded by one of the most famous mobsters in history, Charlie "Lucky" Luciano. He got the nickname Lucky because he was attacked by a rival gang and they thought he was dead, but he survived and received even more power.
Luciano was in control until he had to go to Sicily in 1936 to escape the New York City police. Luciano was succeeded by Frank Costello. He remained in power until he was shot in the head by Vincent "Chin" Gigante who was on orders from
Vito Genovese. Genovese was in charge for four years, until 1959. The family was then ruled by a three man "ruling council". In 1972 Frank "Funzi" Tieri took control of the family. Funzi was the boss for nine years. He died in 1981.
There are approximately 300 members and associates of the Genovese family. This is one of the most powerful and wealthiest crime families in New York. They are known for doing business in a very quiet and reserved way.
The current boss is Vincent "Chin" Gigante. He is famous for walking around the streets of New York in a bathrobe. Maybe he thought that insane people don’t go to prison. However, he was sent to prison in 1996 and he is serving a 12-year sentence in Texas!
Gigante still has control of the organization, but the street boss of the Genovese family during Gigante's time in jail is Dominick "Quiet Dom" Cirillo. He has been compared to Gigante in that he is one of the experienced men in the family. He rarely does business over the telephone. He is very careful about his meeting places. Many people expect the family to continue its success under
5. The New York Times, 14th June 2001
Ex-Policeman Involved With Mafia
Ex- New York policeman David Grossman was found guilty, along with 39 other men, of committing crimes for New York’s Genovese crime family. Grossman was found guilty of fraud, money laundering, murder, loan sharking, extortion, bank robbery, stock fraud, drug distribution and illegal weapons distribution.
The Washington Post, 28th April 2001
Federal Agents Come Down on Genovese Crime Family
Federal agents arrested 45 members and associates of the Genovese crime family in three different states last Wednesday. The arrests give frightening details of the different kinds of crimes committed by the new Mafia.
Vincent Chin Gigante Sentenced - 1997
After 30 years of pretending insanity, the Genovese family boss is sentenced to 12-years in jail in Fort Worth, Texas.
check your answers
Now read the text again more slowly and
write the answers to these questions. Use the
'Help' box for difficult words. Ahora lee el texto otra vez y escribe la respuestas a las siguientes
preguntas. Puedes consultar el significado de las palabras que desconozcas en el cuadro de
1. How many families are there in
2. What is the ‘Omerta’ ?
3. Where does the main Sicilian Mafia operate from; Sicily, New York or North America?
4. Why is Charlie Luciano called ‘Lucky’ Luciano?
5. How long was Frank Tieri in control of the Genovese family?
6. In which US state is Vincent Gigante in prison?
7. What is the approximate size of the Genovese family?
8. Is David Grossman guilty or innocent?
9. Who doesn’t usually do business over the phone?
10. What is another name for the Italian-American Mafia?
main = principal
mainly = principalmente
to operate = funcionar, manejar
roots = raices
crime = crimen
killer = asesino
witness = testigo
quiet = callado, tranquilo
bathrobe = albornoz
insane = loco
to be careful = tener cuidado
mobster = gangster
nickname = apodo, mote
gang = banda, pandilla
power = poder
shot = pasado del verbo 'to shoot'
disparar, pegar un tiro
in charge (of sth/sb) = a cargo (de algo/alguien)
to rule = gobernar, dominar, regir
wealthy = rico
guilty = culpable
check your answers
¿Recuerdas la conocida película de Billy Wilder con Marlene Dietrich
como protagonista 'Witness for the Prosecution' (Testigo de cargo)?. Witness
es la persona que hace las funciones de testigo, como por ejemplo en una
boda (I was a witness at Susan's wedding), en un juicio o cualquier
otro acto o circunstancia. Cuando se trata de un testigo ocular se le
llama 'eyewitness'. Cuidado, el objeto que se pasan los deportistas
de relevos que en español llamamos testigo, en inglés se denomina