Sicily and Calabria Extortion Database

Risultato della ricerca: Other contribution


The Sicily and Calabria Extortion Database was extracted from police and court documents by the Palermo team of the GLODERS — Global Dynamics of Extortion Racket Systems — project which has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement no. 315874 (, “Global dynamics of extortion racket systems”). The data are provided as an SPSS file with variable names, variable labels, value labels where appropriate, missing value definitions where appropriate. Variable and value labels are given in English translation, string texts are quoted from the Italian originals as we thought that a translation could bias the information and that users of the data for secondary analysis will usually be able to read Italian. The rows of the SPSS file describe one extortion case each. The columns start with some technical information (unique case number, reference to the original source, region, case number within the regions (Sicily and Calabria). These are followed by information about when the cases happened, the pseudonym of the extorter, his role in the organisation and the name and territory of the mafia family or mandamento he belongs to. Information about the victims, their affiliations and the type of enterprise they represent follows; the type of enterprise is coded according to the official Italian coding scheme (AtEco, which can be downloaded from The next group of variables describes the place where the extortion happened. The value labels for the numerical pseudonyms of extorters and victims (both persons and firms) are not contained in this file, hence the pseudonyms can only be used to analyse how often the same person or firm was involved in extortion. After this more or less technical information about the extortion cases the cases are described materially. Most variables come in two forms, both the original textual description of what happened and how it happened and a recoded variable which lends itself better for quantitative analyses. The features described in these variables encompass •whether the extortion was only attempted (and unsuccessful from the point of view of the extorter) or completed, i.e. the victim actually paid, •whether the request was for a periodic or a one-off payment or both and what the amount was (the amounts of periodic and one-off amounts are not always comparable as some were only defined in terms of percentages of victim income or in terms of obligations the victim accepted to employ a relative of the extorter etc.), •whether there was an intimidation and whether it was directed to a person or to property, •whether the extortion request was brought forward by direct personal contact or by some indirect communication, •whether there was some negotiation between extorter and victim, and if so, what it was like, and whether a mediator interfered, • how the victim reacted: acquiescent, conniving or refusing, •how the law enforcement agencies got to know about the case (own observation, denunciation, etc.), •whether the extorter was caught, brought to investigation custody or finally sentenced (these variables contain a high percentage of missing data, partly due to the fact that some cases are still under prosecution or before court or as a consequence of incomplete documents.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015


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