Criminal organization

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A criminal organization is a group run by criminals, most commonly for the purpose of generating a monetary profit. They are usually involved in criminal activities such as drugs, prostitution, human trafficking, money laundering, governmental corruption, and black marketeering. These activities are known as organized crime. Some also engage in political violence, racist, and religiously motivated violence, terrorism, and crimes against humanity.

Notable examples of criminal organizations include the Sicilian Mafia (or Cosa Nostra), Camorra, 'Ndrangheta, the Russian Mafia, the Colombian drug cartels, the Japanese Yakuza, the Irish Mob, the Jewish Mob and the Brazilian PCC (Primeiro Comando da Capital). Prisoners may also be involved in criminal organizations.

Political parties or movements are sometimes branded as criminal organizations by their opponents. In 2006, the then United States House of Representatives Minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, quoted The Washington Post in calling the Republican Party, led by Tom DeLay, a "criminal enterprise run out of the leader's office" during the time of the 2006 Republican scandals. World leaders throughout history who have been accused of running their country like a criminal organization include Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Augusto Pinochet, Idi Amin, Mobutu Sese Seko, Nicolae Ceauşescu, Francisco Franco, Hugo Banzer, and various other dictators and military juntas.

[edit] In human rights law

Another use of the term "criminal organization" exists in human rights law and refers to an organization which has been found guilty of crimes against humanity. Once an organization has been determined to be a criminal organization, one must only demonstrate that an individual belonged to that organization to be punished and not that the individual actually individually committed illegal acts.[citation needed]

The concept of the criminal organization came into being during the Nuremberg Trials. Several public sector organizations of Nazi Germany such as the SS and Gestapo were judged to be criminal organizations, while other organizations such as the German Army High Command (dubious) were indicted but acquitted of charges.[citation needed]

This conception of criminal organizations was, and continues to be, controversial, and has not been used in human rights law since the trials at Nuremberg.

[edit] See


Criminal organization

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