Organized Crime is the upper-tier of the criminal underworld in the Sixth World.

They are criminal societies, networks, associations, syndicates, and families which are self-perpetuating, have a hierarchy and/or structure, and whose purpose is to earn money and/or power through illegal and/or quasi-legal methods. In the late 20th century, the FBI of the former United States defined organized crime as:

Self-perpetuating associations who operate completely or in part via illegal means. Whom constantly seek to acquire influence, wealth, and power. Whose structure may vary from hierarchies to cells, networks, and clans, and may evolve into different types of structure. Which usually are insular and will use corruption and violence to protect their activities.

A crime scholar of the late 20th century Alan Block coined the concept of "power syndicate" and "enterprise syndicate" to describe two different types of organized crime groups, which law enforcement, criminologists, and so on would use.[1] Power syndicates where those criminal organizations which controlled a specific territory, in which they were able to provide other criminal groups with protection and/or extort those criminal groups, and establishes a criminal and/or social order that emphasizes and/or takes advantage of patronage.

Enterprise syndicates are criminal organizations that run criminal enterprises for profit (e.g. gambling or drug trafficking), appropriate public funds, and/or launders money in the legal economy. Some criminal organizations are only power syndicates ruling the underworld in a territory like a feudal lord and there are criminal organizations that are purely enterprise syndicates, mobile and focused only on making money. The majority are both, especially regional, national, and most of all international criminal organizations. In which they will have branches which operate as power syndicates, branches that operate as enterprise syndicates, and/or branches that operate as both.

Organized Crime in the Fifth WorldEdit

Pirates and BanditsEdit

Organized crime existed in one form or another in the Fifth World for thousands of years. Before the birth of the first modern organized crime syndicates (the Triads), the underworld was dominated by pirates and bandits. Which usually achieved their greatest power in times of weak government due to corruption, incompetent rulers, famine, and/or civil strife. In Europe, there were bandit armies of peasants in the later Roman Empire in the 3rd to 5th centuries called Bagaudae which pillaged and looted in France and Spain.[2] Likewise the great medieval Islamic empires periodically had to deal with bandit armies such as the Zawaqil of the 8th century.[3] In the seas there were pirate brotherhoods that terrorized merchants and coastlines when the navies of kingdoms and empires were weak. Over in the North Sea, during the late 14th to mid 15th century the Victual Brothers (later known as Likedeelers) were one such coalition of pirates who started out as privateers and quickly turned into a criminal organization of pirates.[4] During the 17th to 18th centuries, in the Caribbean Sea there was a similar criminal organization of pirates that likewise started out as privateers, the Brethren of the Coast.[5]

It was in the ancient and mighty civilization of China, where the greatest bandit confederations and pirate armadas where born as well as smuggling syndicates. In the Chinese empire that lasted for over 2,000 years there was periods of great wealth, power, and technological and artistic achievement, as well as periods of banditry, piracy, warlords, and depravity. In the Han dynasty there were smuggling organizations that trafficked in salt.[6] During its final decades in the late 2nd to early 3rd centuries there were the Black Mountain Bandits (Heishan) a confederation that numbered in the 100s of thousands.[7] Hundreds of years later, the Tang dynasty too had to deal with smuggling groups especially those that trafficked in salt.[8] In its decline the Tang would likewise face the problem of bandit groups the size of small armies that were involved in smuggling, ran protection rackets, and were into robbery, kidnapping, and blackmail. One of those bandit smugglers (Huang Chao) became so powerful he threatened the empire with an army with 100s of thousands in the late 9th century.[9] At sea, centuries later the Ming dynasty had to deal with smuggling syndicates based on it's coastal provinces that would later relocate overseas due to imperial pressure and turn to piracy. Crimelords who commanded dozens or hundreds of ships, the most famous being Wang Zhi in the 16th century who had 100s of ships and over 2,000 workers.[10] It's successor dynasty, the Manchu Qing also had the problem of pirate confederations in the South China Sea that also did smuggling, which consisted of 100s of ships the mightiest of which was led by a pirate queen Ching Shih of the Red Flag Fleet who commanded up to 40,000 pirates in 300 ships in the early 19th century. Which battled the Qing, British, and Portuguese empires.[11][12]

Birth of Modern Organized CrimeEdit

The birth of the modern syndicates began with the Triads. Which could be traced back to the 13th century with the White Lotus Society, a secret society that emerged to liberate China from it's Mongol conquerors.[13] They were successful a century later and reestablished Han Chinese rule over China by establishing the Ming dynasty.[14] Over four hundred years later, they would lead the banner of rebellion against a new foreign occupier of China the Manchus in the White Lotus Rebellion which was unsuccessful.[15] As time went on they evolved into an organized crime syndicate. During the first century of Manchu rule in the 17th century, another secret society arose in China with the goal of liberating their land from the barbarians, the Heaven and Earth Society from which would give the world the word "Triads". Despite their subterfuge and rebellions they were unsuccessful and they evolved into organized crime groups.

In other parts of the world, other such groups arose. Within Japan over time evolving into the Yakuza were groups of gamblers and outlaws in the 17th century. On the other side of the world in Italy, the criminal societies emerged with the first being the Camorra during Napoleon Bonaparte, followed by the Cosa Nostra in Sicily in the mid-19th century, and then the N'drangheta in the late 19th century. By the early 1800s, the Triads of China had become full blown local syndicates that ran protection rackets, had partnerships with the pirate confederations of the South China Sea, and worked with the European trading companies in the smuggling and distribution of opium throughout China. Over in Italy, the Sicilian Mafia was beginning to establish a parallel government on the island. Across the ocean in the United States, in the late 1800s criminal elements among the Chinese immigrant communities and migrant work force established a network across California and the western territories. In which the Tongs ran protection rackets, operated vice establishments (gambling, prostitution, and opium) which were usually legal or at least tolerated by the authorities, waged Tong wars for control of the rackets, committed murder for hire, and had a white slavery empire in which the sex slaves were moved around the territories.

Organized Crime in the 20th CenturyEdit

The 20th century was when organized crime became what is now known in the Sixth World. The Yakuza spread across the Far East, as they followed the invading Japanese armies in the 1920s to early 1940s. They provided the Imperial army and navy with their vices and transported "comfort women" back to Japan. In China, the Triads took advantage of the warlord era and became a virtual parallel government in the early decades of the century. Some established urban syndicates that raked in millions from heroin, gambling, prostitution, and other activities, including the infamous Green Gang of Shanghai.[16] One of it's members became the president and dictator of China, the Nationalist generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.[17] Meanwhile the Italian and Jewish racketeers and smugglers in the United States established the world's first national criminal confederation, the National Syndicate.[18] At the same time, the Italian criminal factions within that National Syndicate established their own nationwide criminal organization known as La Cosa Nostra (LCN).

The 1950s-60s were the golden age of the Mafia in the United States, when they were the overlords of crime and the most powerful syndicate in the world. In the mid 1960s, the U.S. Department of Justice estimated the Mob was making conservatively $7-10 billion a year in profit, equal to the combined profits of the top 10 American corporations and the Wall Street Journal in 1968 estimated $50 billion. Starting in the 1970s began the long decline of the American Mafia. In the meantime, both within the United States and overseas other crime syndicates were rising. Over in Europe, the Sicilian Mafia replaced the Corsican Unione as the dominant traffickers of Turkish heroin for Europe and North America. By the 1980s, the Sicilians were making $100 billion from heroin alone.[19] They were were so powerful they were at war with the Italian government, waging it with car bombs.

In the Far East, rose two giant criminal organizations. The Chinese Triads by the 1980s were earning $200 billion a year from heroin alone.[20] They were bringing untold billions more from the various smuggling, vice, and commercial rackets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. In turn the Yakuza in 1989 was estimated to be earning up to $100 billion a year.[21] Closer to home in South America, the greatly feared ultra-violent Medellin Cartel was earning $22 billion a year from cocaine.[22] Like the Sicilians they too were at war with their government, except they went further than the Sicilians by downing an airliner. Next door in Mexico, the Guadalajara Cartel was earning $5 billion a year from drug trafficking.[23]

Back in the United States, the American Mafia had lost much power. They were still raking tons of money, at least $120 billion in 1981 per Newsweek. Yet, their power was nowhere near as was it was before. The African-American and Latino syndicates and gangs were successfully challenging their rule. They had already lost control of the drug trade in California in the 1970s, mostly to the prison gangs like the Mexican Mafia.[24] Soon they lost the drug trade in cities like Chicago and Detroit. Before long, they were eclipsed in Florida by the Cubans, Jamaicans, and Colombians. In Texas by the Mexicans, bikers, and prison gangs. In New York City, they faced increasing competition by the Colombians, the Dominicans, the Jamaicans, the Chinese Tongs and Triads, and the black drug gangs.

It was a situation which continued and accelerated into the 1990s as the Italian Mafia continued to earn multiples more than the combined wealth of all its domestic rivals. Despite this they continued to decline in power in the underworld as the all important drug trade was controlled by foreign East Asian and Latin American crime syndicates, the urban drug markets were controlled by Latino and black drug syndicates, the prison systems by prison gangs (Latino, black, and Neo-Nazi), and at the street-level it was black and Latino street gangs that had little respect for the Mob. By 1992, the American Mafia was earning $50 billion a year, less than half of what they were earned a decade before. On the other hand, a rising homegrown quintessentially American mob was earning a $1 billion a year by 1992 mostly from drugs, it was organized crime in the form of biker gangs. Approximately 300 biker gangs and chapters with 5,000 members throughout the United States.[25]

Soon the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought a new player to the international scene of organized crime, the Vory V Zakone. Criminal syndicates, rings, and networks of Russians and the various ethnic groups that made up the former USSR which in the media came to be known as the "Russian mafiya". By 1993 there were 5,000 crime groups with 100,000 members.[26] Which by 1997 had plundered Russia and taken $10s of billions out of Russia into safe havens around the world.[27] In Colombia, the Cali Cartel was by 1993 running a $30 billion a year drug empire.[28] South of the U.S.-Mexico border was the Mexican Federation which by 1996 was making up to $30 billion a year from the drug trade.[29] The Chinese mafia (Triads, drug cartels, Tongs, etc) were still the top dogs of the underworld earning at least $200 billion from narcotics alone as of 1996 with at least 180,000 members in the Triads.[30] Within the People's Republic of China, organized crime group had a million members by the turn of the century.[[31]] By 1999, the Yakuza were earning $45 billion a year and were 73,000 strong.[32].

Global Mafia at the Dawn of the 21st CenturyEdit

In the decade before the Awakening, organized crime was flourishing around the world like never before with transnational criminal networks on every continent. Which depending on the continent involved Chinese, Russians, Mexicans, Italians, Nigerians, Indians, South Koreans, Iranians, Vietnamese, Turks, Moroccans, South Africans, Colombians, Dominicans, Romanians, Serbians, Bulgarians, Albanians, and Jamaicans. Within the United States were national and regional criminal networks of Mexican drug trafficking organizations, Chicano prison gangs, white supremacist prison gangs, white motorcycle gangs, Asian criminal enterprises, Latino super gangs, black super gangs, Eastern European criminal enterprises, Dominican drug trafficking organizations, and the Italian La Cosa Nostra.

At the top of the pyramid of the global mafia, where the Chinese mafia (Triads, mainland syndicates, criminal networks, Golden Triangle drug lords, etc) who were earning $100s of billions annually. Within China itself in 2008 there were at least 4,200 criminal groups with an estimated 30 million members. Despite such mind boggling numbers they posed no threat to China's stability or the power of the communist party, as they were kept in check and prevented from becoming regional much less national powers. All domestic crime syndicates were local, restricted to the town, district, or city. Beijing had no problem with mainland criminal groups expanding overseas.[33] It was estimated that these organized crime groups owned and operated 70% of the entertainment businesses with an annual revenue of $12.5 billion. In the province of Guangdong, next door to Hong Kong more than 95% of the 123,000+ saunas, nightclubs, bars, and karaoke were under the control of criminal organizations. They controlled about 90% of the coal mines with an annual output of 200,000 metric tons or more and 60+% of the small coal mines. Over 60% of the construction projects in the small and medium-sized cities were controlled by organized crime. Approximately 30% of the highways in villages, towns, and countries were under the control of criminal groups. In one single year, Beijing shut down 1920 companies, 377 farmers markets, 250 coalmines, 2180 casinos, and 117 construction projects that were owned by organized crime.[34]

The Triads of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia were running a global soccer match-fixing network. One which fixed professional soccer games in Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa. It was even fixing matches in the World Cup. Illegal soccer betting in that decade was worth $100s of billions, and the Chinese underworld dominated that market. They also dominate illegal betting in horse-racing in Southeast Asia which was worth $80 billion. [35][36][37][[38]][39] Chinese organized crime likewise dominated another global racket worth $100s of billions, that of counterfeit goods. Most of the counterfeit goods were being produced in mainland China, and many of those were produced in legitimate factories or underground factories owned by criminal groups. The distribution of those goods within China and internationally, was likewise dominated by the Chinese underworld.[40][41][42][43] [44] In Southeast Asia, the dominant traffickers of drugs, weapons, people, and commodities were Chinese criminal groups like the Triads.[45] [46] Organized piracy in the South China Sea was likewise dominated by Triad syndicates, just as it was in the 1980s-90s.[47]

Chinese criminal organizations were trafficking in drugs (mostly heroin) and people globally, were expanding in various regions (Europe, Russia, South America, North America, and Australia), and dominated environmental crime (illegal timber from Russia and Southeast Asia, illegal wildlife trade, illegal ivory trade, etc).[48][49][50][51][52][53][54] Hong Kong-based Triads were involved in these transnational Chinese criminal networks. Sun Yee On the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful with up to 60,000 members had a global network that was growing and it had operations on mainland China too, having the protection of the Chinese government.[55][56][57] Other major Hong Kong Triads with global operations were it's main rivals the 14K Association with 20,000 members and the Wo Group also with 20,000 members, all of whom were by now pro-Beijing. In the island nation of Taiwan, United Bamboo the most wealthiest, largest, and most powerful Taiwanese Triad with up to 20,000 members likewise had global operations and it too had become pro-Beijing.[58] There was also a Triad-like group known as the Big Circle Boys with 5,000 members that had spread across the world [59][60]

Over in the former Soviet Union, the Vory V Zakone syndicates controlled approximately 10% of Russia, especially St. Petersburg, the south, Moscow, and Siberia. Of the 1,200 banks in Russia only 200 of them were considered to be legitimate (as in not controlled by the mafia). Over 2,000 industrial entities in Russia were under mafia control. Estimates of the size of the Vory V Zakone varied from the low estimate of 450 groups with 12,000 members to as high as 10,000 groups with an estimated 300,000 members. In the year 2003, it was estimated that there had been 5,000 contract killings throughout Russia. There were criminal groups based on geographical location, kinship (family), and ethnicity. The Georgian mafia, Chechen mafia, and Ukrainian mafia were the most powerful of the non-Russian groups. Powerful Russian syndicates like Uralmash of Yekaterinburg, Tambovskaya of St.Petersburg, and Solntsevskaya of Moscow had geographical origins.[61][62] At the turn of the century their annual revenue had been $200 billion, making the Russian mafia the 2nd wealthiest in the world.[63]

The Solntsevsakaya by that decade had become the largest and most powerful of the syndicates in Russia, with branches in multiple nations in Europe plus in both Canada and the United States by the first decade of the 21st century. It was estimated to have over 5,000 members and had two "combat brigades" which specialized in assassination. They were involved in drug trafficking, racketeering, prostitution, and gun smuggling.[64][65][66][67][68] Uralmash controlled the city of Yekaterinburg in western Siberia. It consisted of approximately 500 members and its rise to power started with the bailing out of the city's largest manufacturer, Uralmash in the 1990s, after which it expanded into other industries (e.g. copper) and rackets (e.g. drugs). By the early 2000s it controlled 140 commercial enterprises.[69][70][71][72] In St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city the Tambovskaya reigned as a shadow government. Originating in the 1980s, it controlled much of the city's banking, petroleum, and real estate. They also dominated the four main ports in the northwest (Arctic and Baltic). It had expanded operations to Europe and North America.[73][74]

Nearby in Europe, numerous criminal networks based on ethnicity existed. Some of them were foreign as in from outside continental Europe of which the major ones were Russian, Moroccan, Chinese, Nigerian, and Turkish (which included Kurdish). The domestic criminal networks were Italian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, and Gypsy.[75][76] The strongest European criminal underworld was that of the Italians, in which organized crime groups based in Italy were earning $165 billion a year.[77] The most powerful Italian mafia was that of the N'drangheta based in Calabria (in the southwest tip of the Italian peninsula). It had 4,000 to 8,000 members in (some estimates gave up to 10,000) in over 100 families. The N'drangheta controlled up to 80% of the cocaine trade in Europe in the latter half of the decade. With drug connections in Colombia and Mexico, it was handling more cocaine than any other crime syndicate in the world.[78][79]

The Camorra were based in Campania (along Italy's western coast, north of Calabria).[80] It was the oldest Italian criminal society, with the earliest records dating back to the time of Napoleon Bonaparte.[81] The Camorra had over 110 clans with 3,500 members and for a few years at the start of the 21st century it dominated the cocaine trade in Europe. Infighting among the clans and the high level of violence ended their dominance. They still dominated Naples, turning it into a criminal free trade port. Drugs and counterfeit goods flowed into the city.[82][83] The Cosa Nostra of Sicily was a pale shadow of what it was previously but still were a power within Italy and dominated Sicily. They consisted of up to 5,000 members in over 100 clans (families) of which approximately half were in the city of Palermo.[84][85][86]

In Mexico, the underworld was earning $50 billion or more a year by the late 2000s from various criminal activities of which $40 billion was from the international drug trade.[87][88][89][90] It was dominated by two rival groups which were at war with each other. One was The Federation which consisted of several cartels and was led by the Sinaloa Cartel. The other were the ultra-violent paramilitary cartel, Los Zetas which was founded and led by ex-special forces, who continued to recruit elite soldiers. It built it's own nationwide radio network and operated paramilitary training camps for recruits (teenagers, gang members, etc).[91][92][93][94] There were other cartels that participated in the conflict including the Tijuana Cartel and the Juarez Cartel. To help fight Los Zetas, the Juarez Cartel in that same decade established La Linea an armed wing formed and led by active and former policemen that was heavily armed and trained its recruits in urban warfare. The Juarez Cartel later recruited one of the Chicano prison gangs of Texas, "Barrio Azteca" who received weapons and training from the cartel.[95][96] The Sinaloa Cartel would establish its own paramilitary unit to help it fight Los Zetas, called Los Negros which was led by a Chicano, Edgar Valdez Villarreal who was called "La Barbie" due to his model-like looks. It used both the Central American super gang Mara Salvatrucha (aka, MS-13) and the Chicano prison gang of California, the Mexican Mafia (La Eme) to do contract hits. Edgar Valdez Villarreal reached heights of power, wealth, and fame in the criminal underworld that no other Chicano had before him.[97][98]

Within the United States, the decline of the American Mafia, La Cosa Nostra continued. (LCN). They were earning approximately $26 billion in 2000, a huge decline from $50 billion in 1991 which in turn was a colossal drop from the $120 billion they were earning conservatively in 1981. It likewise was still experiencing a steady drop in membership with 1,700 members in the organization of which half were in NY City. In many cities there no longer existed a Mafia family or operation,and if there was one they were minor players in the underworld.[99][100] In the United States, the Mexican drug cartels had replaced the American Mafia (LCN) as the most powerful criminal organizations. Along the U.S.-Mexican border, the Chicano / Latino prison gangs dominated organized crime in the states of California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Of which the most powerful were the Mexican Mafia of California, followed by the Nuestra Familia of California, Barrio Azteca of Texas, the Mexikanemi of Texas, the Texas Syndicate of Texas, the New Mexican Mafia of Arizona, and Sindicato Nuevo Mexico of New Mexico.

These prison gangs controlled many of the Latino street gangs in California and the Southwest, and had established alliances with the Mexican drug cartels. The prison systems of those states were dominated by those same prison gangs, together with their allies the white supremacist prison gangs (Texas, Arizona, and California).[101] [102][103][104] Dominating the streets of southern California were the Sureños, the defacto army of the Mexican Mafia.[105] Ruling the streets of Chicago and New York City were Black and Latino super gangs (the Gangster Disciples, the Latin Kings, the Vice Lords, the Ñeta, and the United Blood Nation), who also dominated the prisons of Illinois and New York. Dominating the Federal Bureau of Prisons were the major Chicano prison gangs (e.g. the Mexican Mafia), the white supremacist prison gangs (e.g. the Aryan Brotherhood), the black super gangs (e.g. Gangster Disciples), and Latino super gangs (e.g. the Latin Kings). There were also a collection of Cuban, Dominican, Asian, and Caucasian drug trafficking enterprises. Dominating the rural white parts of America were the biker gangs of which the most powerful were the Hells Angels followed by the Outlaws and the Bandidos.[106][107][108]

Sixth World's Main Organized Crime GroupsEdit

The Mafia of the WestEdit

The Awakening for all intents and purposes saved the Mafia, which is ironic considering their distrust of magic and prejudice against the metahumans. In response to the changes in the world, the American Cosa Nostra invited the smaller ethnic syndicates (European,, Latino, and Black) to join their national syndicate.[1] Which resulted in a resurgence of their power and the restoration of the Mafia to dominance over the American criminal underworld. Especially since the drug cartels to the south ceased as a threat due to the turmoil in Latin America and among the drug cartels brought about ORO and its takeover of Mexico. The other major threat which had been the Triads were now focused on China which was slowly being torn apart by secessionist movements and then its collapse into civil war.

Back in the European Union, Italian organized crime remained pretty much dominant and had spread beyond Italy. The Crash of 29 crippled their higher-level criminal operations, forcing them to return to the streets and rebuild. In the chaos of the EuroWars and its aftermath, the Russian mafia advanced on Europe's Italian syndicates. The establishment in 2046 of the Alta Commissione was the turning point for the Mafia's history. Now united, the European Mafia regained a lot of its former power if not the territory which was taken by the Vory. Back in America, the mob wars had resulted in the replacement of the old dons by outfits that were newer and more modern. The Mafia in Australia was finally united in 2067 in the Melbourne Commissione, with the backing and influence of the European and American Commissiones.[2]

The Japanese YakuzaEdit

As Japan made it's play for dominance, the Yakuza itself expanded overseas, especially throughout the Pacific Rim and in North America. In the process they gained control of the drug trade in both Japan and the Pacific Rim. Due to their expansion overseas, they started to recruit non-Japanese members in various Asian countries (e.g. Korea). Tying themselves to the Japanese corporations which became global powers, the Yakuza likewise became global. Sometimes they were confined to the Japanese enclaves populated by Japanacorp employees and their dependents. Sometimes there were so many Japanese citizens in a city (e.g. Seattle) that the Yakuza was able to operate in a normal fashion and on an equal and sometimes stronger position than the homegrown syndicates (e.g. Mafia).[3]

It is a criminal organization that for over 60 years (since the 2010s) has been steadily gaining new territory and markets in the West, at the expense of the Mafia, especially in North America and to a lesser degree in Australia.[4] It has also been expanding into Vory territory in Russia over the last decade.[5] On the other hand it has also steadily been losing territory and markets to the Triads for half a century, first in Southeast Asia where they were displaced as the overlords of crime and now across the Pacific Rim and most recently within Japan itself.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

The Vory V Zakone of the Former USSREdit

The social and political upheavals brought about by the collapse of the USSR, likewise brought upheaval to the Vory V Zakone. Gang wars erupted between the Russian and Georgian branches of the Vory V Zakone, which operated as separate entities until they were reconciled in the 2030s. The collapse of the USSR and the EuroWars that followed resulted in streams of former citizens of the Soviet Union and Russia, which fled to other parts of the world, especially North America. Right along with them came the Vory.[17]

For over 40 years (since the 2030s), the Vory have been steadily expanding in the West, making inroads into Mafia territory in Europe and to a lesser degree North America.[18] On the other hand in the last two decades the Triads, Yakuza, and the Seoulpa Rings have been making inroads into Vory territory in Russia.[19][20][21] They are not the largest or richest of the syndicates but they are hungry and violent, making them a force in the underworld.

The David Cartel of AztlanEdit

Out of the three cartels that established Aztechnology, only the David Cartel remains. Aztlan executed a brutal crackdown on the smaller drug cartels operating within its territory, crushing or pushing out many of these drug cartels.[22][23] Within Aztlan, the David Cartel faced competition from its rivals for decades.[24][25] That all started to change in 2064. In the aftermath of the Yucatan peace treaty, Aztlan focused on getting rid of any "subversive" criminal syndicates within Aztlan's borders. It wasn't long before the David Cartel became the only criminal syndicate in Aztlan of any significance.[26]

In the aftermath of the Tempo-Drug War in 2071, the David Cartel waged a ruthless war against the remaining operations of the Ghost Cartels within Aztlan territory (e.g. Colombia) and the two foreign syndicates, annihilating their rivals.[27] It was so quick and brutal, that the Mafia and Yakuza syndicates that were in Aztlan were wiped out in a few days by Aztechnology's forces.[109]

The Ghost Cartels of South AmericaEdit

Those cartels which survived the onslaught by Aztechnology retreated to strongholds in Brazil and Colombia. They fought to keep BTLs out of the territories under their control (South American and parts of Central America), and continued to sell their drugs where BTL wasn't yet widespread. During this time, they invested in the legitimate businesses of South America which gave them the ability to keep the young Amazonian government from crushing them after the Awakened army had overthrown the Brazilian government in 2034.[28] Amazonia became a safe haven to them as long as they kept their HQ elsewhere, and accepted the fact that occasionally the government would interdict their operations for appearances sake.[29]

In exchange for the Ghost Cartels paving the way for Amazonian expansion by undermining governments, they were permitted to take over some countries (e.g., Bolivia, Ecuador, and Paraguay) and run them as Amazonian client states. The cartels are permitted to operate more or less openly in these states (as long as their operations are environmentally "green"), while operating as an unaffiliated defensive barrier against Aztlan (and providing those countries with stable economies and much needed industry).[30]

The Chinese TriadsEdit

After the collapse of the Chinese government and the fragmentation of China, the Triads made a lot of money selling food, weapons, tech, and whatever else was needed to the warlords and the desperate people who lived under their rule. The profits were used to build up their criminal empires and for some of them, to expand outside of China. Under the direction of the dragon Lung, the Red Dragons became the most ambitious and expanded throughout the Pacific Rim.[31] They have been steadily expanding across the world, like an unstoppable flood. While they have had occasional setbacks (losing market share or territory), generally speaking they have been expanding and getting stronger for over five decades (since the early 2020s).

Wherever the Triads have been expanding into, the established crime syndicates like the Yakuza, Vory, and Mafia have fought them for every square foot of territory metaphorically speaking. Despite that they have failed to stop the Triads from progressively encroaching into their territories. First the Triads seized control of China's underworld, they then reestablished their primacy in Southeast Asia by dethroning the upstart Yakuza, and afterwards they rebuilt their Pacific Rim empire. Now they've expanded across Russia and Japan, and continue to make inroads in Australia, Europe, and North America.[32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43]

The Islamic Crime CartelsEdit

Dominating the Islamic underworld is the Kabul Maffiya. A drug cartel in the Golden Crescent who are also the biggest smuggling and arms trafficking organization in the Islamic civilization. Their reach extends all the way to Russia in the north and to the Atlantic Ocean via North Africa.[44][45] Working with them is the paramilitary syndicate, the Grey Wolves. It works with both the Pashtun drug lords and the Mafia, having established it's primacy in Turkey and the Balkans. Their reach extending across the Middle East and into Central Europe. It benefited from the EuroWars, taking advantage of the conflict to establish itself in Europe.[46] The Al-Akhirab Aswad Mayid is an Arabic syndicate whose smuggling empire stretches across North Africa. Whom are expanding into the Iberian peninsula. Like the Grey Wolves they too benefited from the EuroWars.[47].[48][49][50][51]

See alsoEdit


  1. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.37
  2. o33031982Vice p.26
  3. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.40
  4. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.40
  5. o34954845Sixth World Almanac p.151
  6. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.54
  7. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.194
  8. o61900501Ghost Cartels p.107-110
  9. o16965029Mob War! p.62
  10. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.56
  11. o33031982Vice p.71-73
  12. o33031982Vice p.70
  13. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.148
  14. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.170
  15. o39478620Runner Havens p.45-47
  16. o61900501Ghost Cartels p.102-107
  17. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.74
  18. o30783549Shadows of Europe p.34-35
  19. o94379615Target: Smuggler Havens p.52-54
  20. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.139
  21. o34954845Sixth World Almanac p.151
  22. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.79
  23. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.80
  24. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.73
  25. o53561113Aztlan p.166
  26. o61900501Ghost Cartels p.130
  27. o33031982Vice p.86
  28. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.80
  29. o33031982Vice p.84
  30. o33031982Vice p.87
  31. o16965029Mob War! p.62
  32. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.54
  33. o94379615Target: Smuggler Havens p.52-54
  34. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.139
  35. o34954845Sixth World Almanac p.151
  36. o33031982Vice p.70
  37. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.148
  38. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.170
  39. o39478620Runner Havens p.45-47
  40. o61900501Ghost Cartels p.102-107
  41. o16965029Mob War! p.62
  42. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.82
  43. o61900501Ghost Cartels p.107-110
  44. o33031982Vice p.101-103
  45. Casablanca-Rabat p.24
  46. o33031982Vice p.98-100
  47. o30783549Shadows of Europe p.157
  48. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.101
  49. o61900501Ghost Cartels p.35
  50. o61900501Ghost Cartels p.56
  51. Casablanca-Rabat p.23