The Camorra first emerged during the chaotic power vacuum in the years between 1799 and 1815, when the Parthenopean Republic was proclaimed on the wave of the French Revolution and the Bourbon Restoration. The first official mention of the Camorra as an organization dates from 1820, when police records detail a disciplinary meeting of the Camorra, a tribunal known as the Gran Mamma. That year a first written statute, the frieno, was also discovered, indicating a stable organisational structure in the underworld. Another statute was discovered in 1842, including initiation rites and funds set aside for the families of those imprisoned. The organization was also known as the Bella Società Riformata, Società dell'Umirtà or Onorata Società.[9][10]
The Camorra was never a coherent whole nor a centralised organization. Instead, it has always been a loose confederation of different, independent groups or families. Each group was bound around kinship ties and controlled economic activities which took place in its particular territory. Each family clan took care of its own business, protected its territory, and sometimes tried to expand at another group’s expense. Although not centralized, there was some minimal coordination, to avoid mutual interference. The families competed to maintain a system of checks and balances between equal powers.[26]

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