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SICILIAN MAFIA/COSA NOSTRA Mafia, a word evoking terror and mystery, an uncertain etymology but a grave reality. The origin of the Sicilian mafia is unknown; it probably has been present for a long time and emerged in 1861 when Sicily island joined up with Italy and general Garibaldi used it in order to drive Bourbons out. Despite previous kingdoms never fought it seriously, but they dealt with it in order to obtain favours and restrain farmer rebellions, its worrying presence was proved by several blood feuds since 1500s and frequent arsons burning down Palermo archives and historical documents that could have demonstrate the existence of a powerful and mysterious brotherhood. The Sicilian Honoured Society changed lots of names during its life, from "Beati Paoli", the seventeenth century sect which some expert refer to as the mafia ancestor, to "Cosa Nostra", the modern organization of this century. When at the ending of 1800s a lot of Sicilians began to emigrate to United States, "men of honour" created branches of the mafia there; but while in Sicily mafia was still a rural and archaic organization, in the new country it perfectly adapted itself to the local background and grew up getting a real criminal enterprise. During the Fascism period (1922-1943) Mussolini repressed mafia heavily, but when the dictatorship finished it emerged again enjoying allied army in the Second World War. In Sicily, because of its social and economic situation, mafia modernized itself later, about at the end of 1950s when in Palermo mayor Salvo Lima, son of a "man of honour", and public contracts alderman Vito Ciancimino, from Corleone, gave works only to building contractors linked to the mafia; in 1957, advised by italo-american bosses, the Sicilian Commission was created in order to reduce murders and run business better. But in the years 1962-63 the mafia war left hundreds of died and Italian government fought it seriously for a decade; however at the beginning of 1970s the mafia reorganized itself and got stronger and stronger thanks to cigarettes smuggling and drug trafficking, expanding its tentacles also in north eastern Italy, Canada, South America, Australia and western Europe. At the beginning of 1980s happened the second big war, which opposed Corleonesi led by Salvatore Riina to the "Old Mafia" led by Stefano Bontade; Riina won and the mafia got very violent, killing too many authorities, included judges Falcone and Borsellino in 1992 slaughters. The government reacted very strongly and reduced it again, but now we are in 2004 and mafia is ready emerging again? The Sicilian Mafia today The history of the Sicilian mafia is a terrible sequence of murders, revenges, tangles, betrayals, mysteries, and an only certainly: the alliance with the power. Since its origins, the mafia formed a strong alliance with the power: nobles and viceroys before; politicians, entrepreneurs, freemasons and secret services after. It usually was the "armed hand" of the power, but it often was the power itself. It's impossible to analyse the condition of the mafia today, especially for people which don't know the particular Italian situation, without going back to 1970s. Only going back to that violent and turbulent period we could understand something of the actual situation. From 1970s to the ending of 1980s Cosa Nostra accumulated an huge richness thanks to the vertical control of international drug trafficking and public contracts. This period coincided with the escalation of "Corleonesi", formed by the most secretive and violent factions of the mafia, which transformed the Sicilian Commission in a sort of dictatorship and ran the immense earnings of those years. During the 1980s, the Corleonesi murdered thousands of men of honour included the most important bosses, but also several journalists, judges, politicians, bankers, policemen, entrepreneurs; a real massacre. In those years Cosa Nostra, thanks to her richness, influenced the Italian economy and politics heavily; on the other hand because of the strong control of territories which guaranteed a great number of votes, and the use of the violence, it became, more than the past, an obscure and subversive strength linked with the corrupted politicians. At the beginning of 1990s, after the scandal of Tangentopoli, which discovered the diffused system of corruption around national politics, the old parties broke down, and Cosa Nostra, which usually supported DC, the Andreotti party, needed to find new

Sede legale: Via B. Leto n. 1 - 90040 Trappeto PA, Italia Tel: + 39 091 6164224 - Fax: +39 091 6230849 Sede operativa: Via Gorizia n. 22 - 90133 Palermo, Italia C.F.: 97171570829 www.cesie.it - [email protected]

Il CE.S.I.E è una Organizzazione Universitaria iscritta presso l'elenco dell'Ateneo di Palermo, una E GOS (organizzazione non governativa con organizzazioni membri in più di 8 paesi europei) riconosciuta e sostenuta con finanziamento operativo dalla Commissione Europea DG EAC.

referents for the future, but before it had to delete the old ones who couldn't guarantee the needs of the organization. Cosa Nostra succeeded, just in time, in leaving the old system of corruption, and supporting the new one. In 1992 the revenge of Cosa Nostra was terrible; in a few months it killed Salvo Lima, the leader of DC party in Sicily; Ignazio Salvo, the most powerful collectors of the island; the judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, historical enemies of the organization, together with their escorts. In 1993 Cosa Nostra did the attacks in Milan, Rome and Florence which left 10 dead, and it attacked even the Catholic Church bombing the churches and killing the priests. But since 1994 it suddenly stopped this bloody strategy and kept a low profile. This obscure period, seems to hide a lot of mysteries. Probably the mafia found the new politics allied inside some of the new parties, like Forza Italia and UDC, which were born at the beginning of 1990s; there are strong evidences regarding the links between Cosa Nostra and the current Prime Minister Berlusconi; according to some inquiries at the ending of 1970s he was supported by Cosa Nostra, through senator Marcello Dell'Utri, in order to create his television's empire. During the latest ten years Cosa Nostra reorganized itself under the direction of Bernardo Provenzano, fugitive since 1963; a man with a lot of secrets, a man who could have blackmailed the State in order to hide the greatest Italian mysteries and doing a new agreement. Despite in the past he was very violent, he replaced violent bosses with reputed diplomatic ones, because he understood that Riina's strategy was going to fail, and the mafia needed a new image. During the 1990s years most people thought ingenuously that the mafia could be defeated thanks to repression and turncoats; however they underestimated the real power of the organization, the immense economic, military and social strength, and the links with the mighty people. Some people thought ingenuously that the globalisation would have defeated the mafia; in the reality Cosa Nostra adapted itself to the new contest better than any ?mafia? in the world, and it's ready to come into the new millennium thanks to her secular experience, secrets, connections. Value of pizzu: situation in Palermo. -- As estimated by Addiopizzo, eighty percent of businesses currently give into mafia intimidation and pay a monthly tax, or 'pizzo', which totalled somewhere in the order of $33.5 billion dollars in the 2004 financial year. It should be underlined, however, that it is difficult to properly estimate how many percent of the local shopkeepers who pay `pizzo' as very few shopkeepers are willing to admit that they are paying. (Santino, 2000, 277) Many point at the difficult situation in Palermo, due to the strong presence of the Mafia. The Corleone mafia, which ruled Cosa Nostra for four decades, had their base in Palermo. The most important mafia wars have taken place in Palermo, and this is where killings of famous people, so-called "illustrious corpses", have been most frequent. While Catania represents the economic centre of gravity of Sicily, Palermo is the political and administrative capital of Sicily. The Regional Assembly has its seat in Palermo, and all major decisions regarding regional public spendings are made here. The antiracket-movement has been weaker in Palermo than in other areas, due to the presence of the Mafia. To quote one of the informants, to establish an anti-racket association in Palermo is like "building an Anglican church inside Saint Peters Basilic" in Rome. What is "pizzo"? -- Many alternative terms are used when discussing the cash transfers from local businessmen to the Mafia; protection money, rackets or extortion. In Sicily, the term "pizzo" refers to a bird's beak, used when drinking water, a natural and daily habit (Vasile, 2005, 7). It is often discussed whether the payment is related to a real or genuine threat. It is often claimed that protection is fictitious, in the sense that money is paid in order to secure protection from threats from the provider himself (Hess, 1998, 195). Gambetta makes a distinction between protection and extortion. The term protection is adequate for economic actors who pay as a way of avoiding thefts preventing competitors to set up shop in their area. Protection may also include protection against rival taxing authorities, i.e. other mafia groupings. (Gambetta, 1993, 175). Extortion is more adequate as a term when describing the mafia imposed taxes on outsiders or entrepreneurs who wishes to settle and set up shop in a specific area. The fee may be high for outsiders to enter a specific market and area: "From the point of view of those dealers already buying protection, the extra cost imposed on the new entrant is precisely one of the reasons they pay for protection in the first place: to deter new competitors (...) Whether we are dealing with extortion or genuine protection depends on whether we are the new entrant or the protected dealer" (Gambetta, 1993, 32). Gambetta underlines that protection is offered to real threats. While criminality is

Sede legale: Via B. Leto n. 1 - 90040 Trappeto PA, Italia Tel: + 39 091 6164224 - Fax: +39 091 6230849 Sede operativa: Via Gorizia n. 22 - 90133 Palermo, Italia C.F.: 97171570829 www.cesie.it - [email protected]

Il CE.S.I.E è una Organizzazione Universitaria iscritta presso l'elenco dell'Ateneo di Palermo, una E GOS (organizzazione non governativa con organizzazioni membri in più di 8 paesi europei) riconosciuta e sostenuta con finanziamento operativo dalla Commissione Europea DG EAC.

generally and manifestedly higher in mafia dominated areas, the unprotected firm may be more exposed to thefts or vandalism than firms who are under the protection of a particular mafia leader or mafia group. Territorial control. -- The central purpose of a Mafia leader and his group is to gain control over a specific local territory, to establish and maintain a monopoly of power and protection in that area. According to Hess, "mafia murders and mafia wars are above all signs of the struggle for power in a territory or of arguments over territorial borders." (Hess, 1998, 194). The transfer of the mafia from a rural to an urban setting has not changed the attachment to the local territory Despite the internationalisation of the mafia and the control of a local territory represents several advantages. The local territory guarantees a regular income as a consequence of illegal economic activities or the imposition of `taxes' on the local shopkeepers or producers. The territory provides a safe haven for mafia members from law enforcement agencies and it can be used as a recruitment ground. Organised crime is dependent on labour, for example hit men, drivers, doctors, mechanics, informants or any other service that is useful for the Mafia's purposes. The territory can also be used for money laundering or serve as a base for further expansion to other territories (Gunnarson, 2008, 59-62). The connection between Mafia, territorial control and trade with illegal trade with hazardous waste has been increasingly highlighted recently. The territory controlled by the Mafia is here used as an illegal dump for all kinds of industrial waste. (Massari and Monzini, 2004; Saviano, 2006) The territorial control mechanism does not make any difference between different economic sectors, be it agriculture, construction or other commercial activities. What is important is that the local mafia enjoys a monopoly of specific economic activities, that other activities are only permitted with the mafia cosca's permission and that the local mafia group receives a share of the profits (Lupo, 2004, 257). The methods for controlling the territory may vary: from violence and threats to the use of "soft methods", for example by the spread of rumours as a way of increasing the reputation and attractiveness of the local mafia boss. According to Sciarrone, the payment of rackets is systematically underestimated as a means by which the Mafia controls a local territory (Sciarrone, 2004, 26).

For further information: www.sisp.it/2008/paper/forno.pdf

Sede legale: Via B. Leto n. 1 - 90040 Trappeto PA, Italia Tel: + 39 091 6164224 - Fax: +39 091 6230849

Sede operativa: Via Gorizia n. 22 - 90133 Palermo, Italia C.F.: 97171570829 www.cesie.it - [email protected]

Il CE.S.I.E è una Organizzazione Universitaria iscritta presso l'elenco dell'Ateneo di Palermo, una E GOS (organizzazione non governativa con organizzazioni membri in più di 8 paesi europei) riconosciuta e sostenuta con finanziamento operativo dalla Commissione Europea DG EAC.

Extract of www.addiopizzo.org:

Everything started during a friend meeting in the summer of 2004. We were daydreaming about opening a pub. But then someone said: "What if they ask us for the pizzo?". In sicily this is the name of racket: pizzo. It is the system the mafia uses to impose tax and bring territory under their control. The next day, Palermo woke up with walls, light poles and phone booths covered by these stickers:

It reads: "A WHOLE PEOPLE WHO PAYS THE PIZZO IS A PEOPLE WITHOUT DIGNITY". Contrary to expectations, the city seemed to wake up and react. Around the boys who had pasted stickers during the first night a group of young people began to gather who shared the same idea. As long as somebody continues to pay the pizzo we will not be free. Because if my baker pays the pizzo, I am giving money to the mafia when I buy bread too, and so I submit myself to the mafia. In this way the Comittee Addiopizzo was born.

Since the first stickers we have gone a long way. Above all, we have found a new strategy to fight mafia: critical shopping against pizzo. The campaign "Against pizzo change your shopping habits" wants to create a group of consumers in Palermo and in the region, ready to support businesses who stand up against racket and, overcoming fear, denounce their extorters.

Sede legale: Via B. Leto n. 1 - 90040 Trappeto PA, Italia Tel: + 39 091 6164224 - Fax: +39 091 6230849

Sede operativa: Via Gorizia n. 22 - 90133 Palermo, Italia C.F.: 97171570829 www.cesie.it - [email protected]

Il CE.S.I.E è una Organizzazione Universitaria iscritta presso l'elenco dell'Ateneo di Palermo, una E GOS (organizzazione non governativa con organizzazioni membri in più di 8 paesi europei) riconosciuta e sostenuta con finanziamento operativo dalla Commissione Europea DG EAC.

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Microsoft Word - Mafia situation in Palermo.doc