Sentence confirms state dealings with the mafia

The Court of Assizes in Palermo has condemned a former senator and two former captains of the carabinieri because of their dealings with the Mafia in the early nineties.

Cinzia Sciuto
Cinzia Sciuto MicroMega, Italy
Source: MicroMega
Sentence confirms
state dealings with the mafia - NewsMavens
Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino/Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

"Mafia out of the state! Mafia out of the state!” The crowd screamed with rage during the funeral of the anti-mafia judge Paolo Borsellino, killed on 19 July 1992, 57 days after the assassination of another magistrate and symbol of the fight against the Mafia, Giovanni Falcone.

Twenty six years later, the Palermo court confirmed what the crowds suspected.

The state dealt with the Mafia after the latter threatened officials with violent attacks if more Mafia criminals were arrested.

The story - as Rossella Guadagnini remember in this article - began on 30 January 1992, when the Supreme Court of Cassation -- the highest court of the Italian judicial system -- condemned several mafia bosses to life imprisonment for the first time. 

Salvatore "Totò" Riina, chief of the Cosa Nostra at the time, would not have it -- he unleashed a series of the massacres, blackmailing the State to stop the arrests. And the state listened. 

The sentence only formalizes what Italians have always known: the mafia -- unlike many other criminal organizations -- has thrived thanks to its collaboration with civil society and the state. Without these alliances, it would not have played such a decisive role in Italian history.

And the problem is not exclusive to Italy. The Mafia -- the Mafias, even -- are spreading almost undisturbed throughout Europe, where they find fertile ground for their business. Our lack of awareness allows them to move unnoticed, infiltrating and altering most European economies.

Details from the story:

  • On January 30, 1992 the Court of Cassation condemned mafia bosses to life imprisonment for the first time. 
  • A series of assassinations and bombings began soon after, killing magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, among others. At that time a "dealing" began between the Mafia and some representatives of the state
  • On 19 April 2018, the Court of Assizes of Palermo issued a sentence of twelve years for the crime of violence or threat to a political, administrative or judicial body of the state against Mario Mori and Antonio Subranni, former leaders of the ROS Carabinieri, Marcello Dell'Utri, former senator, founder of Forza Italia and loyalist of Silvio Berlusconi, and Antonino Cinà, former doctor of the mobster Salvatore "Totò" Riina.
  • Nicola Mancino, Minister of the Interior at the time, was acquitted of charges of false testimony.
  • The condemned will also have to pay ten million euros to the presidency of the Council of Ministers.
  • The court also sentenced the ex-captain of the Carabinieri Giuseppe De Donno to eight years of imprisonment, as well as Mafia boss Leoluca Bagarella -- to twenty-eight years.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at