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.