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Out of Palermo

"The Godmother" arrested in Sicily

A female mobster suspected of being the mastermind behind a reshuffle of the Sicilian mafia after a series of high profile arrests has been taken into custody, Italian police have said.
Mariangela Di Trapani, 49, was arrested on charges of having managed the business of the Resuttana family, one of the most important Cosa Nostra  Read More 
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Mafia destroying Sicily's farms

From The Guardian:
The Napoli sisters keep their entire harvest in a glass jar, resting on a wooden table in the living room. Inside, there are only a dozen stalks of wheat. The rest of the crop – 80,000 kilograms – was destroyed by the Sicilian mafia, determined to force out these three women working in the land of The Godfather.

For three generations, the Napoli family farmed wheat and hay in Corleone, the historic stronghold of Cosa Nostra. Their father, Salvatore, was a hard worker who, after much sacrifice in the fields, managed to send his three daughters – Marianna, Ina and Irene – to university.

But a crisis in what was the world’s most notorious mafia, broken apart by prosecutors, has pushed Cosa Nostra back to their rural origins, and they want their land back. Read More 
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25th anniversary of Mafia/State murder of Paolo Borsellino

After the church bells tolled, after the minute of silence at 4:58 p.m., the moment the car bomb exploded twenty-five years before, the assassinated Judge Paolo Borsellino's brother read the names of the victims:
Paolo Borsellino
Agostino Catalano
Emanuela Loi
Walter Eddiee Cosina
Claudio Traina
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mafia profits from immigrants' suffering

From the New York Times:
ISOLA DI CAPO RIZZUTO, Italy — The government provided millions of euros to care for the migrants who had arrived at the reception center at Italy’s toe after traveling across deserts, war zones or choppy seas. But on many days, they were served little more than rancid chicken. Some did not eat at all when the food ran out.

At the same time, the priest who founded the local branch of the charity managing the center was spending money on expensive hotels and restaurants, splurging on fine wines and stashing thousands of euros in three safes at home, the authorities say. His business partners — mobsters and their associates — outfitted their bathtubs with golden taps. Some hid thousands of euros in vacuum-sealed plastic bags tucked in their fireplaces. Read More 
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Letizia Battaglia, photographer of 1980s mafia Palermo, now shoots a little girl, Greta

From The Guardian:
Letizia Battaglia, Italy’s most famous female photojournalist, has developed all of her rolls of film but one. Shot in 1987, the photos show the corpse of a 10-year-old boy, Claudio, who had been killed by the mafia in Palermo.

It was a time of war. The Sicilian mafia, known as Cosa Nostra, was leaving bullet-ridden bodies in the streets and assassinating prosecutors with car bombs. Battaglia photographed hundreds of corpses, building a bloody archive in black and white that showed Sicily’s worst face to the world.

Thirty years have passed since Battaglia photographed the boy, killed because he had witnessed a murder, and the world around her has changed. Tourism has regenerated Palermo and brought it back from the depths. Most of the Cosa Nostra bosses are in prison and its killers have stopped shooting up the city. Battaglia has changed too. Now, at 82, she is trying to leave behind the horror of those years and searching for innocence and beauty. Read More 
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25th anniversary of Mafia murder of Giovanni Falcone

Trump fires the people investigating him. In Sicily, with the complicity of politicians, the mafia kills them. RIP Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three body guards who were blown up with him 25 years ago today. Read "Excellent Cadavers" by Alexander Stille.
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Mafioso shot down while riding his bike in Palermo

From The Guardian:

A mafia boss has been gunned down while riding his bicycle in Sicily, in what appeared to have been the sort of mob killing that has become rarer in recent years as dangerous figures have been locked up.

Giuseppe Dainotti, 67, was shot in the head as he cycled along a street in Palermo, almost 25 years to the day since anti-Mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone was killed in a bomb blast on a motorway on the Italian island.

Photographs of Monday’s crime scene evoked decades of violence in the Sicilian capital, showing Dainotti’s body covered by a sheet, only his shoes on show, and the white bicycle he was riding lying where it fell. Read More 
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Letizia Battaglia interview in Italian

Palermo director Franco Maresco interviews Letizia Battaglia, photojournalist who took the most iconic photos of the Mafia wars in Palermo during the 80s.


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Taking on the Mafia: AL Jazeera documentary about Palermo


Sicilian judge Antonino Di Matteo is one of the most threatened - and protected - men in Italy. As the chief prosecutor in Italy's "trial of the century", he has more than 20 bodyguards, ensuring his safety around the clock. On trial are 10 men who stand accused of being part of a conspiracy between the mafia and the state. Five of the defendants are mafia bosses and five are members of the political establishment. Read More 
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Mafia boss Bernardo provenzano is dead

From The Guardian:
Bernardo Provenzano, who has died aged 83 in a secure hospital, was the former boss of the Corleone clan, once the most vicious and voracious of the Sicilian mafia families. He had been imprisoned in solitary confinement since 2006, serving a number of life sentences for murder.

Provenzano was credited with rescuing Cosa  Read More 
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