The beginnings of the Italian mafia were perceived as a rural phenomenon to manage and control the territories… yet the current transformation undergone by the latter is always invisible to the society, with its members being increasingly introduced into politics, administration and even entrepreneurship. This new model, imposed in Italy, is applied all around the world.
The change began to take place in Italy for more than two decades ago.
May 23th 1992, a small procession of three armoured cars headed to Palermo: first car has three bodyguards, second one was a white Fiat led by Judge Giovanni Falcone, with his wife beside him and his driver Giuseppe Costanza sitting in the rear. Crossing at 18h the Capaci area, a load of 500 pounds of dynamite placed in a tunnel under the road exploded, blowing the first car of the procession, killing the three guards on site. The Fiat is violently crushed: Judge Giovanni Falcone and his wife died of internal bleeding in the hospital of Palermo, driver Costanza being the only survivor.
With this murder, bloody boss of Cosa Nostra, Toto Riina, eliminated the judge which decided to sever the relationship that the state had always maintained with the mafia. A month later, another hero of the struggle against the Mafia, Paolo Borsellino, a close friend of Falcone, also dies.
La Cosa Nostra had implemented a strategy of attacks during the biennium 1992-1993 to negotiate with the state and obtain, among other thing, softening of harsh detention conditions of nearly 400 gangsters. But what happened over the years, mainly with the attack on Judge Falcone, has changed the history of organized crime. Negotiations began, but Cosa Nostra eventually had lost its ability as a military organization, because in the end, even with the delays and ambiguities, almost all of the Cosa Nostra members were imprisoned, including Toto Riina, held since January 1993.
This week will begin in Palermo a historical process: mafia, politicians and representatives of the police sitting in the guilty dock. Judge Capaldo said: “This process will not be enough to shed light on past years, but with time we will get to know what actually took place, although the fact of acceptance will not be easy. What we know now is that since the 90s, the Sicilian Mafia has lost much of its influence, while the Calabrian Mafia and the ‘Ndrangheta began a major expansion to become the most powerful mafia the world we know now, with an annual turnover of 44.000 million €, managing drug trafficking internationally, as well as money laundering. Mafias are now multinationals. “
The Italian Mafia is defined as “the first company in the country,” with a turnover of more than 150.000 million €, representing 10% of the Italy GDP. They also have a high liquidity, reaching 65.000 million €, making it a kind of first bank in the country, as reported by the Attorney Capaldo which adds that its strength comes from its high liquidity, allowing it to buy properties at very low prices and even companies in economic deficit. In the case of the ‘Ndrangheta, it draws its livelihood from drug trafficking. The writer Roberto Saviano, seven years after “Gomorrah”, his famous book against the Camorra, released “Zero, zero, zero”, an investigation into cocaine.
“There is no market in the world nor in the financial investment, nor publicly traded shares that can stand up against cocaine investment and turnover it generates”.
Given the success of the Italian Mafia model, it has reached all sectors; other groups of society are in the process of reproducing the same modus operandi.
In groups of civil and economic society from around the world, mafia culture spreads because it is seen as a successful model, and it is precisely because of this that the mafias are more dangerous today: it is increasingly difficult to distinguish gangsters from those who are not.
Until recently, people associated the mafia term with violent and bloody crimes, while the strategy of today’s mafia has completely changed.
The Italian Mafia is not just shooting a political opponent in the street, even if the act is indeed considered mafia behaviour. The economic package, financial and policy is the most powerful mafia existing form, because all possible means is used for this, including the corruption of politicians, civil servants, business or law enforcement without exclude threats or violence when deemed necessary.