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Policemen standing and looking the mafia prisoners inside the cage in Palermo. The Mafia in Palermo 1967

Front
Policemen standing and looking the mafia prisoners inside the cage in Palermo.

The Mafia in Palermo
1967
Back
Policemen standing and looking the mafia prisoners inside the cage in Palermo.

The Mafia in Palermo
1967
Policemen standing and looking the mafia prisoners inside the cage in Palermo. The Mafia in Palermo 1967
$19.90

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SKU: SCAN-NOP-00513150

The 1960s Sicilian Mafia trials took place at the end of that decade in response to a rise in organized crime violence around the late 1950s and early 1960s. There were three major trials, each featuring multiple defendants, that saw hundreds of alleged Mafiosi on trial for dozens of crimes. From the authority's point of view, they were a failure; very few defendants were convicted, although later trials as well as information from pentiti confirmed most of those acquitted were Mafiosi members, and were guilty of many crimes including some of those they were acquitted of. Emanuele Notarbartolo was stabbed to death on a train in 1893. A number of suspected Mafiosi were rounded up and tried in 1900 of the murder, and though convicted they were acquitted on appeal due to a minor technicality. In the 1920s, Cesare Mori was sent to Sicily by Benito Mussolini to combat the Mafia, although Mori's crude method of imprisoning thousands of men - many of them innocent - without trial meant the Mafia were able to swiftly reestablish themselves as before once Mori had departed. In the late 1950s, there was an increase in violence around the town of Corleone as rival factions in the local Mafia clan, the group around Michele Navarra and the Corleonesi, battled it out. More significantly there were a wave of murders and car bombings in and around Palermo in the First Mafia War that started in 1962. The single event that triggered a major crackdown against the Mafia was the Ciaculli massacre, when seven police officers were killed on June 30, 1963 whilst trying to defuse a car bomb left by one group of mobsters who had actually intended it to kill some rival mobsters. The death of the policemen caused an outcry. In Octopus (see References), author Claire Sterling quotes the regional army commander for Sicily, General Aldo De Marco as ordering his men to: "Get everybody with a criminal record and throw them into jail, on my orders. Torture them and see what they let out, or shoot them on sight. I'll go to prison. But we can't go on like this." A crackdown – albeit not quite as disregarding of civil liberties as General Aldo De Marco initially requested – did indeed follow, and during the mid-1960s, 1,995 suspected Mafiosi were arrested and charged with hundreds of crimes. It took many trials to process the accused, including three major ones.

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