While largely ignored by Italy’s mainstream press, Italian newspaper and online publication Il Fatto Quotidiano carried a story that the mafia, the Sicilian branch, may be organizing an attempt to assassinate 5 Star Movement leader, Beppe Grillo.
Worries were sparked after an anonymous letter turned up in public prosecutors’ offices in Palermo in Sicily. In the letter was the line “no comics or queers in government“. The “queer” in question is suspected to be the openly gay president of the Sicilian region of Italy – one Rosario Crocetta.
The comic, on the other hand, is most probably Beppe Grillo whose avowed intention to clean up Italy will not be music to mafia bosses ears. Quite the opposite. Cleaning up Italy would be bad for the business of organised crime which feeds greedily off Italy’s decline. Easy money earned from ‘jobs’ with the mafia coupled with the poor state of Italy’s economy (and State) probably mean the mafia is having few recruitment problems.
Rosario Crocetta is attempting to sort out Sicily, which means that the island may become a less lucrative center of operations for the mafia. This will not make the mafia too happy.
Security Stepped Up
In response to what is believed to be a serious threat, police have stepped up Beppe Grillo’s security, even if Grillo himself has refused an escort.
Rosario Crocetta – Three Assassination Attempts so far
Presumably, protection for Rosario Crocetta has been increased too, although Crocetta is likely to be fully aware that he is a target – he’s been the target of three attempts on his life, so far.
Italy’s mafia, or mafias, are still very powerful and also very well connected.
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Recently, after a meeting with Italy’s president Napolitano, Silvio Berlusconi, suspected of mafia connections, appeared on television with his number two, Angelino Alfano, also suspected of mafia links. Also present was former Berlusconi chief whip, Renato Schifani, who, it just so happens, is suspected of connections to organised crime too. Both Alfano and Schifani are from Sicily.
Also in the Berlusconi entourage was Roberto Maroni, the current leader of Berlusconi PdL ally, the Lega Nord party.
Last year, the Lega Nord party virtually ceased to exist after it was discovered it had been penetrated by the mafia. This time though, it was not the Sicilian mafia, but the ‘Ndrangheta mafia which originates in Calabria.
Put it this way, Berlusconi probably wouldn’t be too sorry to see Beppe Grillo taken out, literally. The elimination of Grillo would be potentially advantageous to Berlusconi too. Beppe Grillo not only wants to cut corruption out of Italian politics, he also wants to render Silvio Berlusconi ineligible to stand for election. Grillo has been highly critical of Berlusconi for quite while, and Berlusconi detests criticism.
Will the mafia achieve its objective and take out Grillo? Hard to tell, but it is not a threat to be underestimated.
Surprisingly, Beppe Grillo himself does not seem too worried by the anonymous letter stroke cloaked death threat.