I want to tell you a story that probably you haven’t heard before. Never mind: the majority of Italians didn’t hear it either. It’s about our Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a very important person, you might say.
You probably know of his inappropriate behavior at international meetings or his sex scandals. Maybe you already know about his corruption allegations or his trials for financial crimes.
But there’s more, much more, and you are not going to believe it.
Current investigations are uncovering a dreadful picture: there are witnesses, written documents and even phone tapings that show tight and long-lasting ties between Mr. Berlusconi and the sicilian Mafia.
The story begins in the seventies, when Mr. B started as an house-builder. The source of the conspicuous financial support needed to run his company is still a mystery: Berlusconi formally refuses to disclose where he took the money. Massimo Ciancimino, son of Vito Ciancimino, an influential politician and a member of the mafia deceased in 2002, reveals that his father invested lots of money in Berlusconi’s companies. There are documents recapitulating the details of the investments and there is the testimony of Ciancimino’s widow saying that Mr B and Vito Ciancimino met several times in Milan.
In the seventies, Berlusconi hosted in his house a mafia killer, Vittorio Mangano, probably to protect his family from threats of kidnapping. Mangano was later judged guilty of man slaughter and drug smuggling.
Moreover, Berlusconi’s right-hand man, Marcello Dell’Utri, has been recently found guilty of connection with mafia by the court of appeal of Palermo. Dell’Utri is considered to be the link between Berlusconi and the mafia bosses.
There are many evidences of money going from Berlusconi to the sicilian mafia: one cheque of 25 million lire (in 1980); a letter written by Ciancimino to the boss Bernardo Provenzano, talking about how to allocate Berlusconi’s money; a ledger accounting of a “gift” of 5 million lire to a clan of mafia by “Canale 5”, one of Berlusconi’s television stations.
There is such a wealth of evidences linking Berlusconi to the mafia that listing all of them becomes a boring exercise…
In order to increase his business and his power, Berlusconi joined the secret masonic lodge “P2”, an organization who’s goal was to take control of all the institutions of the Italian Republic, making a silent coup. When this scheme was discovered, Mr. B. returned to the good old methods: funding political parties and bribing politicians. He was a great friend of Bettino Craxi, former prime minister of the socialist party, whom he bribed with 24 billion lire in order to keep his television companies in business. Berlusconi was busy in many other great activities, such as: false accounting, bribing tax police officers, bribing judges, bribing witnesses.
But the most important part of this story starts in 1992, when the mafia was seriously hit by the confirmation of the verdicts of the Maxi Trial: several bosses were sent to serve life sentences. The mafia reacted killing the politician Salvo Lima in march, as punishment for not being able to “adjust” the Maxi Trial and as a warning for Giulio Andreotti (in 2003 Andreotti was found guilty of mafia, but the crime ceased to be valid as a result of the statute of limitations). The mafia later understood that in order to achieve their goals and to get the politicians to do what they wanted, a terroristic campaign was needed.
So they gave up killing people with guns and they started using bombs, causing numerous victims, remarkable damages and, above all, a huge impact in the public opinion. The first target was Giovanni Falcone, one of the magistrates that prepared the Maxi Trial. The second target was Paolo Borsellino, colleague and friend of Falcone, another implacable enemy of the mafia.
Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone
At that point, a negotiation started between the mafia and the State: the mafia would cease it’s terroristic attacks in exchange for the State’s indulgence.
But in 1992 another remarkable transition was going on: the old political system started collapsing under the weight of the corruption scandals. This meant that the old politicians couldn’t guarantee any agreement.
The mafia lost the connection with political leaders and had to establish new connections. But the situation was not clear yet: they even thought to make their own separatist party. But regadless of their next political interlocutor, in order to make a better deal they continued their terroristic strategy: in 1993 they put bombs in Florence, Milan and Rome and they planned a massacre of carabinieri at the Olympic stadium of Rome, but luckily this plan was called off.
It was in this scenery that Marcello Dell’Utri convinced Berlusconi to found a new party and to run for elections. The mafia promptly decided to entrust Berlusconi as the new political reference. Indeed, it is believed that the mafia interrupted it’s terroristic strategy because it reached an agreement with Berlusconi and Dell’Utri. In the summer of 2009 the witness Salvatore Spatuzza, confirmed this hypothesis by declaring that his boss, Filippo Graviano, the organizer of the slaughterings of Florence, Milan and Rome, said that those slaughterings convinced Berlusconi to: “[…] put the Country in their hands“.
Since then, Berlusconi and Dell’Utri are under investigation for slaughtering and recently the prosecutors had an extension of one year for further investigations: this means that they found something worth delving into.
Of course, nobody* writes about that in Italy.
And probably, sadly enough, nobody would care…
- Berlusconi braced for verdict over ally’s ‘Mafia links’ (independent.co.uk)
- Berlusconi ally’s Mafia sentence cut (guardian.co.uk)
- Quiet Revolution: (brothersjuddblog.com)