Municipal Palermo, the bosses released from prison start again from the neighborhoods: "Votes to the highest bidder"

PALERMO – There is a sentence pronounced by the last arrested candidate that reveals how the mafia has moved: “They are helping me in all parts of Palermo, you know it”, he said. Francesco Lombardo of Fratelli d’Italia to the mafia Vincenzo Vella, on May 28. And he emphasized: “You know it”.

The Cosa Nostra bosses have left the neighborhoods for their last election campaign in the city which today returns to the vote with a record of low civic participation, ninety seat presidents have given up. This week’s investigations have turned the spotlight on a group of freed mobsters, they are at liberty because they have finished paying off their debt with the law – like Augustine Samsonarrested Wednesday with the Forza Italia candidate Pietro Polizzi – or because they benefited from yet another quirk / mess of justice – like Vella, blocked on Friday.

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Now, the Palermo prosecutor is investigating even more in depth on the reorganization of the clans, which seems to pass from a renewed activism in relations with politics. The alarm raised by the pool coordinated by the deputy prosecutor is very clear Paolo Guido in the last two requests for arrest: “There are very urgent needs for the protection of primary assets due to the upcoming electoral competition: in the absence of adequate precautionary measures, the exercise of the right-duty to vote of a large part of the electorate would become a bargaining chip to be subjected to the conditioning and intimidation of the mafia power and therefore removed from the democratic principle “. The latest electoral campaign of the bosses is more insidious than ever, the cases of these days could be the tip of the iceberg that has not yet emerged from the interceptions. And the case is far from closed, Sicily is preparing for other elections, the Autumn Regionals.

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The prefect explains Francesco Messina, the central anti-crime director of the police: “The mafiosi have not managed to recreate a top organization, thanks to the action of the state, and so they move from below, with a series of activities in the area that aim at winning a strong consensus social, which then transform into electoral consensus “. Between Brancaccio and Corso dei Mille, where the Fratelli d’Italia candidate was moving, a merchant was caught soliciting the help of the bosses to marginalize a competitor; another asked the clan to intervene against some robbers who harassed him. And as many as forty economic operators refused to report the protection money, despite the evidence of the interceptions. “They found it more convenient to be on the side of the mafia”, says prefect Messina. “And the consensus of the clans grows”. The consensus that the mafia offer to the highest bidder. The Lombard candidate knew very well: “I am interested in the family – he said – you are a sassulata (many – ed)”. And he often remarked “you”. “Which is also in your interest”.

He is concerned Giuseppe Piraino, courageous anti-racket businessman who has never stopped managing his construction sites in the historic center of the city despite the threats: “I saw an 80s-style election campaign, it doesn’t seem to have changed much in Palermo. Someone has returned to distribute packs of pasta and to promise jobs “. There is another significant sentence from the last interception picked up by the flying squad headed by Marco Basile: “I am for you yes, for them no – said the boss Vella to the candidate of the Brothers of Italy – I don’t want to know … they have nothing to give me, I have nothing to give them.” The clans aim to have candidates trust us, regardless of the lists. And they ask for clear commitments, on specific issues: Samson requested a contact to get to the Revenue Agency; Vella pointed to the Municipality for his kiosk: “Can you manage public land?”.

Apparently minimal events. But the certainty of the godfather is frightening: “Those of us, you get them all”. The votes of the mafia.

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