Rudy Giuliani, a federal prosecutor who later became NYC Mayor, was unrelenting in his campaigns against New York's five Mafia families in the mid-1980s, and had formed ties with Italian prosecutors which raised the wrath of "boss of bosses" Salvatore "Toto" Riina who ordered a hit against the mob buster as reported by Nick Squires for The Telegraph:
The claims were made to Italian investigators this week by Rosario Naimo, a mafia "pentito" or supergrass, who was a member of Cosa Nostra and lived for years in the US. Naimo claims he was ordered by a Sicilian "man of honour" to transmit a message to the Gambinos, one of America's most notorious crime families. The message, from Riina, asked the Gambinos to assassinate Mr Giuliani, who had established a reputation for aggressive investigations into organised crime in New York.
Toto Riina is serving life terms for ordering the 1992 murders of Italian judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in separate bomb attacks, and the imprisoned boss recently was caught on a wiretapped conversation calling for a renewed terror campaign against the state.
The Sicilian Mafia has long had deep ties with New York's Gambino family, and it remains inexplicable why the U.S. Treasury Department has not designated their alliance as a transnational criminal organization under Executive Order 13581 to freeze their assets and ban Americans from conducting any business with them.
A representative for the Sicily chapter of Confindustria -- a business trade group much like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- says that the government is "worse" than the Mafia because "entrepreneurs cannot plan for the costs incurred by bureaucracy and the bottlenecks created ad hoc that allow the mafia to worm its way in" as reported by ANSA.
Of course, Confindustria is no fan of the Mafia.
In 2012 Confindustria head Emma Marcegaglia said the economic survival of Italy is dependent upon defeating the Mafia as reported by Adnkronos: "the Mafia squeezes businesses large and small for so-called protection money, floods the economy with knock-off manufactured goods and otherwise competes with legitimate firms."
Meanwhile, in Naples four suspected members from the Moccia clan of the Camorra or Neapolitan Mafia have been charged for their alleged roles in demanding "pizzo" or extortion payments from a public contractor as reported by ANSA.
For decades Italian photojournalist Letizia Battaglia has chronicled the Mafia violence in Palermo, Sicily, and she recounts how the capital city "was a relatively calm place in the 1970s – until the mafiosi from Corleone, the town in the hills to the south, moved their drugs-related businesses into the city" in an interview with Karin Andreasson for The Guardian:
They brought Palermo to the brink of civil war and soon corrupted a good number of politicians, bourgeoisie and aristocracy. They used public money to build awful developments in the suburbs, speculating and investing only for the sake of their own profit. Green areas disappeared, and the beauty of the city was destroyed. Drugs – heroin in particular – annihilated an entire generation. I witnessed a neverending cycle of violence and murder. I photographed Corleonesi when they were brought to trial. And I photographed them when they were lying dead.
In short, Battaglia says Cosa Nostra was "mad, ignorant, cruel and hungry for power."
The good woman forgot one word to aptly describe the Sicilian Mafia: evil.
The Galatolo clan from Cosa Nostra allegedly controls "the entire supply chain of fruit and vegetable marketing in Sicily," and Italian police have seized assets from it worth 250 million euros ($340 million) including real estate, financial investments and companies as reported by ANSA.
One-time Sicilian governor Raffaele Lombardo was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison upon his conviction for conspiring with the Santapaola clan from Cosa Nostra as reported by ANSA. Sicily's current governor is openly gay Rosario Crocetta who was elected on an anti-Mafia platform.
Actually, they never went away but a few prosecutions convinced a naive public that New York's five Mafia families were magically vaporized.
The FBI now is ringing alarms that "the city's Cosa Nostra . . . is more powerful than it has been in years" as reported by The Wall Street Journal: "unlike the in-your-face approach that media mob star John Gotti adopted in the 1980s, today's mafia has reverted to its roots and tried to become as invisible as possible, officials and experts say."
Police have busted 73 suspected drug dealers in Italy and Germany who allegedly are tied to Cosa Nostra or the Sicilian Mafia as reported by ANSA.
Apparently the Sicilians are giving the Calabrians a run for their money in Deutschland.
The 'Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia long has controlled the cocaine trade in Europe, and in August 2007 six mobsters from the Pelle-Votari clan were gunned down by rival dealers from the Nirta-Strangio clan outside a pizzeria in Duisburg, Germany.
At the time of the Duisburg massacre Giorgio Basile, a 'Ndrangheta deserter, told the Italian media (with overstated hyperbole): "the Germans must realise that where there is pizza, there's the Mafia."
The Sicilian Mafia and Mafia families in New York and other U.S. cities operated a $1.6 billion cocaine and heroin smuggling scheme from 1975 to 1984 using pizzerias as fronts in drug case known as the Pizza Connection.