Milan forum debates fight against the mafia

Milan convention hosted in confiscated villa.

“We shouldn’t think the mafia has been defeated. These days it has quit speaking with arms and explosives, but it speaks by other means, infiltrating the political and economic fabric, not only in the southern [Italian] regions, and it’s even able to operate on a global scale.”

The warning was given by senate speaker Pietro Grasso on 24 November, speaking at a Milan forum on the fight against organised crime.

But Grasso – himself a former chief anti-mafia prosecutor and once a target for an assassination plot – warned that mafia leaders “[Totò] Riina and [Bernardo] Provenzano, the two Corleone bosses, died without ever having decided to collaborate [with the investigators].  This would have enabled us to piece together the missing facts about the massacres.”

Justice minister Andrea Orlando chaired the forum “Estates General for the fight against the mafia” in Casa Chiaravalle, the largest property seized from organised crime in Milan.  Located among green fields on the southern edge of Milan, the sumptuously restored villa is one of the 177 properties – apartments, shops and houses – confiscated from condemned mafiosi and returned to the public for social purposes.

It once belonged to Calabrian mobsters who were sentenced for drug trafficking, extortion and counterfeiting. From next March it will be a refuge for women victims of violence and torture.

Photo © ANSA