Here is the story, in his own words, of how Cesare Mori, with the support of Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, took on the might of the Sicilian Mafia. It was a struggle that earned Mori much criticism of his methods from the liberal media, but much praise not only from Mussolini himself but from the people of Sicily who had for decades lived in fear of this criminal secret society which had become the scourge of ordinary Sicilians.
There was nothing of a flashy nature about the Mafia in Sicily. Operating in a non-industrialised society, the Mafioso in Sicily made their wealth not from drugs, prostitution and gambling, but from the theft of horses and livestock, kidnapping, and the extortion of money from simple town and country folk and large landowners alike, and like their American colleagues the Sicilian Mafia enforced their rule through violence and murder.
However, with the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, the U.S. Military enlisted the help of the American Mafia in re-establishing Mafia activity in Sicily, with the aim of undermining Fascist rule – a tactic that not only had far reaching consequences for Sicily, but for the whole of Italy for decades to come.
In another time or place Cesare Mori’s struggle against the Mafia would have been remembered alongside Elliott Ness, but it is now a story largely forgotten, because, like much else, it was an achievement of the Mussolini era, and as such is to be written out of history.
Cesare Mori’s story of his struggle against the Mafia not only deserves to be told, but it provides an insight into Sicilian society and a rural way of life that has for the most part now disappeared.
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