Fighting the Mafia and Organized Crime: Italy and Europe

Umberto Santino

Fighting the Mafia and Organized Crime: Italy and Europe

Premise: The Sicilian Mafia as a local and transnational criminality and the proliferation of criminals of the mafia type

1. The laws regarding organized crime in Italy

1.1. 114 laws in ten years
1.2. From Palermo’s maxi-trial to the arrest of mafia bosses
1.3. The Antimafia Committee’s report on mafia and politics
1.4. The mafia as a political subject. Double mafia in a double State
2. European Unity: first tentatives at anticrime politics

2.1. A continent of variable legality
2.2. The drug plan in the European Union
2.3. Measures against money laundering
2.4. EEC fraud and organized crime
3. The contradictions of today’s society: basic trends and compensative measures


Premise: The Sicilian Mafia as a local and transnational criminality and the proliferation of criminals of the mafia type

The Sicilian Mafia is probably the best known form of organized crime, so much so, that mass media represents it as sort of a universal Evil. The “octopus” that directly or indirectly controls all criminal activities: from drug to arms trafficking and now even radioactive substances. In reality the Sicilian Mafia can be considered a “winning model” of organized crime (at least up until now) due to its complexity and long-standing role in society, but care must be taken against stereotypes that always see the octopus’ tentacles everywhere.

The mafia’s strength lies in its capacity to be both local and international, in the sense that it grew to a worldwide level without losing its roots in Sicilian society. Its strong-point has historically been the capacity to combine continuity with innovation: it has never abbandoned its traditional activities (extortion for example) but knew how to choose the most profitable activities and become a part of them.

Immigration to the United States during the end of the XIX century has also had a role in the formation of this “cultural elasticity and adaptibility”, eventhough, at first the connections between Sicilian Mafiosos and Sicilian-Americans were rare. Only after the second world war has the connection between them grown closer and drug trafficking has “welded” Sicily to the United States, but both groups remain autonomous. In the last few decades the Sicilian Mafia has grown on the national, European and international level. It has trafficked heroin with the Corso-Marsigliesi (the French Connection), with Turkish, Middle East and Asiatic clans and now deals cocaine with the Latin American Cartels. International channels are used for money laundering from Switzerland to the tax havens worldwide. At first the mafia organization was only present in the western part of Sicily, now it is found in all of Sicily and in many Italian regions, countries of Europe and in th e world. Besides this spread of the mafia, the development of illegal activities, the formation and strengthening of other criminal groups similar to the mafia are causes for worry. Many criminal organizations are present in Italy: the ‘Ndrangheta in Calabria, the Camorra in Campania, the Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia and other groups. On the international level, besides historical groups like the Japanese Yakusa and the Chinese Triads, new organizations like the South American Cartels and the Russian Mafia have formed.

Today’s criminal market is complex because the criminal activities are more articulated and the criminal groups have grown in number. Therefore, it is misleading to sustain that the mafia or any other criminal organization has a monopoly on world crime. There isn’t a monarchy, a Number One, in the organized crime world, but there are many republics that variously interact and are protagonists of the international division of criminal labor.

Today’s society produces criminality because of some of its main characteristics (the contradictions will be dealt with at the end of the chapter) and the intertwining of legal and illegal economies, that have grown closer, as have criminals in the social and institutional context. Drugs and money laundering are the best known aspects of today’s criminal activities, but the most devastitating is probably the connection between politics and crime. This mixture between illegal and legal, criminal and institutional, is the heart of the mafia’s historical model, but it has grown and spread indipendent of the presence of Sicilian mafiosos or Sicilian-Americans. It is not the mafia that has invaded the world, it is the world that has produced more and more groups and organizations of the mafia type.

In light of all this, the actual judicial system, both national and international are greatly inadequate. Not only are they behind the times but the repressive measures are often counteractions that can not debilitate phenomenons that proliferate due to the system’s contradictions.

1. The laws regarding organized crime in Italy

1.1. 114 laws in ten years

Only in the last few years has Italian legislation prepared itself to deal with the great increase in the mafia’s activities and with other forms of organized crime. In ten years, from 1982-1992, 114 laws regarding organized crime, directly or indirectly, were introduced. All of these laws are connected with terrible crimes that shocked both local and international public opinion, and are considered the offspring of the emergency situation, that is, they are answers to the criminal challenge and not part of a coherent law enforcement program.

The first general Italian law, the so called Rognoni-La Torre Law (named after the backers of two proposals that were later unified, the Christian-democrat Minister Virginio Rognoni and the Comunist leader Pio La Torre, assassinated April 30, 1982) or “Antimafia law”, was approved September 13, 1982, after the assassination of General-Prefect Dalla Chiesa, and for the first time defined mafia as a specific type of organized crime. According to article 416 bis, introduced by the new law,

The organization is of the mafia type when its components use intimidation, subjection and, consequencially, silence (omertà), to commit crimes, directly or indirectly acquire the management or the control of businesses, concessions, authorizations, public contracts and public services to obtain either unjust profits or advantages for themselves or others.

Article 416 of the Italian Penal Code that has its origins in the fascist period (1930), defines simple organized crime on the basis of the presence of three elements: the associative bond, the organized structure, the criminal program. Organized crime of the mafia type presents additional specific characteristics: the associative bond has such an intimidating capacity to cause subjection and omertà. It is at such a level that it may be considered a system, an absolute rule of obedience and a law of silence, that first of all demands, from the entire population, the refusal to collaborate with law enforcement. An actual submission to the power of the mafia.

Besides the creation of this type of crime, the most important and original points of the new antimafia law are the measures taken to control the origins of patrimonies, that allow the confiscation of possessions of illecit origin, and the explicit authorization to subcontract public works.

The role of Alto Commissario (High Commissioner) was also created in September 1982 to fight the mafia, giving a government official the power to coordinate the fight, that Prefect Dalla Chiesa so vainly requested. The High Commissioner’s first headquarters was Palermo, and later Rome, and was substantially useless and canceled in 1992.

During the last few years other provisions intervened. The most significant are: the measures taken against the money laundering, the provisions for those mafiosos that collaborate with law enforcement officials, the so called “pentiti” (repenters), the revision of the procedure code for the treatment of mafiosos, the creation of the DIA (Direzione Investigativa Antimafia: Antimafia Investigative Administration) and the DNA (Direzione Nazionale Antimafia or Superprocura: National Antimafia Administration) and the integration of criminal association of the mafia type, that includes those that interfere with the right to vote.

The crime of laundering money of illecit origin was introduced in Italian legal system in 1978 with article 648 bis of the Penal Code, limited to the profits obtained from aggravated robbery, aggravated extortion and kidnapping for extortion. Article 23 of the law n° 55 of March 19, 1990, extended the crime to the capital obtained from the production and sale of drugs. Later, the law by decree of May 3, 1991 n° 143, converted into law n° 197 of July 5, 1991, introduced “emergency actions to limit the use of cash and bearer securities in transactions and prevent the utilization of the financial system in money laundering”. These measures decree that sums above 20,000,000 lire must be transfered either in cash or through approved mediators or by means explicitly indicated, dictate rules that regulate finance companies and in exception of the right to secrecy, allow the exchange of information between control organizations.

Law n° 328, published August 28, 1993 in the “Gazzetta Ufficiale”, repealed in part the European convention concerning money laundering. With this new regulation, the crime money laundering regards any case of reinvestment of profits obtained from any type of crime and therefore, not only the four crimes covered by the previous laws (that is, drug dealing, kidnapping, aggravated robbery and extortion). There are still a few problems to be resolved. A central data bank to keep track of all the financial operations is lacking, so sums can be kept under 20,000,000 lire and therefore, avoid controls. The companies registry is lacking, eventhough it was established by law in 1942, so it is impossible to follow transactions between firms.

In 1990, other measures were passed regarding the exclusion of those condemned of serious crimes (drug dealing, kidnapping, massacres, mafia member) from the benefits given to prisoners by the “Gozzini Law” (the benefits are home imprisonment and limited liberty), detention in prison while awaiting trial for those suspected of being guilty of serious crimes, regulations concerning wire tapping, reduction of the punishment for those that collaborate with justice, the prolongation of preliminary investigations from a period of six months to one year, the modification of the terms of the prescription of crimes.

The law by decree n° 345 of October 29, 1991 was converted into law n° 410 of December 30, 1991 and established the DIA, to coordinate the police forces and conform the organization of investigative services with the goal of preventing and repressing organized crime.

At the same time, law by decree n° 367 of November 20, 1991, converted into law n° 8 of January 20, 1992, established the district antimafia administrations and the DNA. One of the candidates for the position of Superprocuratore (General Attorney) was Giovanni Falcone, assassinated with his wife and three bodyguards, May 23, 1992, while driving on the highway that connects Palermo’s airport Punta Raisi to Palermo (the Capaci massacre).

After the Capaci massacre and the massacre of Via D’Amelio, where Judge Paolo Borsellino and five of his bodyguards were assassinated July 19, 1992, new emergency measures entitled “Urgent modifications to the new Penal Proceedings Code and actions against organized crime of the mafia type” were taken. The decree n° 306 of June 8, 1992, converted into law n° 356 of August 7, 1992, introduces significant modifications to the Penal Proceedings Code approved in 1988, that replaced the investigative rite with a prosecutive rite. The modifications regard the way proof is acquired and constituted: for common criminals the proof is constituted during the debate, while for mafiosos, due to their capacity to intimidate, proof can be drawn from other proceedings.

The new law introduces further preventive measures for “pentiti”, arranges severe prison terms for mafiosos, exasperates preventive measures regarding patrimonies and has two clauses regarding elections. The first, article 11 bis, that integrates article 416 bis, states that it is organized crime of the mafia type when intimidation is used: to hinder or deny the right to vote or to obtain votes. The second regulation is article 11 ter, that punishes the “political-mafia exchange”: when a member of the mafia promises to obtain votes for a politician in exchange for money. The original form of the law included the promise to obtain concessions, authorizations, contracts, public financing, or any means of gaining illegal profits. Law n° 16 of January 18, 1992, that also deals with elections and limits the passive electorate, states that if a person undergoes penal proceedings for organized crime of the mafia type and/or other crimes related to organized crime, he must be suspended or removed from the position of regional, provincial or city counsellor, President of the regional, provincial or city council, and other administrative responsibilities.

The regulative framework that began taking shape during the last decade was fairly chaotic, nonetheless, a few fondamental principles were set up.

The first was the double track regime. The Penal Code Procedure was applied to common criminals and not to mafiosos, for which different prison treatment was expected.

The second principle regards the legislation that rewards mafiosos that collaborate with justice. It was introduced for terrorists but has been greatly expanded in the last few years.

The third principle was the reversal of the charges against the person investigated as a mafioso, that must prove the legitimate origin of goods and monies in his possession. But the Constitutional Court, with a sentence of February 1994, declared the latter unconstitutional.

Italian antimafia legislation, judged on the whole, is behind the times, was created as an emergency response, is inadequate in comprehending the mafia phenomenon and is characterized by the prevalence of symbolic-measures.

Organized crime of the mafia type has existed since the XIX century (1) but only with the law of 1982 was the crime of mafia association introduced. Since the second half of the 1950s the mafiosos, either directly or through their accomplices, became legitimate entrepreneurs, especially in construction, but only with the law of 1982 can these “mafia enterprises” be touched (2). Since the 1970’s, the financial size of these mafia groups, both in terms of their capability of accumulating capital and utilization of the financial system for money laundering, is significant, but only with recent measures can they begin to be fought (3).

The responsive measures are almost always taken after the mafia has commited a terrible crime (murder of an important person, massacres) through laws by decree, that is, the due legal response to urgent situations, eventhough they have been greatly used in the last few years to escape the red tape of the parliamentary course. This is mainly due to the idea that mafia must be handled as an emergency. According to official government stereotypes, the mafia only exists when they murder someone, it is a problem only when they shoot someone influential, it’s a national emergency when they murder an important government official and/or a famous person like Dalla Chiesa, Falcone and Borsellino. Instead, mafia has been a continuous part of our society for more than a century, an institution, and if for a certain period there aren’t any murders that doesn’t mean that the mafia doesn’t exist anymore, it means that there is a “pax mafiosa” and things are going very well for organized crime.

It can be said that up until now, the Italian legal system deals with the mafia phenomenon inadequately, and lacks a concrete plan to contrast the mafia in all of its complex aspects. An example is the already mentioned article 416 bis that states, if the mafia member is armed, the punishment is greater; but the mafia is always armed and its characteristic is its use of private violence, that is, the non recognition of the State’s monopoly on violence.

The measures taken to contrast the mafia are above all exclusively symbolic laws, that is, reactions to the most outstanding crimes. They want to demonstrate the institution’s power because they are decreed almost immediately after a crime, without taking into consideration their real value and usefulness. After the 1992 massacres, in which Judges Falcone and Borsellino lost their lives, the army was sent to Sicily. Even this is a symbolic measure to contrast the mafia’s territorial control. The mafia’s territorial reign of Sicily is based on secular and widespread knowledge of the territory’s reality while many of the drafted soldiers sent to Sicily are there for the first time.

1.2. From Palermo’s maxi-trial to the arrest of mafia bosses

Even the repression carried out against the mafia phenomenon is based on a reaction to an emergency situation. Trials are conducted and concluded with convictions only after important crimes, while the mafia enjoys an absolute or almost absolute impunity. An example is Luciano Liggio, one of the bloodiest bosses: he received a series of acquittals for insufficiency of evidence and was sentenced to life imprisonment for only one murder (the murder of mafia boss, doctor and “Cavaliere al merito della Republica Italiana”, Michele Navarra). This conviction came when Liggio’s reputation was well known and his previous acquittals had become a national scandal.

Palermo’s maxi-trial, the most important mafia trial in the history of Italy, was officiated after an enormous number of murders during the early 1980s and after the assassination of renowned persons like Vice-Questore Boris Giuliano, Magistrates Cesare Terranova and Gaetano Costa, President of the Sicilian Region Piersanti Mattarella, Regional Secretary of the Italian Comunist Party Pio La Torre and especially the Prefect Dalla Chiesa (4).

The first round of the maxi-trial ended with many convictions, but the Court of Appeals reduced many sentences and the mafiosos expected further reductions from the Corte di Cassazione (the Supreme Court) (5).

The foundation for the maxi-trial was already laid during the preliminary investigative phase done by Pal ermo’s Antimafia Pool, created by Judge Rocco Chinnici, in which Judges Falcone and Borsellino worked, and was confirmed by the first degree conviction. Accordingly, mafia is identified with the Cosa Nostra organization, defined a unique, pyramidal and apex type organization, provincially directed by a “commissione” or “cupola” (commission or dome) and regionally by an interprovincial organism, in which the head of the Palermo commission has a hegemonic role. The leaders of Cosa Nostra are “Corleonesi”, mafiosos from Corleone (a town in the province of Palermo, traditional stonghold of the mafia but also capital of the peasant’s movement until the 1950s), long since working in Palermo.

According to this vision of the mafia, based on statements made by “pentiti”, the most famous of which is Buscetta, the gravest crimes were decided by the cupola, the members of which are collectively responsible and therefore, the trials for mafia crimes must be tried as one and dealt with by the Court of Palermo, considered the capital of the mafia.

Other magistrates and the Cassazione, instead sustain, that mafia associations are autonomous groups, not connected amongst themselves, therefore, it is senseless to speak of collective responsibility for the cupola members, and consequentially, mafia trials must deal with the crime singly and they must be held where the crimes were commited. Only in February 1992 did the Cassazione agree with the theory of the Antimafia Pool of Palermo and the members of the cupola were considered responsible for most of the crimes commited in the 1980s in and around the mafia organization. In the meantime, the Antimafia Pool of Palermo was dismantled, Chinnici was murdered in 1983, Falcone and Borsellino in 1992.

Only after Falcone and Borsellino were assassinated were the most renowned mafia bosses, fugitives from justice for years, arrested. The so called boss of the bosses, Totò Riina, was fugitive for 23 years, and was finally arrested in downtown Palermo.

An important contribution to the understanding of the administrative structure of Cosa Nostra, its crimes, and the arrest of its bosses, is due to the “pentiti”. The repenting phenomenon isn’t completely a new one (significant cases are documented in the XIX century) (6). But only recently has it become so widespread, in fact, there are about 750 pentiti that collaborate with justice today.

The first pentiti, during the 1980s, were mostly drug traffickers working with mafiosos, and it can be explained by the expansion of the mafia’s activities and the involvement of criminals foreign to the mafia tradition, that have no regard for omertà. The ensuing pentiti statements, beginning with Buscetta and Contorno, involve the declining mafiosos in a mafia war from 1981-3, and is explained by the internal violence caused by the tentative to take complete control by the Corleonesi. The boomerang effect involved the Corleonesi and their allies due to their continuous use of violence and even the most recent massacres, that caused a profound effect on public opinion and government reaction. This reaction can be outlined as follows: a very strong reaction after the gravest crimes (which lasted about two years or slightly more) followed by a weakening period, prelude to an actual reverse tendency demonstrated by the dismantling of the Antimafia Pool of Palermo and the isolation of Giovanni Falcone that rendered his work at the Court of Palermo almost impossible. Even now, two years after the 1992 massacres, after the latest “urgent” laws and the arrest of the mafia bosses, the reverse tendency has begun again, with doubts arising as to the legitimacy of using pentiti’s testimonies, the attack against some magistrates particularly active by those close to the winners of the last election that brought to government those associated with the “Polo delle libertà” (Liberty Pole) (7).

Another important aspect of the battle against organized crime that was dealt with using the logic of an emergency situation: the seizure (a temporary measure) and the confiscation (a final measure) of all the possessions belonging to a person suspected of being a member of organized crime of the mafia type. The main difference, and it is a great difference, between seizing and confiscating is that possessions are often seized in too much of a hurry, always from the point of view of a responsive measure against the gravest mafia crimes and therefore, most of the possessions (real estate, automobiles, etc.) seized are then returned to the owner. From 1992 to 1993, just over 160 billion lire (about 100 million dollars) in possessions were confiscated. This sum is only 12% of the amount seized (1,334 billion lire).

The delays, uncertainties and about faces in the battle against organized crime in Italy have a deep rooted explanation: the mafia, as other Italian forms of organized crime are not only criminal organizations dedicated to various criminal activities, but are intertwined in the social context, especially economy and institutions. Without these intricate relationships, their growth and strength is uncomprenhensive.

1.3. The Antimafia Committee’s report on mafia and politics

The investigative parliamentary committee on mafia in 1993 tried to deal with this crucial question and reported on the relationship between mafia and politics (8). The report is dedicated to a type of organized crime called Cosa Nostra, that according to the committee, compared to other mafia associations

is prevalently important for its longstanding tradition, its organization both within Italy and abroad, its criminal and financial power. It’s certainly an error to underestimate the power of the ‘Ndrangheta and Camorra, that have their own specific relationships with politics and institutions. The committee feels that while an eventual defeat of Cosa Nostra could determine the weakening of other types of organized crime, the eventual defeat of the ‘Ndrangheta or the Camorra or the Sacra Corona Unita wouldn’t have the same effect on Cosa Nostra.

The latter in fact, compared to other forms of organized crime has the function of running a general strategy, imposes its own ways of acting, assumes a major role in important trafficking and constitutes a model of organization.(9)

Cosa Nostra’s political strategy is the following:

The occupation and ruling of the territory in competition with legitimate authorities, it possesses immense financial resources, has a well armed secret army, has a program for unlimited expansion, all of these characteristics make it an organization that operates according to the logic of power and convenience, without rules except those that they develop and uphold. Cosa Nostra’s political strategy isn’t modified by others, it is imposed on others by means of corruption and violence. (10)

According to the report approved by large majority, mafia and politics have a relationship of “cohabitation” that has favored tentatives to infiltrate government organs, magistrate, police and local authorities. Some tentatives have been successful, with disasterous consequences for the legitimacy and credibility of the actions taken by public authorities.

The result of this “cohabitation”:

weaken the democratic system… make Italy unique for the number of political assassinations and massacres, in the panorama of western democracies. (11)

This “cohabitation” explains the “fluctuating” repressive measures:

Attack when Cosa Nostra attacks; then return to cohabitation. The error of mistaking pax mafiosa, due to mafia’s rigid control of its organization, with the absence of criminal activity. The government didn’t attack Cosa Nostra because it’s organized crime, but only when it ordered and commited particularly grave homicides (…). The long lasting relationship between mafia and legitimate authority is almost like that between two distinct sovereigns. (12)

The committee feels that the link between Cosa Nostra and institutions is mostly through the “Massoneria” (freemasonry):

The fondamental terrain on which the link between Cosa Nostra with public officials and private professions was created and reinforced is the Massoneria. The Massoneria bond serves to keep the relationship continuous and organic. The admission of members of Cosa Nostra, even at high levels, in Massoneria is not an occassional or episodical one, but a strategic choice. The oath of allegence to Cosa Nostra remains the pivot point around which “uomini d’onore” (men of honor) are prominently held. But the Massoneria associations offer the mafia a formidible instrument to extend their own power, to obtain favors and privileges in every field: both for the conclusion of big business and “fixing trials”, as many collaborators with justice have revealed. (13)

The report on mafia and politics by the Parliamentary Committee is without a doubt original, of undeniable importance, because for the first time the relationship between mafia and institutions is the center of attention, a matter only mentioned in previous reports (14). This is explained by the fact that the committee worked in a period of transition, that occurred during the passage from the so called first republic to the so called second republic. The fall of “real socialism” in Italy signified the dismantling of the Comunist Party, and the creation of the left wing Democratic Party. The same occurred for the Christian Democrate Party (CD), that had unrivaled power from the end of World War II to the beginning of the 1990s because of its rampart against the risk of being conquered by the comunists and therefore, was a strong point of atlantic politics. Nonetheless, the report, in the attempt to gain widespread consent, doesn’t go through. For example, it mentions Lima’s responsibilities (Lima was a powerful member of the CD assassinated March 12, 1992) but it doesn’t analize the power system of the CD that revolved around Lima and Andreotti, the latter was the most powerful man of the first republic, and doesn’t mention the responsibilities of the left wing, compromised with them (15).

1.4. The mafia as a political subject. Double mafia in a double State

It is certainly significant to say that the mafia “cohabitates” with the institutions, especially after decades of denying its existence, but the reality of the mafia and the relationship between mafia and institutions is much more complex.

The following is a summary of my research (16).

The mafia is a criminal association that runs illegal and legal activities, in order to accumulate capital and pursue power, it has its own cultural code based on the lawfulness of using violence and has noteworthy consent. It acts within a social coalition that includes various classes of the population, with the supremacy of the richest and most influential illegal-legal subjects (borghesia mafiosa: upper middle class mafiosos).

It has the characteristics of a political subject in two senses:

1) being an association, mafia is a political group, having all the individual charateristics of that type of group as defined by classic sociology: a code (a group of rules), territorial extension, physical coercion, an administrative force capable of insuring the observance of the rules and effecting coercive measures (17);

2) it contributes as an association and a social coalition to the production of politics in a comprehensive sense, that is, it determines or contributes in the decisions and choices that regard the manipulation of power and the distribution of resources.

In its relationship with the State and other institutions, mafia is two faced: it is contemporaneously outside and against the State, because it doesn’t recognize the State’s monopoly on violence and naturally resorts to murder (having the death penalty in its code). It is inside and with the State because a series of activities are connected with the use of public finances (for example, contracts for public works) and imply their active participation in public life (elections, control of the functioning of institutions).

Even the State when dealing with mafia has been characterized by the use of fondamentally double standards. If until 1982 the mafia wasn’t considered a criminal organization, the murders and other crimes commited by mafiosos were, but the impunity that they enjoyed signifies the renunciation of the State of its monopoly on violence. The impunity may be considered a form of legitimation, therefore, it may be said that in Italy there has been two ways of dealing with violence. This may be explained by the fact that mafia violence, that has had as victims mainly political and social opponents that symbolize renewal, has been useful for the maintaining of power by the dominant classes every time that the direct intervention of the State was impossible, due to evident illegality or wouldn’t have been as rapid and brutal as mafia violence.

In this way mafia was symbolized as institutionalized criminality (18), while inside the State there was a split between formal constitution and material constitution, that is, between the written principles and the real behavior, and actual criminal institutions were formed. It has been said that since the end of the second world war Italy’s democracy has been blocked, formally open but virtually “off-limits” to the opposition. This is the product of the relationship between national and international politics that grew inside of the East-West opposition. The fidelity to atlantic politics in a nation as decisive for mediterranean control as Italy signified the creation of secret anticomunist structures like Gladio (Stay Behind), eventhough, the creation of clandestine associations is constitutionally prohibited. The secret service has had a role in Italian massacres, meant to block social conflicts and the advancing of the left wing (19), contributing to their organization or hindering the inquests and such a behavior is another consequence of atlantic fidelity. The “Loggia massonica P2” (freemasonry) acted against comunism and to establish a presidential republic; its members were politicians, members of the secret service, military, magistrates, and it had a role in the massacres (20).

Therefore, the relationship between mafia and politics can not be seen as a simple collaboration or as a series of episodes that regard a few bosses and some politicians and administrators, but must be seen as a result of the encounter between institutionalized crime and criminal institutions working within the State.

As regards the peripheral institutions the relationship between them and mafia is demonstrated by the dissolving of many city councils in the last few years. In putting into effect Law n° 55 of March 19, 1990, until September 1993, 72 city councils were dissolved: 32 in Campania, 12 in Calabria, 6 in Puglia, 22 in Sicily. The motivations for the dissolvement speak clearly of the presence of mafia members as counsellors, mayors or alderman, or of connections (friendship or even relatives) between mafiosos and administrators in business, causing the disregard of citizen’s rights (beginning with liberty and security) and legality. These are situations of formal “criminocrazia” (criminals in power) (21), with the direct acquisition of local power by the mafiosos, or informally through dealings with others that work for the mafia.

2. European Unity: first tentatives at anticrime politics

2.1. A continent of variable legality

The European Economic Community (EEC) has begun to deal with the problem of organized crime in the last few years but is still far from political unity. The 12 member nations have diversified situations, therefore it may be said that it is a “system of variable legality”. A few examples: organized crime of the mafia type exists only in the Italian code; penal action is only mandatory in Italy and Germany, optional in all the other nations; only in Germany, Italy and Portugal is community fraud considered a crime; the passing of information to other countries is prohibited in Holland if it causes the limitation of liberty of Dutch citizens and is restricted in Germany (22).

During 1991, the European Parliament constituted an investigative committee on the diffusion of organized crime connected with drug trafficking in the member States of the EEC. The constitution of the committee is explained by the fear derived not only from the devastation of drug use in many sectors of European society, especially among the young living in large urban areas characterized by high unemployment, but also the risks that groups of organized criminals that deal drugs constitute for institutions and government democracies. (23)

Previously, in September 1986, the European Parliament produced a report on “The drug problem in member States of the EEC” and now, with the Committee’s report of 1991, an up to date view of the diffusion of organized crime in Europe is available.

The report makes a distinction between “organized crime” and “istitutionalized crime”. The first is a generic term that may be used for all types of organized criminal activities while the latter is associated with principle criminal organizations. Institutionalized crime can infiltrate into modern industrial societies in a way not even sought after by the first type. (24)

At first organized crime had a regional headquarter, now its influence and activities are extended to the international level:

In the EEC, organized crime has extended its activities and eventhough Italy may be considered the cradle of structured crime (it was a way of life in the southern regions of Italy, Sicily, Calabria and Campania) now similar organizations are arriving from Asia, South America and the United States of America. Groups of criminals from eastern Europe and the Soviet Union have been identified. (25)

The report gives some information on the main criminal groups working in Europe. Besides Italian groups (Mafia, ‘Ndrangheta and Camorra) there are the Japanese Yakusa, the Chinese Triads, the Turkish Clans, and other ethnic clans like the Pakistani Barons, Yugoslavian groups, Polish organizations and motorcycle gangs like Hells Angels.

The legal instruments to fight organized crime in Europe are divided into three categories in the report: the signed international conventions, ratified and in vigor; the community’s regulations through the directive, the EEC States are obliged to enforce laws that agree with these; the national regulations.

On the international level, after the signing of the Vienna Convention of December 1988, the United nations in 1990 created the UNDCP (United Nations Drug Control Program) that takes the place of UNFDAC (United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control) and unified all the initiatives of the international community as regards the fight against drug trafficking and development programs for countries that coltivate drugs.

On the European level the new Treaty of the Union that contains dispositions regarding the fight against drugs in the public health sector (Title II, art. 129), regarding penal justice and internal affairs (Title VI) and foreign politics and security (Title V).

The member States of the EEC present a great variety in their penal codes, but agree on the fondamental points, like the respect for the international conventions on drugs.

A big problem is the variety of organs preposed for the repression. In the 12 member States there are 28 organs between police and customs. There isn’t only the problem of cooperation between the organs of different States but also the problem of cooperation within the single States. The justice and judicial systems are different as are their penal investigative proceedings.

Undoubtably, the evolution towards a common justice and judicial system will necessarily be slow, the problem is how to deal with the obstacles that the disparity between the different States’ systems that fight organized crime and drug trafficking on the European level create.

The first step in any program to fight organized crime is the acquisition and utilization of information. The Committee stresses the need for such an organization on the European level.

A European initiative for the fight against drug trafficking and money laundering must be developed.

2.2. The drug plan in the European Union

The first organism that dealt with the drug problem on the European level was the Pompidou Group. Founded in 1971 through the initiative of the French President, since 1980 it has collaborated with the European Council, sponsoring research on the use and trafficking of drugs and coordinating European politics on drugs.

In 1985, the TREVI group (Terrorism, Radicalism, Extremism and International Violence), made up of the ministers of the member States of the EEC, decided to deal with the drug problem.

In 1986, the European Parliament discussed a report on drug trafficking written by Stewart Clark. In 1989 the French presidency proposed a seven point plan, among which, common antidrug politics and against money laundering. In December of the same year CELAD (European Committee on the Fight Against Drug Abuse) was created, that proposed a European plan for the fight against drug abuse, approved by the European Council of Rome in December 1990 and reviewed and updated by the European Council of Edinburgh in 1992.

In June 1994, the EEC Commission presented a proposal for a plan of action, at the European Council and Parliament, for the fight against drugs. The Plan has three main points: the reduction of the demand, the fight against illegal trafficking and international measures.

The Plan foresees a reduction in the demand through prevention (information, health care education, professional formation) and means destined to favor social and professional reintegration.

The measures to restrain illegal trafficking regard the application of legislative instruments already existent and cooperation with non member nations.

The international program regards the participation in the United Nations Program, bilateral cooperation with bordering nations, adding clauses for the fight against drugs in the agreements made with non member nations.

As regards structures that should give a new impulse to the fight against drugs, the use of plans relative to Europol and the European Observatory on drugs and addiction are forseen.

Europol is located in Aja and has few employees and few means. Since 1994, the European antidrug unit (Ude) was constituted and has only fifteen employees. The Observatory on drugs will have its headquarters in Lisbon but has not yet begun its activities. In the meantime, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have created a committee to coordinate the various associations that operate in drug law enforcement, international cooperation and aid the Observatory (ENCOD: European NGO Committee on Drugs and Development).

2.3. Measures against money laundering

In June 1991, the EEC Council approved a directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the laundering of profits obtained from illegal activities.

This initiative is among those begun in the last few years to contrast money laundering on the international level. The main initiatives are the following:

The Basilea declaration signed in December 1988 by the G7 countries, Belgium, Luxemburgh, Holland and Switzerland. The document assigns central banks the task of identifying clients and the origin of their funds, to refuse suspect transactions and collaborate with police.

The constitution of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) in July 1989 after the Paris G7 meeting. Besides G7 countries, other member countries are the EEC, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, and Australia. Its tasks are: analysis of the laundering phenomenon, verification of the national and international means, elaboration of proposals and recommendations.

The European Council directive considers as crime of money laundering the conversion or the transfer of capital knowing that they were obtained from “grave crimes”, with the goal of hiding or concealing their illecit origin. “Grave crimes” are considered those indicated by article n° 3 of the Vienna Convention (production and commerce of narcotics and psychoactive substances) and also other crimes, beginning with those done by members of organized crime.

The field of action of the directive of the European Council comprehends the entire financial system, therefore, not only the banks but all the credit and financial institutions, including insurance companies, and may be extended to professional activities or companies that use liquid funds and may be a means of laundering money.

The member States must guarantee that money laundering constitutes a crime in their country and that credit and financial institutions are certain of their client’s identity when they begin a business or bank transaction and examine with particular attention the unusual transactions that seemingly have no apparent economic aim. These institutions must fully collaborate with judicial authorities or those that apply the penal code, must provide adequate internal control to prevent, discover and inhibit their involvement in money laundering.

The European Council’s convention on laundering and seizure and confiscation of profits from crime, signed by about twenty States, was ratified by only five States: three member States (Italy, Holland, United Kingdom) and two other countries (Bulgaria and Switzerland), and is in vigor since September 1, 1993.

The actual European scheme, as regards measures against laundering, is quite confused. Regarding the extension of laundering to all grave crimes, such a disposition has not been accepted by the member States: all excluded fiscal evasion, while Luxemburgh has connected laundering only to capital obtained from narcotics trafficking. Also, in some countries this legislation isn’t applied to certain areas that work as tax havens or fiscal paradises, for example, the Islands of Jersey and Guernsey are not under English laws against laundering.

As regards the notification of suspected transactions there are many different systems in use. Italy, Germany and Holland adopted the American system of “currency transaction report”, that is, the automatic notification of all the transactions that are above a certain amount. In Germany transactions of more than 15,000 marks must be notified, about 70 million transactions annually. Other nations only notify suspicious transactions, with very different results. In 1992 only 600 transactions were notified in France and almost 12,000 in Great Britain.

As is evident, Europe is only at the beginning in this decisive field in the battle against organized crime, in great delay and with many uncertainties. The worry about the utilization of the financial system for laundering money has grown since the BCCI scandal (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) of 1991 (26). One of the expedients used by the BCCI was to take advantage of the difficulties encountered in the collaboration between different countries, therefore, they set up headquarters in London and the social seat in Luxemburgh, where controls are less restrictive, with bank subsidiaries all over the world. The EEC has the problem of how to unify the surveillance regulations, especially those that regulate financial institutions that have subsidiaries in different member States. In July 1993, the EEC Commission, that is, the executive organ, formulated a directive proposal that foresees, among other things, the obligation of a credit institution having its legal headquarters in the same member State in which it has its administrative headquarters.

These measures try to limit the dangers of the liberalization of the circulation of capital with the official opening of the European market in 1993. It has yet to be proven how effective these measures will be, in light of the fact that there is a trend in transnational markets towards the abolition or reduction in controls which may render easier the encounter between illegal and legal capital. This matter will be dealt with later.

2.4. EEC fraud and organized crime

Organized crime has placed a great deal of interest on EEC fraud. This term includes all the infractions of a juridical nature, commited by a person or private organizations that have financial consequences on the EEC’s budget.

Frauds may regard both funds taken from the EEC’s budget, in particular those donated to States as part of the EEC’s political policy, and funds due to the EEC that for various reasons are not collected.

According to official estimates, less than 0.2% of the subsidies are unduly distributed. Other sources report that the EEC is defrauded of as much as 8-10% of its budget. In 1990, 525 cases of fraud were notified to the European Agricultural Orientation and Guarantee Fund (FEAOG) while in 1992, 1030 cases were notified. Italy leads the group with 366 cases. Italy also is at the top of the list as regards the amount defrauded, 79.49 million ECUs, and Germany is way behind in second place with 7.95 million ECUs (1 ECU = about 1,900 Italian lire). This is only part of the EEC frauds.

Since January 1, 1990, the member States must notify the number of irregularities and frauds each six months. In two years, from 1990-1992, Italy notified 69 cases, Germany 306, Great Britain 285, France 242, Belgium 96 and Denmark 93.

The greatest number of EEc frauds were commited in Southern Italy (Sicily, Calabria, Puglia) areas in which organized crime is predominant. 19% of those accused between 1990-1992 have precedents for organized crime, narcotics trafficking, extortion and other crimes typical of organized crime. Various cases regard famous members of organized crime (27).

With the common market and removal of the borders, these crimes are increasing significantly, and especially the smuggling of cigarettes (28).

3. The contradictions of today’s society: basic trends and compensative measures

The diffusion of illegal activities, beginning with international drug trafficking and the proliferation of criminal mafia type groups (that unite legal and illegal activities, have a social and economic role, interact with institutions) can be explained by some fundamental contradictions in today’s society. The most relevant are the following (29):

Contradiction between legality and reality. The prohibition of drugs was confirmed at the United nations Convention of December 1988, but regardless of the tentatives to reduce the demand and stop drug trafficking, its use has increased and drug traffickers have accumulated and continue to accumulate huge amounts of capital. The abolition of prohibition won’t abolish the mafia, that has other activities, and would dedicate more time to them or find new ones, but would certainly hinder their capability to accumulate capital and would emancipate drug addicts from the slavery of drug dealers without scruples. The actual debate on prohibition and legislation places its attention mostly on concrete themes, like the cost-benefit ratio of repressive measures, overcrowded prisons, paralysis of the judicial system, the diffusion of AIDS among drug addicts. The administrators of a few large European cities famous for drug use and trafficking have taken an interesting standpoint. In 1990, they met at Frankfurt and approved a resolution that affirm the failure of the actual antidrug policies and emphasize the need for the counselling of drug addicts and prevention, based on the policy of “harm reduction”.

Contradictions between the opacity of the financial system and the fight against laundering. The international financial system is notoriously opaque, due to banking secrecy, tax havens, financial innovations (that is, new forms of collecting capital and new financial subjects and circuits, created to escape controls) and that favors the symbiosis between illegal and legal capital. The liberalization of the circulation of capital and the creation of large transnational markets (European, North American NAFTA, APEC in the Pacific areas, the Chinese economic area) demolish borders and abolish controls and therefore favor the circulation of all types of capital, including illegal. Antilaundering measures as a consequence risk being too small and insignificant or fragile when compared to the huge number of transactions. About 3,000 billion dollars are transacted each day on the world market and a large part of that sum is “hot capital” looking for more favorable outlets. Amongst this huge flow of capital, illegal capital may be easily hidden and laundered (30).

Contradiction between capitalist restructuring and developmental politics. With the fall of “real socialism” we entered the “global capitalism phase”. The capitalistic ways of production have extended to the entire world and the world economic scene is dominated by international figures though they maintain a national base, in the United States, Japan, and Europe. The World Bank’s report on the world’s economic situation and on developing countries, published in 1993, utilizing four levels of pro capita income distinguishes four economies: low income economies (635 dollars or less), lower middle income (635-2,555 dollars), upper middle income ($2,556-7,910), high income (more than 7,911) (31). In the last few years the gap between underdeveloped nations and developed nations has grown. During the 1980s with the foreign debt crisis, in about 40 underdeveloped nations there was a reduction in the pro capita income, while during the 1970s this reduction only involved 20 nations and during the 1960s only about 10 nations. The amount of official aid for development has remained stable while the number of nations that should obtain aid has increased.

At present there is a restructuring process of the productive apparatus that causes conflicts between the United States, Japan and Europe and increases the gap between central and peripheral economies. Today, 23% of the world’s population consumes 80% of the resources. In vast areas like Africa and Asia the number of poor people is growing. That is, the number of people that live with an income lower than that necessary to survive with is increasing. In rich areas, the social gap is also growing with the great increase in unemployment (36,000,000 in the OCSE nations, 20,000,000 in Europe). In this scheme of territorial unbalance and growing social gaps, the legal economies of the border areas are dismantled and illegal accumulation becomes the only chance possible. This is valid for all the drug producing countries, from Latin America to Asia, from Africa to the Middle East. If in the peripheral areas organized crime represents an answer to the crisis, in the central areas it takes advantage of uncontrolled accumulation (first of all the availabitlity of low cost capital) and the convenience offered by the system (prohibition, opacity of the financial system, etc.)

The situation is particularly critical in the ex-socialist countries. Eastern Europe may be or already is a new frontier for organized crime. Immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall official and newspaper sources reported that mafia and the camorra had invested about 72 billion marks in the ex Democratic Republic of Germany, one third of the investments made in that period. The foreign criminal groups are not the only ones present in these countries. Today, many speak of the Russian mafia that traffics (drugs, nuclear arms, traditional weapons, petrolium, metals, and food) in collaboration with members of the secret service and ex-government agencies over-run by the collapse of the regime (32).

If the explanation for the growth of the illegal economy and the diffusion of criminal groups of the mafia type is to be searched for among the characteristics of contemporary society before mentioned, effective anticrime politics is to be connected with the profound mutations and radical choices that have an effect on cultural goals and social relationships. To make a few examples: the abolition of drug prohibition, the elimination of every form of opacity of the financial system, a fight against the various forms of “criminocrazia” and exchanges between criminal groups and institutions. All of this must be a part of a more general fight for democracy, a policy of cohabitation and development that insure the satisfaction of basic needs instead of ceaseless competition between large financial-industrial powers and the search for maximum profit. These are the battlegrounds that will decide the future of humanity and not only the result of the fight against organized crime.


1 Ermanno Sangiorgi, Questore (chief of police) of Palermo from 1898-1900 wrote a series of reports on Palermo’s and the province’s organized crime formed by various groups, coordinated by a “conference among bosses” and headed by a “supreme boss”. See S. Lupo, Storia della mafia dalle origini ai nostri giorni, Donzelli, Roma, 1993. Information about the existence of something similar to organized crime can also be derived from reports by officers of the Bourbon period. See G. Fiume, Le bande armate in Sicilia (1819-1849), Annali della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia dell’Università di Palermo, Palermo, 1984.

2 For more information about mafia enterprises see U. Santino and G. La Fiura, L’impresa mafiosa. Dall’Italia agli Stati Uniti, F. Angeli, Milano, 1990.

3 See U. Santino, The financial mafia: The illegal accumulation of wealth and the financial industrial complex, in “Contemporary Crises”, Vol. 12, n. 3, September 1988, pp. 203-243.

4 On Homicides in Palermo see G. Chinnici and U. Santino, La violenza programmata. Omicidi e guerre di mafia a Palermo dagli anni ’60 ad oggi, F. Angeli, Milano, 1989.

5 For more information about the Maxi-trial see G. Chinnici, U. Santino, G. La Fiura, U. Adragna, Gabbie vuote. Processi per omicidio a Palermo dal 1983 al Maxiprocesso, F. Angeli, Milano, 1992.

6 The trial against Mafiosos of Monreale belonging to the group called “Stoppagghieri”, held in Palermo in May 1878, was based on information obtained from the “pentito” Salvatore D’Amico, murdered a month before the trial date. Also in 1878, Rosario La Mantia, a mafioso collaborated with justice providing information on Palermo’s mafia of Piazza Montalto. The trial ended with 12 death sentences.

7 The neofascist organ “L’Italia settimanale” (“Italian weekly”) immediately after the elections held in March 1994 published a list of the “heads to cut off”, among which the present Chief Prosecutor of Palermo Giancarlo Caselli.

8 Commissione Parlamentare d’inchiesta sul fenomeno della mafia e sulle altre associazioni criminali similari (from now on called CPA: Commissione Parlamentare Antimafia), Relazione sui rapporti tra mafia e politica, Roma, 1993.

9 Ibidem, p. 24.

10 Ib., p. 40.

11 Ib., p. 50.

12 Ib., p. 54.

13 Ib., p. 59 s.

14 Since the establishing of the Republic there have been 4 Parliamentary Antimafia Committees. The first in 1962 and ended its work in 1976, gathering a great deal of material on mafia’s activities and stressing the necessity to use new measures against them, but the antimafia law only came in 1982. The second committee was constituted in September 1982 to verify the fulfulling of the antimafia law, and ended its work in 1987. The third committee, constituted in March 1988 with investigative powers, ended in 1992. The fourth committee, constituted in 1992 with investigative powers, ended in 1994, with the end of the XI legislature.

15 In December 1984 I presented at the European Parliament the dossier Un amico a Strasburgo. Documenti della Commissione Antimafia su Salvo Lima, with which I documented the relationship between Lima and the mafia. The dossier is reproduced in the minority report of the Antimafia Parliamentary Committee published in 1985. Only a few European Parliamentary Deputees voted in favor requesting a discussion on Salvo Lima, the deputees of the Italian Comunist Party (ICP) voted against the motion, advancing formal motivations. A month before, at the Italian Parliament, the ICP abstained from voting on the relationship between Andreotti and the Banker Michele Sindona. ICP’s attitude may be explained by the fact that Lima and Andreotti were in favor of the ICP joining the majority in government rule, during the so called period of “historical compromise”, that theorized the necessity for a relationship between the ICP and the CD to avoid what happened in Chile and the dramatic conclusion of the Allende experience. On Michele Sindona see L. DiFonzo, St. Peter’s Banker: Michele Sindona, Franklin Watts, New York, 1983; N. Tosches, Power on Earth, Arbor House, New York, 1986.

16 U. Santino, La mafia come soggetto politico, in “Una città per l’uomo” nn. 1, 2, 3-4, February – August 1993 and essays gathered in La borghesia mafiosa, Centro siciliano di documentazione G. Impastato, Palermo, 1994.

17 On political groups see Max Weber, Economia e società, vol. I, Edizioni di Comunità, Milano, 1981.

18 This expression was quoted from the Report of the investigative committee of the European Parliament on the spreading of organized crime, November, 1991.

19 In Italy from 1969 to 1984, the years of student and worker struggles and success for the Comunist Party, there were eight massacres with 149 dead and 688 injured. The only one in which convictions were made was the Christmas 1994 massacre (rapid train 904) in which mafiosos and neofascists were convicted. In the ordinance of deferment to justice for the Peteano massacre (May 1972): “The massacres (…) are intended to spread panic and collective insecurity with the intent to produce the need and demand for ‘order’, to justify the government’s pacifying intervention as a ‘strong’ State (…) This scheme was thought of and managed by centers of power in the heart of government, which on one hand used mediators to handle the operations and on the other hand hindered the judicial investigations.” In C. Schaerf et al. (editors), Venti anni di violenza politica in Italia, Isodarco, Roma, 1992, p. 16.

20 Commissione Parlamentare d’inchiesta sulla Loggia massonica P2, Relazioni di maggioranza e di minoranza, Roma, 1984.

21 The British Anthropologist Anthony Henman uses the term “narcocracy” for the situations in which drug traffickers directly or indirectly occupy positions of power. See A. Henman, R. Lewis, T. Malyon, Big Deal. The politics of the illecit drug business, Pluto Press, London and Sydney, 1985.

22 See CPA, Prima relazione annuale, Roma, 1993, p. 52.

23 Parlamento Europeo, Commissione d’inchiesta sulla diffusione del crimine organizato collegato al traffico di sostanze stupefacenti negli Stati membri della Comunità Europea, Progetto di relazione, November 1991.

24 Ibidem, p. 5.

25 Ib., p. 22.

26 See U. Santino and G. La Fiura, Dietro la droga, Edizioni Gruppo Abele, Torino, 1993. Translation in English Behind Drugs.

27 See CPA, Relazione conclusiva, Rome, 1994, pp. 330 ss.

28 Ibidem, p. 310.

29 I summarize the considerations of my essay, La mafia sicilienne et le nouveau marchés des drogues en Europe, in A. Labrousse et A. Wallon (editors), La planète des drogues, Éditions du Seul, Paris, 1993, pp. 123-143.

30 See: J. F. Couvrat and N. Pless, La face cachée de l’économie mondiale, Hatier, Paris, 1988; R.T. Naylor, Hot Money, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1989.

31 I have used the Italian translation of the report. See: Banca Mondiale, Le prospettive dell’economia mondiale e i paesi in via di sviluppo/ 1993, in “Politica Internazionale”, n. 3, July – September 1993.

32 See D. De Kochko and A. Datskevitch, L’empire de la drogue. La Russie et ses marches, Hachette, Paris, 1994, for more on the development of drug trafficking and on mafia groups in Russia after the fall of the socialist regime.


Banca Mondiale, Le prospettive dell’economia mondiale e i paesi in via di sviluppo/1993, in “Politica Internazionale”, n. 3, July – September 1993.
Chinnici, Giorgio – Santino, Umberto – La Fiura, Giovanni – Adragna, Ugo, Gabbie vuote. Processi per omicidio a Palermo dal 1983 al maxiprocesso, F. Angeli, Milano, 1992.
Chinnici, Giorgio – Santino, Umberto, La violenza programmata. Omicidi e guerre di mafia a Palermo dagli anni ’60 ad oggi, F. Angeli, Milano, 1989.
Commissione Parlamentare d’inchiesta sul fenomeno della mafia e sulle altre associazioni criminali similari, Prima relazione annuale, Roma, 1993.
Commissione Parlamentare d’inchiesta sul fenomeno della mafia e sulle altre associazioni criminali similari,­ Relazione sui rapporti tra mafia e politica, Roma, 1993.
Commissione Parlamentare d’inchiesta sullaLoggia massonica P2, Relazioni di maggioranza e di minoranza, Roma, 1984.
De Kochko, Dimitri – Datskevitch, Alexandre, L’empire de la drogue. La Russie et ses marches, Hachette, Paris, 1994
Di Fonzo, Luigi, St. Peter’s Banker: Michele Sindona, Franklin Watts, New York, 1983.
Fiume, Giovanna, Le bande armate in Sicilia (1819-1849), Annali della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia dell’Università di Palermo, Palermo, 1984.
Henman, Anthony – Lewis, Roger – Malyon, Tim, Big Deal. The politics of the illecit drug business, Pluto Press, London and Sydney, 1985.
Lupo, Salvatore, Storia della mafia dalle origini ai nostri giorni, Donzelli, Roma, 1993.
Naylor, Robin T., Hot Money, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1989.
Parlamento Europeo, Commissione d’inchiesta sulla diffusione del crimine organizato collegato al traffico di sostanze stupefacenti negli Stati membri della Comunità Europea, Progetto di relazione, November 1991.
Santino, Umberto (editor), Un amico a Strasburgo. Documenti della Commissione Antimafia su Salvo Lima, Centro siciliano di documentazione “Giuseppe Impastato”, Palermo, 1984.
Santino, Umberto – La Fiura, Giovanni, L’impresa mafiosa. Dall’Italia agli Stati Uniti, F. Angeli, Milano, 1990.
Santino, Umberto – La Fiura, Giovanni, Dietro la droga, Edizioni Gruppo Abele, Torino, 1993.
Santino, Umberto, The financial mafia: The illegal accumulation of wealth and the financial industrial complex, in “Contemporary Crises”, Vol. 12, n. 3, September 1988, pp. 203-243.
Santino, Umberto,­ La mafia come soggetto politico, in “Una città per l’uomo” nn. 1, 2, 3-4, February – August 1993.
Santino, Umberto,­ La mafia sicilienne et le nouveau marchés des drogues en Europe, in Labrousse, Alain – Wallon, Alain (editors), La planète des drogues, Éditions du Seuil, Paris, 1993, pp. 123-143.
Santino, Umberto,­ La borghesia mafiosa, Centro siciliano di documentazione “Giuseppe Impastato”, Palermo, 1994.
Schaerf, Carlo et al. (editors), Venti anni di violenza politica in Italia, Isodarco, Roma, 1992.
Tosches, Nick, Power on Earth, Arbor House, New York, 1986.
Weber, Max, Economia e società, vol. I, Edizioni di Comunità, Milano, 1981.
In W.F. McDonald (editor), Crime and Law Enforcement in the Global Village, Anderson Publishing Co., Cincinnati, 1997, 151-166).