What is the Centre

Founded by Umberto Santino in 1977, the Sicilian Centre of Documentation was the first study centre on the Mafia in Italy. The name of Giuseppe Impastato, a new left activist murdered by the Mafia on 9 May 1978, was soon added to its masthead.
The Centre’s purpose is to develop awareness of the Mafia and other similar organisations at both a national and international level; to develop initiatives aimed at fighting such organisations; to debate and to promote a culture of legality, development and a high level of democratic participation. To such an end, the Centre carries out the following activities: the collation of political, economic, historical and sociological data; the organisation of research, the promotion of cultural initiatives (conferences, seminars, public meetings, exhibitions, etc); the publication of books, pamphlets and various material.
In the course of its activities the Centre, which is completely self-financed, has developed a specialised archive on the Mafia and other forms of organised crime; it has published bibliographies, archive material and the results of research; it has engaged in educational work within schools and universities, both in Italy and abroad; it has initiated mobilsations (starting from the first national demonstration held in Italy against the Mafia, which took place in May 1979) and acts of solidarity, as well as playing a key role in investigating the murder of Giuseppe Impastato. Through the ‘Mafia and Society’ project the Centre has developed a scientific analysis of the Mafia, carrying out research on murders committed in Palermo, on Mafia front companies, on international drug trafficking, on the links between the Mafia and politics and on the anti-Mafia movement.
The Centre has also been active in both the peace movement and the movement against neo-liberal globalisation, given that it stands for the globalisation of democratic participation and human rights.

(Tom Behan)

Publications in English

U. Santino, The financial mafia. The illegal accumulation of wealth and the financial-industrial complex (“Contemporary Crises” 12, September 1988, pp. 203-243).

U. Santino – G. La Fiura, Behind Drugs. Survival economies, criminal enterprises, military operations, development projects, Edizioni Gruppo Abele, Turin, 1993.

U. Santino, The Law Enforcement in Italy and Europe against mafia and organized crime (W.F. McDonald (editor), Crime and Law Enforcement in the Global Village, Anderson Publishing Co., Cincinnati, 1997, pp. 151-166).
U. Santino, From the mafia to transnational crime, (“Nuove Effemeridi”, Industry of violence, XIII, n. 50, 2000/II, pp. 92-101).

U. Santino, Mafia and Mafia-type organizations in Italy, (J.A. Albanese, D.K. Das, A. Verma (editors), Organized Crime. World Perspectives, Prentice-Hall, 2003, pp. 82-100).

U. Santino, Mafia and Antimafia. A brief History, I.B. Tauris, London-New York, 2015.