Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018
CATANIA

Mobster-turned-state-witness Antonio Calderone dead

English
© ANSA

Catania, January 10 - Senior mobster turned state
witness Antonino Calderone, 78, has died at the secret overseas
location he had been living in for years under an assumed
identity, Italian Police Chief Antonio Manganelli told reporters
on Thursday.
Along with Tommaso Buscetta, Salvatore Contorno, and
Francesco Marino Mannoia, Calderone helped Palermo magistrates
build an accurate, sweeping picture of the inner workings of the
Mafia and its relationships with entrepreneurs and politicians
in eastern Sicily, where the state had been unaware of its
existence until 1982.
The underboss of a Catania crime syndicate, Calderone fled
to Nice, in France, following the 1978 assassination of his
brother and boss, Giuseppe, which paved the way for the rise of
the Ferlito and Santapaola clans.
In Nice, where he renounced the life of crime and opened a
laundromat, Calderone turned state witness upon realizing the
Mafia had infiltrated the French construction sector and would
likely catch up with him. Fearing for his life, he specifically
asked to speak to crusading Palermo prosecuting magistrate, the
late Giovanni Falcone, becoming a critical source of information
on the history of the Mafia from the 1960s onwards.
He recounted the war for supremacy between the Ferlito and
Santapaola clans, culminating in the June 1982 assassination of
Alfio Ferlito during a prison transfer, in which two carabinieri
policemen and one civilian were also killed. That operation,
according to Calderone, signaled an alliance between Nitto
Santapaola, who ordered the hit, and the Palermo clans: they
went into action again with the September 1982 hit on
carabinieri general and Palermo prefect, Carlo Alberto Dalla
Chiesa, killing him along with his wife and a body guard.
Calderone also unveiled the perverse relationships between
organized crime and the business sector: in Catania, but also in
Gela and in Agrigento, the Mafia extorted money, and in return
helped entrepreneurs thrive, for example by providing false
invoices.
''Calderone made a great contribution to our understanding
of the Mafia phenomenon,'' Manganelli said, adding that the ex
boss had ''entrusted'' his family to him once he ''shed his
mafioso skin''. Manganelli called the Calderone family to
express his condolences.

photo: Manganelli

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