On 1 April, just as Italy was at the peak of its coronavirus crisis, a man in a protective face mask approached a residential home for vulnerable old people in Foggia in the southern region of Puglia. He was not coming to help residents, however, but rather to blow the home’s doors off with an explosive device.
The incident, in which fortunately no one was injured, came as no surprise to the care home’s owner, Luca Vigilante. He had only recently completed repairs following a bomb attack on the premises in January.
The car of Vigilante’s brother Christian was also blown up a few weeks before the January attack. The pair are key witnesses in two trials involving a criminal organisation that authorities believe is Italy’s “fifth mafia”.
Alongside Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the ’Ndrangheta in Calabria, the Camorra in Naples and the Sacra Corona Unita, investigators have identified an emerging Puglia-based crime organisation that has remained under their radar for several years.
Judicial investigations had suggested mafia activity in northern Puglia, but confirmation from government authorities came after three car bombings in Foggia in January and the year’s first murder, when gunmen on a scooter shot a 50-year-old man in his car. The violence in Foggia prompted the interior minister, Luciana Lamorgese, to send a team of anti-mafia investigators to Puglia.
Signs of the criminal clan’s activities predated these incidents. There was an average of one murder a…
read more: www.theguardian.com