Mafia bosses have ‘declared war’ against migrants in Sicily as one thousand new arrivals pour on to the Italian island each week.
The feared Cosa Nostra are desperate to maintain control of their traditional stronghold after African crime gangs arrived with the migrants – and now a brutal turf war has exploded in the capital.
Blood is being shed in the streets, and it’s not just rival gang members taking each other out. An innocent Gambian man was shot through the head by a Mafia assassin in broad daylight, sparking fears of a wider bloodbath.
Mayor Leoluca Orlando said: ‘Palermo is no longer an Italian town. It is no longer European. You can walk in the city and feel like you’re in Istanbul or Beirut.’
Daily Mail reports:
Immigration to Italy soared by 90 per cent in the first three months of the year. The migrant population in Ballaró, the part of Palermo where the shooting took place, has risen from approximately five to 25 per cent since the migrant crisis began.
There is widespread concern in Italy that the number of new migrants exceeds the country’s capacity to cope – and the mafia is its biggest and most dangerous critic.
The mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando said: ‘In the past, when the Mafia was more powerful, it prevented any immigrants from entering the city. Until I was 30 years old, I never saw an African or Asian in Palermo.
‘The Mafia has not understood that the city has changed. We are now a city of immigrants, and the Mafia bosses no longer sit in the mayor’s chair.
‘Palermo is a Middle Eastern town in Europe. It is a mosaic city and we are happy about that.’
The deadly Mafia-migrant war began after African criminal gangs apparently entered the country alongside law-abiding migrants, and started to operate ‘on the Mafia’s doorstep’.
Mobsters claimed that police were targeting their activities while leaving African gangs alone.
Then, an innocent Gambian migrant was shot through the head in a ‘hit’ by a gangster dubbed ‘an animal‘. Astonishingly, he survived, but the attack was a brutal example of the violence gripping the island and raises fears it will spin out of control.
Mayor Orlando said: ‘This Mafia shooting was a tremendous mistake because it turned the city against them. The Mafia needs silence and darkness. It needs people to keep their mouths shut.
‘When it does such a brutal act, shooting a young guy, the mayor switches on the lights and the whole city comes after them.’
Palermo police commissioner Guido Longo added: ‘We are facing acts of unprecedented aggression and bullying [against migrants] with typically Mafioso attitudes. There is a will to impose their rule on the territory.’