Italians enraged at rise of Sicily’s new Facebook mafia
Detectives are poring over social media for details that might help them arrest new generation of mobsters who have turned their back on traditional code of discretion
By Tom Kington, Rome
Domenico Palazzotto, a Palermo mobster, has created a Facebook page under a false name, posted photos of himself cruising on motorboats Photo: Facebook
Just when police thought they had finally loosened the Mafia’s historical stranglehold over Sicily, a new generation of brash mobsters is reclaiming the streets of Palermo – and bragging about it on Facebook.
After years when Cosa Nostra luminaries communicated only by hand written notes in code, their youthful successors are making increasingly unabashed online boasts about their wealth, power and contempt for the magistrates hunting them down.
One Palermo mobster, Domenico Palazzotto, 28, who created a Facebook page under a false name, posted photos of himself cruising on motorboats, sitting down to sumptuous lobster and champagne dinners and riding in a limousine.
The rising boss, who called the shots in the Arenella neighbourhood of Palermo, where he allegedly helped run extortion rackets, listed his liking for Neapolitan music and the US singer Kenny Loggins and name-checked an Italian TV series about the Mafia.
Amid crude insults apparently aimed at the police, Mr Palazzotto also swapped messages with an aspiring mobster who asked to be enrolled in his clan.
“Do I need to send a CV?” asked the applicant.
“Yes, brother,” replied Mr Palazzotto jokingly. “We need to consider your criminal record. We do not take on people with clean records.”\