The mafia in Italy plotted to kill the former governor of New York Mario Cuomo during a trip to Italy in 1992 according to a mob hitman turned informant.
The Cosa Nostra or Sicilian mafia hitman named Maurizio Avola is serving a life sentence for taking part in multiple armed robberies and over 40 murders. He claims that after the mafia hits on anti-mafia prosecutors Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone in 1992 Sicilian mafia bosses planned to escalate their war against the Italian state and all of its allies. When the visit by Cuomo was Avola was told by his boss and godfather Aldo Ercolano that the American politician would make an excellent target as reported by theguardian.
The killing of an important American politician like the New York governor would send a warning to law enforcement in New York and the United States that harbored mob turncoats from Italy allowing them to start new lives under assumed identities. At the time, the United States were working closely with Italian law enforcement against the Italian mafia and provided a safe haven for mob turncoats who were helping to put their bosses behind bars. The assassination would have sent a strong signal to those who stand in the way of the Italian mafia according to the report. A mafia hit squad was formed consisting of about a dozen men armed with rifles and explosives that planned a daylight attack on the mayor and his entourage in the town of Messina.
The attack was to take place in the town’s main square with accomplices in place to block off any escape routes. But the plan was called off by Ercolano just a few days before Cuomo made his way to the town. According to Avola, the governor has arrived with an extremely tight surveillance team consisting of multiple bodyguards and a bulletproof car making the hit virtually impossible to pull off. The order came down from the godfather calling it off and the mobsters instead withdrew from the city. Avola is housed in a special prison in Italy for mob turncoats after he was arrested in 1993 by a tip-off just a day after killing a fellow mobster. He concluded he had been betrayed by his mafia bosses and decided to cooperate with authorities.
He supplied law enforcement with information which led to the arrest of over 100 mafioso and is now supplying details of other mafia business including the planned assassination of Cuomo. As payment for his cooperation, he is set to be released from prison in 2019. The allegations made by Avola is still an open investigation, according to a senior source at Palermo magistrate’s court. Governor Cuomo passed away in 2015 of heart failure and his son Andrew Cuomo is now the current governor of New York.