Giuseppe Dainotti an alleged boss in the Sicilian mafia was gunned down in broad daylight while bicycling through the middle of Palermo according to reports.
Authorities believe that he was shot in the neck by at least two hit men that pulled up alongside him on a motorbike or scooter. The 67-year-old mafia boss who was released from prison in 2014 was killed a day before the 25th anniversary of the murder of top anti-mafia prosecutor Giovanni Falcone and Palermo chief prosecutor Francesco Lo Voi said the hit may have been symbolic. He was believed to be close to former Cosa Nostra boss Salvatore Cancemi who was involved in the preparations for the murders of Falcone and fellow magistrate Paolo Borsellino.
Cancemi ended up turning on his mafia pals back in 2003 and became a police collaborator giving authorities information about Falcone’s death and more. According to Italian media reports, Dainotti enemies nicknamed him Gano di Magonza (Ganelon) in reference to the knight who betrayed Charlemagne to the Muslims. The strength and clout of the Sicilian mafia have weakened over the last few years and they have been surpassed in power by the Ndrangheta in Calabria and the Camorra in Naples. But Lo Voi said, “When some people claim the mafia no longer exists or has been destroyed, something always happens to confirm it is still there.”
The number of mafia killing and overall violence associated with organized crime has severely decreased in recent years but when needed the mafia is still more than willing to kill. Renato Cortese the police chief in Palermo recently expressed some concerns about a number of convicted Sicilian mobsters that are about to be released from prison. He said, “There is always the fear that if Cosa Nostra can find a rational head that can bring together the disparate souls, it could become as dangerous as it used to be.”
Matteo Messina Denaro believed to be one of the new heads of the Sicilian mob has been a fugitive since 1993 and remains on the run. Denaro has been considered by many as the successor to former mob boss Bernardo Provenzano who was arrested back in 2006. Authorities think the 2007 arrest of Salvatore Lo Piccolo believed to be one of the rival mobsters vying for power within Cosa Nostra along with Denaro helped to strengthen his position as one of the leading mafia bosses today.