Fifth mafia boss is killed as gang war grips Italian south

The vicious mafia war in Naples has spread to the city's historic Spanish quarter, where the Camorra clan boss Edoardo Bove was murdered in his fortified home on Wednesday night, hours after President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi warned of a mafia crisis in the south.

The shooting of Bove, 28, was the fifth gangland killing in Naples in five days, and came in the wake of the arrest this week of Francesco Romito, a 62-year-old kingpin who was once convicted of the murder of two Neapolitan mafia footsoldiers.

Returning to Rome from Naples, after a visit to the notorious mafia district of Scampia, President Ciampi had told reporters that "the Camorra is a cancer that needs to be cut out". But anti-mafia priests and other community leaders in Forcella, a stone's throw from the lavish hotels lining Naples' famous bay, said the Bove slaying underlined that Mob-infested districts in Naples had been all but "abandoned" by the forces of law and order.

Bove was killed by a hitman who talked his way past relatives to gain access to his living room, where he shot him in the head three times with a pistol. As has happened before during violent episodes in the escalating gang war, relatives of the dead man refused to open the apartment's steel-plated doors when officers arrived to investigate the slaying.

A crowd of Camorra women massed in the narrow street outside, screaming abuse at police and Carabinieri to prevent them arresting people in the slum neighbourhood, which is now in effect a no-go area to city authorities. Local clerics such as Father Luigi Merola, a parish priest in Forcella, reacted furiously to the murder. Nine months ago, Fr Merola led an honest citizens' revolt when a 14-year-old girl, Annalisa Durante, was shot and killed in crossfire from a Camorra gun battle in the district. A short time afterwards the crusading priest led torchlit protests throughout Forcella, as local politicians targeted the neighbourhood and authorities seized a considerable number of properties belonging to Camorra hoodlums.

Since then, according to Fr Merola, "we have been abandoned as soon as the television lights in our district were extinguished. Once the Camorra war spread elsewhere, the politicians forgot about us and the forces of law and order gradually went away."

Police said Bove was murdered for disloyalty to the titular Camorra boss in Forcella, Vincenzo Mazzarella, who was arrested by Italian and French police last month at a hideout near Disneyland Paris.

On Wednesday the police arrested Giovanni Cortese, 24, described as the "spokesman" for Paolo Di Lauro, the Camorra boss who set off a gang war in Scampia to "discipline" unruly underlings who sought to set up independent extortion rackets.

La Repubblica described Cortese as a "messenger of death" whose role had been to pass to hitmen the order by Camorra dons to murder Gelsomina Verde, a 20-year-old woman without a criminal record who was notoriously gunned down as a warning to Camorristi with whom she was friendly. One of the most terrifying aspects of the recent violence in Naples has been the gangsters' resort to killing innocent relatives or associates of rivals. Such vendettas have torn up the old rules of honour obeyed in the past by the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and to a large extent by Neapolitan mobsters.

Judge Giandomenico Lepore, the investigator heading the inquiries into the bloody clan feud, said: "It is difficult to know in advance who are the targets of the killers, they are unpredictable."

Meanwhile, police were trying to reach Bove's lover, Anna "a pallona" (the ball) Giuliano, a legendary figure in Camorra circles. The sister of the former "King of Forcella", Luigi Giuliano, she had been living with Bove, who became the third of her companions to be shot.

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering