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
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
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

**Primary Teachers Needed Urgently in Southport**

£80 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: **Due to an increase in dema...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

Nursery Assistant/Nurse all cheshire areas

£7 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: We are a large and successful recrui...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant We are curr...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London