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Criminalpol Sicilia and the mafia, 1966-1981


This article reconstructs events relating to the Centro di coordinamento regionale di polizia criminale (Criminalpol Sicilia) in Palermo, from its establishment in the second half of the 1960s up to the beginning of the 1980s. Created in order to unify and coordinate mafia investigations at the regional level, Criminalpol Sicilia became, over time, one of the most significant ventures in the history of the battle against the mafia. First and foremost, this was because during the 1970s it managed to operate in total synergy with the most important investigative bodies engaged in fighting the mafia, including Palermo’s Squadra Mobile (Flying Squad). Secondly, it was because it proved capable of establishing productive collaborative relationships with similar bodies in other countries, successfully intercepting the elusive flows of the drugs trade. This was possible not least because of Criminalpol Sicilia’s relocation, at an early stage of its activity, within a larger body, Italy’s National Criminalpol, becoming one of its outlying extensions. For the first time in the history of the Italian Republic, the principles of centralization and specialization were applied; subsequently, these proved to be of decisive importance in the struggle against organized crime