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» Economics » Mafia » Topics begins with B » Bernardo Provenzano

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Bernardo Provenzano (* 31 January 1933 in Corleone, Sicily) is the head of the Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia. Due to its determination it also Binnu u was called tratturi (Sicilian for "Binnu the tractor ") or short to Binnu ("uncle Binnu ").



Provenzano belongs to the Corleonesi, a Mafia family from the mountain small town Corleone. As in the year 1948 Michele Navarra, which godfather at that time of the Corleonesi was murdered, already participated Provenzano. Navarras successor was Luciano Liggio, which had arranged the murder Navarras. On 10 September 1963 Provenzano murdered a last trailer Navarras - and withdrew themselves immediately from the image plane. In secret he worked persistently on his ascent to the point of the organization. When Liggio 1974 had been condemned because of murder, Riina became its successor. Since that time Provenzano was considered as its right hand. In run a merciless Mafia war 1981 and 1982, which hundreds of Mafiosi fell to the victim, ascended the Corleonesi to the prominent Mafia family in Sicilies. In January 1993 Riina was arrested and finally condemned, among other things because of the assassination attempts on Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. Provenzano is to have become actual immediately his successor and thus Capo di tutti Capi ("Boss of all Mafia Bosse ").

Life in the underground

From the early 1960er years to its arrest 2006 he was not seen to no more in the public. Since there was only one search photo from its youth time, the Italian police published only for many years one phantom view. When 1992 had left its wife and children their hiding place, there were assumptions, he was not any longer alive. In October 2003 it underwent in a private hospital (la clinique Casamance) in Aubagne close Marseille (France) of an Prostata operation (allegedly even arrested at expense Italian StaatesDer usually-looked for Mafia Boss. New inhabitants of zurich newspaper 12 April 2006.), from which the investigators experienced too late. A raid in January 2005 in different places Siziliens led to the arrest of 46 suspecting, but Provenzano was not seized.


After 43 years on the escape that was arrested in the meantime Bernardo Provenzano on 11 April 2006 together with a further person of the Italian Polizia di Stato in a heruntergekommenen shed about 2 km by the city centre by Corleone. A two-week Observation preceded its arrest. In its hiding place about 200 was small Kassiber similar note, mentioned pizzini, with those it with the external world communicated. Provenzano is to have betrayed itself by a such note, since it succeeded to the police in the meantime to supervise the stafettenartige forwarding of the notes to its Gefolgsleute. After its arrest three further persons were arrested, to who, Provenzano is accused to have supplied and its messages on pass.

A heard telephone call brought the investigators on the correct trace, to reported Italian media. Therein a man of confidence with its interlocutor came to an agreement on when he is to bring "the clean laundry "to the Boss. In its hiding place was also a typewriter, which it used allegedly for the letter of its messages. According to statement of the police Provenzano is not to have offered a resistance and admit its identity. A DNA comparison with fabric samples, which became secured after its hospital stay 2003 in France, showed according to medium reports that it actually concerns the Mafia Boss looked for for a long time. His attorney Salvatore Traina had indicated still two weeks before that its mandator had probably already deceased years ago.

The arrest Provenzanos for the organized crime on Sicilies has which consequences, at this time nobody can say. The experience shows that the mafia had to wait never for a long time for a successor on the post "of the Bosses of the Bosse ". At least just as excitingly might be however, which the hearing Provenzanos and the evaluation of the numerous (partially coded) result in "pizzini ". They could throw a perfectly new light on the decades of Italian postwar history - however applies also to Provenzano, which one calls on Sicily the law of the silence. The only become expressions Provenzanos, which was allowed to carry forward also one of its five Bibles from its hiding place, admits was "may to God you segnen "and "God may you protect ", if he were addressed in the prison by Terni.

Provenzano is to have said the present officials with its arrest: "You do not know, what does it ". In relation to the authorities the large Boss is silent so far. It is assumed that a new, recent generation of Mafia Bossen stands already ready. As successors now the 43 year old Matteo "u Siccu" Messina Denaro from the province Trapani seems to be certain, Provenzano it in a Pizzini as "IL million erede" (my inheritance) had designated.


The meaning of Provenzano was for a long time underestimated. 50 murders are put to it to the load, Falcone called it the killer of the mafia. But only 1993 after different had stated pentiti (former Mafiosi as principal witnesses), got the search highest priority. After it could escape from the arrest again and again, among other things from the highest Piero Grasso the accusation one raised that Provenzano had been protected by politicians, entrepreneurs and policemen.

2004 were turned under the direction of Marco Amenta the film "IL fantasma di Corleone "("phantom von Corleone "), with the question it concerned itself why Provenzano all the years was seized never. A central statement in the documentation is of Michele the Riccio, a high-ranking Carabinieri, told occurence that it, when it could have arrested Provenzano, of higher place (Colonel Mori) was back-whistled. The film argues reliably that Provenzano could escape not least by the protection higher national civil servant so long. Film confirms also Guido Lo Forte, public prosecutor in Palermo in Amentas.

The local council of the city Corleone explained and wants in the meantime the day of the arrest as the municipality holiday to a road the name "via 11 April "to give, in order to appreciate the arrest.



  • John Dickie, "Cosa Nostra - the history of the mafia", S. Fischer publishing house, Frankfurt/Main, 2006, 560 sides: Background informations to the Sicilian mafia as well as to Provenzano in the special one (chapter "the tractor", P. 501-509 arises).

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