The ‘Anti-Mafia’ Organization: A Historical-Institutionalist Approach

There are several institutional inconsistencies of the so-called ‘anti-mafia’ organization in Sicily and Italy. The Direzione Nazionale Antimafia (National Antimafia Directorate) (DNA) was established in 1991. It is considered as the national ‘coordination institution’ among the different police forces (polizia di stato, carabinieri  and guardia di finanza ).

Until 2015, the main tasks of the DNA, made of the national state prosecutor and by 20 other state prosecutors depending from the Ministry of Justice (please note the difference from Ministry of Interior = DIGOS), included:

  • sicilian mafia;
  • camorra;
  • ’ndrangheta;
  • narcotraffic;
  • human trafficking;
  • money-laundering;
  • public tenders;
  • patrimonial re-acquisitions;
  • ecomafias;
  • forged brands;
  • illegal financial operations;
  • foreign criminal organizations (see DNA).

The DNA has to be understood as some sort of successor of the ‘Antimafia Pool’ established by G. Falcone. In 2015, the tasks of the DNA have been expanded to ‘anti-terrorism’ and, close to this, to immigration. The name has changed in Direzione Nazionale Antimafia e Antiterrorismo (National Antimafia and Antiterrorism Directorate), though the acronym is still DNA.

As in 1991, the DNA is structured in different regional sections: The Direzioni Distrettuali Antimafia e Antiterrorismo (Antimafia and Antiterrorism Districts) (still DDA). In the fight against organized crime and terrorism, the DNA produces studies, acquires information and coordinate arrests (see DNA).

The personnel of the DNA is limited: approximately 1300 men and women in the entire Italian territory, subjected to salary cuts . Operatives  for investigations of the Direzione Investigativa Antimafia (D.I.A.) are, not rarely, taken from the ROS (Raggruppamento operativo speciale dell’Arma dei Carabinieri, Special Operative Regrouping of the Carabinieri), the SCICO (Servizio centrale di investigazione sulla criminalità organizzata of the Guardia di Finanza), but also from other police forces (such as municipal police), among which the DIGOS plays a determinant role (please note ‘Ministry of Interior URL in the D.I.A. website. They conduct police investigations….they are not state prosecutors…..).

Why is the DIGOS (Divisione Investigazioni Generali e Operazioni Speciali) (Division of General Investigations and Special Operations) important?

Until 1991, in Italy there was officially no mafia or, at least, it was officially not recognized. Who were then, the persons responsible to deal with the ‘non-existent’ Sicilian organized crime? Members of the Italian political police, the DIGOS took often care of most of the tasks against the Sicilian organized crime, as Sicilian Cosa Nostra was to be understood as a ‘secret sect’ pursuing political and economic objectives (Historical Legacies of Cosa Nostra ). Organized crime in Sicily, as in Calabria, had also separatist goals.

As part of the state security apparatus, the practices of the DIGOS corresponded (and still correspond) to the one of the East German secret service STASI , of the Romanian Securitate, or of the Russian KGB. These include political persecution, psychological warfare, disinformation campaigns, etc.

More in details, the DIGOS officially depends from the Ministry of Interior within the Direzione Centrale della Polizia di Prevenzione (DCPP) (Central Directorate of Prevention Police), which, at the same time, depends from the Dipartimento di Pubblica Sicurezza (Department of Public Security) of the Ministero dell’Interno (Ministry of Interior)  (see also DIGOS). By law, the DIGOS is also responsible to fill out a list of all Freemasons confraternities, meetings and associate members. According to recent judicial investigations (see interviews ‘operation belfagor‘), this list is to be stored in the main DIGOS police offices.

Similarly to the political offices of the carabinieri placed in their stations (‘caserme dei carabinieri’, roughly translated as ‘stations of carabinieri’), the location of the DIGOS offices is placed in the police stations of the main cities, side by side, to other police offices/rooms. Not by chance, indeed, special antimafia units in charge of arresting mafiosi were often placed in unknown secret places, far away from their so-called ‘colleagues’.

During the 1970s and 1980s, members of the DIGOS, as well as of other police and military forces (eg. Guardia di Finanza or other military stations) have, often, been held responsible for directing or of co-involvement in the ‘strategy of tension’, which was also linked to the ‘operation Stay Behind’ (the Italian official namecode of ‘operation stay behind’ is ‘operation Gladio’.

Interestingly enough, the Direzione centrale della polizia di prevenzione  (Central Directorate of Prevention Police) (acronym DCPP), the department responsible for the DIGOS, depends from the Department of Public Security, which also depends from the UCIGOS (Ufficio centrale per le investigazioni generali e per le operazioni speciali) (Central Office for General Investigations and Special Operations).

Going back in time, the most feared political office in Italy was named Ufficio Affari Riservati (Office for Confidential Affairs) of the Ministry of Interior, active from 1949 to 1979. It also depended from the Direzione Generale della Pubblica Sicurezza (General Directorate of Public Security) and performed tasks of internal intelligence and political police (see WIKIsource Ufficio Affari Riservati).

The Office for Confidential Affairs was a part of the Divisione Affari Generali e Riservati (DAGR)  (Division of General Affairs and Confidential Affairs) of the Ministry of Interior, which was the successor of the Ufficio Centrale di Investigazione (UCI) (Office for Central Investigation before World War I. Its functions included searching for deserters. Its members also had counterespionage functions.

Between World War I and World War II, these offices corresponded to the fascist internal security service (see WIKIsource Ufficio Affari Riservati). In 1949, after the fall of Mussolini, it was, in fact, renamed Office for Confidential Affairs (see above), though most of their former members remained (see WIKIsource Ufficio Affari Riservati ).

Interestingly enough, the Office for Confidential Affairs often cooperated with the parallel military structure of intelligence (see WIKIsource Ufficio Affari Riservati ), whose former names were SIFAR (1949-1966) and SID (1966-1977). In 1969, these structures were again renamed Servizio Informazioni Generali Ordine Pubblico (Service for General Informations and Public Order) and, in 1971, Servizio Informazioni Generali e Sicurezza Interna (SIGSI) (Service for General Informations and Internal Security). The members of SIGSI were, not by chance, situated in the political offices of the police stations: The DIGOS, counterintuitively.

In 1977, after an attempted coup d’etat following the bombing of Piazza della Loggia (Square of the Lodge), the SID was divided into the SISMI (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare), SISDE (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Democratica) and CESIS (Comitato Esecutivo per i Servizi di Informazione e Sicurezza) under the supervision of the Italian Prime Minister (see anonymous WIKI source here).

The majority of  political police (DIGOS) members ended up in the SISDE (renamed in 2007 Agenzia Informazioni Sicurezza Interna AISI, roughly translated as Agency for Informations for Internal Security) and  UCIGOS ( see also WIKIsource Ufficio Affari Riservati – or Office for Confidential Affairs).

Important to note here is that the Office for Confidential Affairs often worked in conjunction with the SISMI, the Italian military secret service, which, as said, was the successor of the SIFAR and of the Fascist  Servizio Informazioni Militare (see above), simply renamed on 31 december 1945. As a military branch of the police, the Carabinieri, who still belong to the Ministry of Defense (see web-page here. See also counterintuitive indication ‘Ministero della Difesa’ on the top-left), bear also responsibility for political and public security related matters, including mafia and alike).

The relationship between state and mafia can therefore be found in the so-called Servizi Segreti Deviati (Deviated Secret Services). These include all those members of the state apparatus (including informants of the political police) who established ambiguous ties with criminal organizations in order to pursue presumed state security objectives. They often addressed themselves as ‘patriots’, when questioned by state prosecutors.

This ambiguous and often deviated set of ‘anti-mafia’ organization-related offices creates numerous halls in the security of the Italian state. By attempting to control through the establishment of ties and interconnections with national and transnational criminal organizations, as well as with various MassoMafias (see here and here), they help to create an ‘integrated criminal system’ (Lodato and Scarpinato 2012) with ministerial protections. The presence of not loyal civil servants and political officers is here not rare. In this way, political and economic objectives (including democratic reversal objectives) often mix together.

How does the state security apparatus works in Sicily and Italy? Antimafia and political police objectives often mix together, as the special statute of the Sicilian region allows political police authorities a larger room of maneuvre over persecution of political dissidents, suspected opponents, or presumed spies. The famous OVRA fascist structure of political persecution and so-called ‘counter-espionage’ has been updated in recent times with new paramilitary methods.  The most important features of OVRA now are a diffuse anti-semitism, and anti-islam, persecution of political opponents, female opponents or daughters of Mafiosi treated as as prostitutes, creation of files, spread of informants and informants of informants. In terms of torture techniques, Italian versions of the ‘pitesti experiment’ of psychological punishment through humiliation and physical torture are often applied . This are, however, conducted under condition of ‘free confinement’, with procedures copied by MKULTRA and further project updates programming techniques, associated to Soviet Orange Soda Sleep Deprivation and pseudo techniques of neurolinguistic re-programming (such as Eriksonian hypnosis) . The reason for this torture are often justified by political or mafia repression, on the one hand, but, on the other, also by the presumed necessity of ‘reconversion’ and ‘re-education’ of the treated persons.

Mr Franco worked for antiterrorism and antimafia. I am still blocked in Sicily. See Denuncia Procura di Roma , Denuncia ECHR and Denuncia Procura di Catania (4.8.2017).


IMPORTANT NOTE: When the United States cooperates with Italian authorities, they often mess about with the names of the different agencies for internal security and their acronyms (with associated members). Please note the following similarities and differences (

  1. Cosa Nostra (‘Our Thing’): An Introduction
  2. Historical Legacies of Cosa Nostra 
  3. Cosa Nostra’s Political and Governance Mechanisms: National and Transnational Ties 
  4. Cosa Nostra: System of Values and Norms
  5. Cosa Nostra’s System of Taxation and The Transnational Criminal Integrated System
  6. The Political Regime of Cosa Nostra: Between Independentist and Consociational Pressures
  7. The Transnational-Based Criminal Market Economy
  8. Cosa Nostra’s Criminal-Fare Regime 
  9. Cosa Nostra’s Systemic Problems 
  10. The ‘Anti-Mafia’ Organization: A Historical-Institutionalist Approach
  11.  List of Sicilian ‘Noblesse’ (Noble Families) A-Z
  12. Reference List


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