Pasquale Galasso

Pasquale Galasso (Poggiomarino, May 17, 1955) is a former boss of the Galasso clan, a clan of the Camorra, the Neapolitan crime organization. Since August 1992, he has been a pentito (a criminal turned state witnesses), collaborating with the Italian justice. He revealed many intricate secrets about the Camorra. This led to revelations from other pentiti allowing an insight into the Camorra from the insider's point of view.

Biography

Early life and criminal career

Galasso was born in Poggiomarino, near Naples. Belonging to a well-endowed family – he studied medicine – he entered criminality when he killed two Camorristi who were trying to kidnap his brother (or asking him the "pizzo"). Once imprisoned at Poggioreale, he became acquainted with numerous Camorristi and knew Raffaele Cutolo.

He joined the Nuova Famiglia clan in the early 1980s and was soon protagonist of the bombing of Vincenzo Casillo, collaborator of Cutolo, the Nuova Famiglia's main rival. This murder is considered the beginning of the decline of Cutolo's Nuova Camorra Organizzata. During the war against the latter Galasso lost one brother.

Galasso's girlfriend was Florinda Mirabile, the daughter of Mario Mirabile, a Camorra clan boss. After her father's murder, she asked Galasso for help obtaining a gun to avenge the murder. He procured a precision shotgun for her, but the vendetta was never carried out. She would eventually turn state witness against the 'Ndrangheta in 1995, and receive a light sentence in return."Mafia Women: The Affirmation of a Female Pseudo-Subject. The Case of the Ndrangheta", by Renate Siebert, in: Fiandaca, "Women and the Mafia", [http://books.google.co.in/books?id=KJLBLxYBUysC&pg=PA26&dq=Pasquale+Galasso&lr=&ei=5UeoSPLEDoa2tgOvzqGeBQ&sig=ACfU3U3uTHfEVXO3Cynukw7e_pc_6DQ_1g,M1, Google Print, p. 26] ]

Arrest and turning state witness

In 1992, he was arrested and, after a short period, became a "pentito". Galasso confessed to over twenty murders and revealed the whereabouts of where the victims were buried. His revelations shocked Italy, when he mentioned high level members of Christian Democrat Party (then Italy's most important party) having links with the Camorra, such as the former Interior Minister Antonio Gava.it icon [http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/1993/aprile/09/Gava_referente_della_camorra_co_0_9304094328.shtml Gava, " il referente " della camorra] , Corriere della Sera, April 9, 1993]

According to Galasso, the Camorra and politics were not separate worlds. Each Camorra clan had a 'prime political sponsor' and in common agreement politicians and criminal bosses would decide who should be elected to the principal political positions, who should obtain public contracts and which sites should be earmarked for construction."Politicians and godfathers: Mafia and political corruption in Italy", by Alberto Vannucci, in Della Porta & Mény, "Democracy and Corruption in Europe", [http://books.google.co.in/books?id=WbGJM3uIUZUC&pg=PA58&lpg=PA58&dq=%22Pasquale+Galasso%22+camorra&source=web&ots=zhvi-XWRJJ&sig=9Akvxl356pBiTYwKbSFG9oAJAE8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result Google Print, p. 58] ]

While testifying about the links between the Camorra and DC, Galasso said that following the election of the town council of Poggiomarino, he was asked to intervene with a local councillor to persuade him with all the weight of his "Camorra fame" to ally himself with Antonio Gava who had promised him the position of mayor. Galasso's reticence was soon overcome by the direct intervention of his boss, Carmine Alfieri. "He assured me that Gava was on our side and that I couldn't deny him that favour", Galasso said. The politician was then persuaded to side with Gava, even though he disliked him."Politicians and godfathers: Mafia and political corruption in Italy", by Alberto Vannucci, in Della Porta & Mény, "Democracy and Corruption in Europe", [http://books.google.co.in/books?id=WbGJM3uIUZUC&pg=PA62&dq=Carmine+Alfieri&ei=aDGoSKymCIGgsgPFmdXiAQ&sig=ACfU3U0Hmt4t-U7Jdt-TO1VX2eI7G8996Q,M1, Google Print, p. 62] .] Galasso further continued, "For the duration of that government, I was the tongue convincing the one, who didn't want to renounce his position as mayor, and the other, who wanted to occupy it, to remain united."Della Porta & Vannucci, "Corrupt Exchanges", [http://books.google.co.in/books?id=M0dy9Vi0JSEC&pg=PA224&dq=Pasquale+Galasso&lr=&ei=5UeoSPLEDoa2tgOvzqGeBQ&sig=ACfU3U25mFqu_N9m1xc4Q9u44GfO4Jxo4w,M1, Google Print, p. 224] .]

Legacy

According to Tom Behan, author of a best selling book about the Camorra, "To see Naples and die": "Pasquale Galasso's revelations are probably more important for understanding the Camorra than Tommaso Buscetta's have been in terms of understanding the Mafia. When Buscetta decided to cooperate with the authorities, he had been living abroad for several years, away from the nerve centres of power. Galasso had been in the eye of the storm until his arrest, and had arguably played a more important role within the Camorra than Buscetta had within the Mafia."Behan, "See Naples and Die", [http://books.google.co.in/books?id=aepiCW44eEkC&pg=PA301&dq=Pasquale+Galasso&lr=&ei=X0CoSJyiK4LysQO1z4yfBQ&sig=ACfU3U1sCbDDb7Bz8Kd35mE4I36l4672mA#PPA301,M1 Google Print, p. 301] .]

References

*cite book|first=Tom (ed.)|last=Behan|title= [http://books.google.com/books?id=aepiCW44eEkC&dq See Naples and Die: The Camorra and Organized Crime] |publisher=Taurus Publishers|location=London/New York|year=2002
*Della Porta, Donatella & Yves Mény (eds.) (1997). "Democracy and Corruption in Europe", London/Washington: Pinter ISBN 1855673673
*Della Porta, Donatella & Alberto Vannucci (1999), "Corrupt Exchanges: Actors, Resources, and Mechanisms of Political Corruption", New York: Aldine Transactions ISBN 0202306003
*cite book|first=Gigi|last=Di Fiore|title=Io, Pasquale Galasso: da studente in medicina a capocamorra|publisher=Pironti|location=Naples|year=1994
*Fiandaca, Giovanni (ed.) (2007), "Women and the Mafia: Female Roles in Organized Crime Structures", New York: Springer ISBN 0-387-36537-0

External links

*it icon [http://www.liberliber.it/biblioteca/i/italia/verbali_antimafia_xi_legislatura/html/violante02/51_00.htm Audizione del collaboratore di giustizia Pasquale Galasso] , Verbali della Commissione Parlamentare Antimafia, presidenza Luciano Violante, July 13, 1993.
*it icon [http://www.liberliber.it/biblioteca/i/italia/verbali_antimafia_xi_legislatura/html/violante03/61_00.htm Audizione del collaboratore di giustizia Pasquale Galasso] , Verbali della Commissione Parlamentare Antimafia, presidenza Luciano Violante.


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