ORGANIZED CRIME: SICILY PART 3 OF 3
The Second Mafia War in the early 1980s was a large scale conflict within the Mafia that also lead to the assassinations of several politicians, police chiefs and magistrates. Salvatore Riina and his Corleonesi faction ultimately prevailed in the war. The new generation of mafiosi placed more emphasis on "white-collar" criminal activity as opposed to more traditional racketeering enterprises.
In reaction to these developments, the Italian press has come up with the phrase Cosa Nuova ("the new thing", a play on Cosa Nostra) to refer to the revamped organization.
The first major pentito (a captured mafioso to collaborate with the judicial system) was Tommaso Buscetta who had lost several allies in the war and began to talk to prosecutor Giovanni Falcone around 1983. This led to the Maxi Trial (1986-1987) which resulted in several hundred convictions of leading mafiosi. When the Italian Supreme Court confirmed the convictions in January 1992, Riina took revenge.
The politician Salvatore Lima was killed in March 1992; he had long been suspected of being the main government connection of the Mafia (later confirmed by testimony of Buscetta), and the Mafia was clearly displeased with his services. Falcone and fellow anti-Mafia prosecutor Paolo Borsellino were killed a few months later. This led to a public outcry and a massive government crackdown, resulting in Riina's arrest in January 1993.
More and more pentitos started to emerge. Many would pay a high price for their co-operation usually through the murder of relatives. For example, Cosa Nostra defector Francesco Marino Mannoia's, mother, aunt and sister were murdered.