Name:  salvatore-riina5.jpg
Views: 1343
Size:  331.9 KB

Salvatore "Totò" Riina ( Italian pronunciation: ; 16 November 1930 – 17 November 2017 ), called Totò 'u Curtu (Sicilian: Totò the Short; Totò being the diminutive of "Salvatore"), was an Italian mobster and chief of the Sicilian Mafia, known for a ruthless murder campaign that reached a peak in the early 1990s when the assassinations of Antimafia Commission prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino caused widespread public revulsion and led to a major crackdown by the authorities. He was also known by the nicknames la belva ("the beast") and il capo dei capi (Sicilian: 'u capu di 'i capi, "the boss of bosses").

Riina succeeded Luciano Leggio as foremost boss of the Corleonesi criminal organisation in the early 1980s and achieved dominance through a campaign of violence, which caused police to target his rivals. As a fugitive Riina was less vulnerable to law enforcement's reaction to his methods, as the policing removed many of the established chiefs who had traditionally sought influence through bribery. In violation of established Mafia codes, Riina advocated the killing of women and children, and killed blameless members of the public solely to distract law enforcing agencies. Assassin Giovanni Brusca estimated he murdered 100-200 people on behalf of Riina. Although Riina's scorched-earth policy neutralized any internal threat to his position, he increasingly showed a lack of his earlier guile by bringing his organisation into open confrontation with the state. After 23 years living as a fugitive he was captured, provoking a series of indiscriminate bombings of art galleries and churches by his organisation. His unrepentancy subjected him to the stringent Article 41-bis prison regime until his death in the prisoner's ward of a hospital.