Carabinieri arrest woman Cosa Nostra boss

Mariangela Di Trapani (right). Photo credit: La Spia

PALERMO - A raid on the Sicilian mafia has resulted in the arrests of 25 people suspected of mafia connections, extortion, and aiding and receiving stolen goods. Included in the mob detained by the police is the female head of the mafia clan Resuttana, Mariangela Di Trapani.

 Mariangela is the daughter of Don Ciccio Di Trapani, a famed mafioso that sided with Toto Riina’s Corleone clan in the second mafia war. This bloody dispute ended with the promotion of Riina to the position of undisputed head of the Sicilian mafia. Thus, her father had been holding a strong position in the Casa Nostra Sicilian clans for some time.  

 Di Trapani has not stuck to watching from the sidelines, serving as the head of the Resuttana clan while her husband, Salvino Madonia, served a prison sentence on various counts including murder. Her position as a leader in her own right is a highly unusual one, as mafia family structures tend to be overtly patriarchal. Madonia and Di Trapani, 18 years his junior, married while Salvino was imprisoned and had one son through the aid of artificial insemination. It is speculated that Salvino continues to exert power from behind bars through communication with his wife.

 Over 500 carabinieri, two helicopters, and five dogs were involved in the capture of the participants of the San Lorenzo and Resuttana mobs. The investigation has been coordinated by the attorney Francesco Lo Voi.

 Despite the success of the investigation, the mobs which together make up the Sicilian Cosa Nostra continue to exert influence over the region and are able to force traders to play by their terms.