It has been reported that the mayor of Pollica, an Italian town south of Naples, was found dead in his car on Monday. Angelo Vassallo, a centre-left politician was found gunned down about 100 metres from his house, sparking talks of it being a possible mafia killing. Political killings are rare in Italy, despite the high body counts that result from sporadic Mafia wars, so the plot thickens.
Vassalo was locally famous for this environmental campaigns, working to keep Pollica the cultural and environmental treasure that it is. He helped to preserve the Cilento park, a national park designated as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations made up of seaside villages, ruins of ancient Greek cities, picturesque mountain towns and some of Italys finest beaches. He also installed a 1000 euro fine on smokers who tossed cigarette butts on the ground. What couldve landed him in trouble were his plans to stem illegal construction, which were often conducted by the Mafia and where organised crime syndicates are most active.
Vassallo was found with all the hallmarks of a Mafia-style execution, being hit at close range by up at least 7 bullets six in the neck and one in the heart. The police and prosecutors suspect the work of the Camorra, the Mafia group that operates in Campana (the region encasing Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and Pollica). It is suspected that Vassallo said no too many times and paid the ultimate price. With such strong suspicions the Camorra are going to need some excellentItalian lawyers to prevent themselves being incriminated.
Local prosecutor and Italian solicitors Alfredo Greco said the Vassallo was the man on the front line against crime, and Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement, called the murder a tragedy that touches us profoundly. Although killings by Mafiosi are quite common, this is the first time a mayor has been murdered since 1980. Gianni Alemanno, the mayor of Rome, called for a very strong reaction against a direct and brazen attack on a democratic institution. Its suggested that the police will be working closely with lawyers, and some solicitors central london to bring the late Mayor justice.