Being a politician in Italy comes with facing off against powerful criminal conspirators. The effect on the political climate of the country is discussed.
Italy is not the only country with an organized crime problem. But movies and TV shows like Scarface, The Godfather and Gomorrah have made the Italian mobs – in both their southern Italian and American incarnations – world-famous. Such pop culture portrayals tend to romanticize a dangerous phenomenon that’s all too real for those whose lives it affects.
What TV and movies have often gotten right, however, is the idea that Italy’s criminal networks are powerful enough to threaten the government.
According to the country’s first-ever comprehensive survey on political violence, Italy saw 1,191 violent attacks against politicians between 2013 and 2015. The count, undertaken by the Italian nonprofit organization Avviso Pubblico, was culled from local news stories and first-hand accounts.