Mafia? What’s mafia?

Although murders in Naples may get the most news coverage, there are more homicides in Milan than the city by the bay, according to Justice Minister Clemente Mastella.
In an appearance Tuesday before a joint session of the Senate justice and constitutional affairs committees to report on the effects of the recent prisoner pardon which has drawn sharp criticism despite being approved in July with cross-party votes, the minister said there were 27 homicides in Milan between August and October of this year, compared to 23 in Naples. Mastella, a self-styled champion of Italy’s southern Mezzogiorno region, added that for the first nine months of the year the number of murders in Milan totalled 103 compared to 75 for Naples.

In response to the grumbling of some Senators from the once-separatist Northern League, Mastella replied “that’s the way it is, if you please, as Pirandello would say”.
He was playing with the title of the Sicilian Nobel laureate’s theatre piece Cosi è, se vi pare, which is usually translated ‘Right you are, if you think you are’.

Observers pointed out that Milan’s population is about a third bigger than that of Naples and that most of the murders in Naples were linked to the organised crime syndicate Camorra and attracted more attention than acts of extreme domestic violence. So, Mr. Mastella apparently ignores that in some italian southern regions there’s a thing called Pax mafiosa. That is, when gangs have a strong grip on their territory, they actually don’t need to kill anyone. When something destabilising happens to the Pax mafiosa system, then killings start again, in order to restore a balance of power between the cosche (gangs). Moreover, Mr. Mastella apparently ignores a very basic statistical concept like the murder rate per 100.000 inhabitants.

A weird statistician, our minister of Justice…

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