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Sicily’s first openly gay governor wins support with anti-mafia crusade

Anthony Faiola
The Washington Post [1]
August 3, 2013

Of the last two men to sit in Sicily’s palatial governor’s office, one is up on criminal charges and the other is doing hard time. Enter their successor, Rosario Crocetta — the unlikeliest politician ever to govern Cosa Nostra country.

Back when he was mayor of a coastal town plagued by mob violence, Crocetta took on the dons, combating the ingrained practice of pizzo, or forced protection payments, while helping put hundreds of gangsters behind bars. His anti-mafia revolution led crime boss Daniele Emmanuello to call for his assassination, with police subsequently arresting a series of mobsters for plots against his life.

Since winning the governor’s job nine months ago, Crocetta has taken his crusade island-wide, kicking a hornet’s nest as he strengthens anti-mafia laws and takes aim at the cronyism, waste and corruption that turned Sicily’s treasury into the gift that kept giving. But to get this far, the 62-year-old former Communist with a penchant for sea-blue spectacles first had to tackle another powerful adversary: masculine stereotypes in Italy’s macho south.

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