Bernardo Provenzano, Italian criminal, Died at 83

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Bernardo Provenzano was born on January 31, 1933, and died on July 13, 2016.

He was a member of the Sicilian Mafia (Cosa Nostra)

Provenzano was suspected of having been the head of the Corleonesi, a Mafia faction that originated in the town of Corleone, and de facto capo di tutti capi (boss of all bosses) of the entire Sicilian Mafia until his arrest in 2006.

He had many nicknames, but, Bernardo nickname was Binnu u tratturi (Sicilian for “Binnie the tractor”) because, in the words of one informant, “he mows people down.”

His other nickname was The Accountant due to his apparently subtle and low-key approach to running his crime empire, at least in contrast to some of his more violent predecessors.

Bernardo Provenzano joined the Mafia in his late teens.

Michele Navarra was the head of the Mafia Family of Corleone at the time, but Provenzano became close to Luciano Leggio.

Nonetheless, Navarra and Leggio turned on each other in the mid-1950s.

During August 1958, Provenzano was one of the 14 gunmen who backed Leggio in the ambush and murder of Michele Navarra.

Eventually, Leggio became the head of the Family.

During May 1963, Provenzano went on the run after a failed hit on one of Navarra’s men – at this point, he was not running from the police but from Mafia vendetta.

however it was said that Leggio said of Provenzano: “He shoots like a god, shame he has the brains of a chicken…”

There was arrest warrant was issued against Provenzano for the murder of one of Navarra’s men, on September 10, 1963.

Then, Bernardo Provenzano also had to run from the police along with most of the rest of the Corleonesi.

After the capture of Salvatore Riina, It was not immediately clear that Provenzano had succeeded Riina.

It was unclear about Bernardo’s where abouts.

However, it was reported that under his leadership the was less violence.

He had become a fugitive from the law from the time of his indictment for murder in 1963 until his arrest in 2006.

Provenzano was on the run for an unparalleled 43 years.

He was finally captured on April 11, 2006 by the Italian police near his home town, Corleone.

Following the arrests of Benedetto Spera, Vincenzo Virga (both in 2001) and Antonino Giuffrè in 2002 (who decided to cooperate with the authorities), the leadership of Cosa Nostra was in the hands of the fugitives Bernardo Provenzano, Salvatore Lo Piccolo and Matteo Messina Denaro.

After Provenzano’s capture in April 2006, Italy’s intelligence service report warned of “emerging tensions” between mafia groups as a result of Provenzano’s failure to designate either Salvatore Lo Piccolo or Matteo Messina Denaro as his successor.

A couple of months after Provenzano’s arrest, on 20 June 2006, authorities issued 52 arrest warrants against the top echelon of Cosa Nostra in the city of Palermo (Operation Gotha).

Bernardo died from a heart attack in prison.

Bernardo Provenzano passed away at 83 years old.

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