|Member of||Le Cercle|
General Mario Buscemi
Deep political connections
Mario Buscemi was an army commander on Sardinia, and Commander of the Italian military contingent in Iraq's Kurdistan in 1991. he was Deputy chief of staff of the army in the 1990s. Commander of the Sicilian army 1992-1998 in an effort to suppress the mafia.
He was Military advisor to the Council of Ministers. In 2002 he was president of the National Grenadiers of Sardinia.
"General Mario Buscemi, who was once in charge of the army in Sicily, said he "totally agreed" with the idea of deploying troops in the region of Campania, of which Naples is the capital. "Perhaps you can't beat the Mafia with troops but a sufficient army presence definitely deters street crime, at least that's the way it was in Sicily," Buscemi told ANSA. He recommended that at least 8,000 soldiers be sent to Naples, which has a local police force of 13,250. His comments came as Italy's secret services warned that Naples could be heading towards a period of bloody clan warfare. Antonio Bassolino, who heads the regional government of Campania, said that "the Camorra, street crime and violence risk robbing us of our future and our children's future". "We mustn't let this happen. We must join together in this great battle for freedom and solidarity," Bassolino said. He did not rule out bringing in the army but said that boosting the local police force and the number of magistrates was of greater importance. "I'm not against the use of soldiers but the army has been here on other occasions and it didn't do much good. Only an idiot could think that murders like the Pozzuoli one could be avoided with the army. However, if the troops can free up the police, then that would be welcome," Bassolino said. Naples' chief prosecutor Giandomenico Lepore agreed that the city needed more police officers and investigators. "The deployment of troops might reassure some citizens and tourists, which wouldn't be bad for a city which is plagued by muggings, but what we really need is more people to work on investigations," Lepore said. Several small parties in the centre-left governing coalition of Premier Romano Prodi argued against sending in the army. The Green party and the Communist Refoundation Party said that more money needed to be invested in Naples overall, including its police force and job creation initiatives. Naples Mayor Rosa Russo Jervolino said that "crime prevention and territorial control are obviously important but it's vital to bear in mind that the roots of the problem are social and cultural"." 
- October 30, 2006, ANSA English Media Service, 'ARMY could be sent to crime-hit Naples'
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