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This article was downloaded by: [University of Bath]
On: 9 November 2009

To cite this Article Galeotti, Mark, Slade, Gavin, Lambert, Robert, Monzini, Paola, Power, Ben, Schneider, Jane and Allum, Percy(2008)'Book Reviews',Global Crime,9:4,368 — 385
To link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/17440570802543664
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17440570802543664

Pentiti: I collaboratori di giustizia, le istituzioni, l’opinione pubblica, by A cura di
Alessandra Dino, Roma, Donzelli Editore, 2006, 282 pages including index of names and
bibliography, hb 25 euros, ISBN 88-6036-095-1


In the concluding chapter to this important collection of essays on Italy’s pentiti di mafia,
Alessandra Dino, the editor, presents the results of an opinion survey administered in 2005 to
350 men and women of varied occupation, educational attainment and political persuasion in
Sicily’s provincial capitals. Although, interviewees differed in their responses to manyquestions – given that the mafia1 was historically a predominantly west Sicilian phenomenon, the most interesting variations correspond to geographical location – substantial majorities expressed negative views of the nearly 400 men and handful of women who have turned state’s witness against Sicilian organized crime. Antimafia prosecutors and judges have referred to such persons as ‘justice collaborators’ but a determined press and public appear to prefer the designation pentiti, first used in the late 1970s to describe alleged political terrorists who had agreed to collaborate with the police. In its current use, the term pentito expresses a certain irony about the likelihood that former mafiosi genuinely repent – an irony often made explicit by putting quotation marks around the word or preceding it with the locution ‘so-called,’ as in cosi-detti pentiti.