||Villabate| Antonio Cottone
Born: 1904 - Villabate
Dead: August 22, 1956
Antonio 'U patre Nostru' Cottone was the boss of an old Mafia clan in Villabate throughout the 40's and early 50's. The history of the Cottene Family goes back to the 1800's. His nickname 'U patre Nostru' was given to him due to his generosity.
The Villabate Boss
Like many Italians and Sicilians, Cottone sailed to America somewhere in the 1920's. He associated himself with Long Island Mafia boss Joseph Profaci, also a Villabate native. With the help of contacts from the old world, like Antonio Cottone, Joseph Profaci strengthened his position because many American born Mafia members didn't have powerful overseas allies. Cottone's stay in America however came to an end when he was deported back to his homeland. After the allied invasion on the shores of Sicily during World War II Cottone became mayor of his town. Current mayors who supported fascism were removed and replaced with city notables by the AMGOT (Allied Military Government of Occupied Territories) rule, in order to suppress fascism. However, often supported by the people, the allies appointed several Mafia bosses to become mayor, including Cottone.
Nino Cottone was a very wealthy and respected man within Mafia circles, but was also highly anticipated amongst the average citizen. Although most of them knew he belonged to the secret society, they loved him for his generosity. Much of Cottone's strength came from the fact that he was a leader of the "Mafia of the Gardens", the section of the Mafia that protects Palermo's fruit market and citrus growers. He also exported fruit to America from where it was taken over by Joseph Profaci. It is widely believed that much of the fruit cargo's entering New York contained heroin. Cottone also ran the meat supply to Palermo's wholesale market and got his meat from young cattle thief Luciano Leggio. A man who would become notorious as the leader of the most vicious Mafia clan ever, The Corleonesi.
In 1939 a war broke out between the Ciacullie Family and the Croceverde Giardini Family, both organizations who had an common ancestor, Salvatore Greco. Allies of both the Ciaculli and the Croceverde Giardini faction decided the war had to stop. Therefore they asked Antonio Cottone's to mediate between both families. Cottone needed the peace in order to keep his business and therefore he decided to use everything in his power to make peace. In 1946 Joseph Profaci, the old associate of Cottone, was spotted back in Sicily. It is believed he had a keyroll in the peace between the two clans. Afterwards Cottone daughter married feared Greco boss Salvatore 'The Senator' Greco.
In January 1955 the fruit and vegetable wholesale market was moved to Acquasanta, which disturbed the dealings inside the Mafia. The Mafia clan in Acquasanta tried to muscle in on the Greco and Cottone territory. A violent war broke out leaving death bodies everywhere. Two bosses of Acquasanta were murdered and also a Ciaculli Greco member was killed. On August 22, 1956, Cottone arrived at his summer villa with his car, a Fiat. As he walked out the car he was gunned down by two men. 52 year old Cottone didn't survive the ordeal.
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