By Alejandro A. Tagliavini *


The successful Netflix film tells the story of the Irishman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), who after serving in World War II – and getting used to homicides as something “natural”, “legal” and even “necessary” – leaves his trucker work to become a mafia soldier under the orders of «Chief» Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci).

Frank will be a character who, by comiting some notable murders, will interfere in US history. Kennedy’s rise as president and his murder, the CIA-financed invasion in the Bay of Pigs, the Watergate scandal and the mysterious disappearance of trade unionist Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), are facts that serve as a framework for a captivating plot and , without a doubt, with great historical accurance.

In large part thanks to the censorship – in fact – of governments and their ability to hide actions, it is believed that the mafia is a clandestine organization that exercises its power through blackmail, violence and crime. However, as the film shows, this organization seems not to conflict with the interests of the State and operates rather within the government. Violence and crime made available to politics and, therefore, the union bureaucracy that responds to political power.

Now, perhaps due to excessive prudence or not to argue with the political authorities, they forget to say that the monopoly of violence today is exercised by the State – the politicians – so that the existence of violence is not understood if it does not arise from the government. For example, how do you explain that being the US the country with the best “defensive” armed forces at the same time is where more “illicit” drugs are consumed? That is, how do you explain so many traffickers without “authorization” from politicians?

And it’s the same all over the world. These days thousands of people took to the streets in Valletta, the capital of Malta, to request the immediate resignation of the prime minister, with photos of Daphne and shouting “mafia!” Daphne Caruana Galizia, the most famous journalist in Malta was killed with a car bomb on October 16, 2017. She had 53 years old and information with which she uncovered several complex corruption scandals. Had received numerous threats. When killed, she was investigating a plot in which one of the main businessmen of the country was involved.

The prime minister announced his resignation, but the fact that his departure is only effective after January 12 threatens to prolong the crisis, as it fuels the suspicion that he may interfere in the investigation given, according to the journalist’s family, «The involvement of his right hand [and chief of staff until a few days ago], in the murder of his main critic.»

This businessman, very rich thanks to government concessions, is suspected of financing the murder and was arrested. He asked for immunity, in exchange for giving information, and involved the head of Cabinet and left serious doubts about the police work and the independence of the judges.

Anyway, among other politicians, delegations of the Council of Europe have visited Malta to review the situation finding “serious irregularities”… it would only be necessary to send Frank Sheeran who, like Raskolnikov in «Crime and Punishment» of Dostoyevsky, at the end of the story, with his actions and face shows a deep sense of guilt that no penalty can ever erase.


* Member of the Advisory Board of the Center on Global Prosperity, of Oakland, California