The Ten Commandments of the Italian Mafia

In 2007, Italian police found what they described as a ‘code of behaviour‘ for Mafia members, or Mafiosi. It was found following the arrest of the then reputed boss of the Sicilian Mafia, Salvatore Lo Piccolo.

The document was discovered at the villa that Lo Piccolo, along with his son, Sandro, and two other top Mafia figures, were using as a hideout in Palermo, Sicily.

Salvatore Lo Piccolo

The Ten Commandments were on a type-written sheet of paper entitled ‘Rights and Duties‘ and was reportedly found with other documents in a brown leather briefcase at the villa. It appears to have been drawn up as a guide to being a good Mafioso.

The guidelines are as follows

  1. No one can present himself directly to another of our friends. There must be a third person to do it.
  2. Never look at the wives of friends.
  3. Never be seen with cops.
  4. Don’t go to pubs and clubs.
  5. Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty – even if your wife is about to give birth.
  6. Appointments must absolutely be respected.
  7. Wives must be treated with respect.
  8. When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth.
  9. Money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others or to other families.
  10. People who can’t be part of Cosa Nostra: anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a two-timing relative in the family, anyone who behaves badly and doesn’t hold to moral values.

The document is very similar to the account stated by Antonino Calderone in 1987, after he turned informant. Calderone was a former Mafioso who, after being arrested in 1986, became convinced that his life was in danger from other Sicilian inmates at the prison in Nice, France, where he was being held. He then decided to turn state witness. He gave much of his information to judge Giovanni Falcone, and this included the following statement, which is strikingly similar to the document found at Lo Piccolo’s hideout.

Antonino Calderone

These rules are not to touch the women of other men of honour; not to steal from other men of honour or, in general, from anyone; not to exploit prostitution; not to kill other men of honour unless strictly necessary; to avoid passing information to the police; not to quarrel with other men of honour; to maintain proper behavior; to keep silent about Cosa Nostra around outsiders; to avoid under all circumstances introducing oneself to other men of honour’

Salvatore Lo Piccolo has been in prison since 2007, and Antonino Calderone died in 2013.

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