Cesare Mori

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Cesare Mori (Pavia, December 22, 1871 – Udine, July 6, 1942) was a prefect (prefetto) before and during the Fascist period in Italy. He is known in Italy as the Iron Prefect (Prefetto di Ferro) because of his iron-fisted campaigns against the Mafia on Sicily in the second half of the 1920s.

Early years

Mori was born in Pavia and grew up in an orphananage and was only recognised by his natural parents in October 1879 at the age of seven. He studied at the Turin Military Academy. However, he married a girl, Angelina Salvi, who did not have the dowry stipulated by military regulations of the time, and had to resign.Newark, Mafia Allies, p. 28 He joined the police, serving first in Ravenna, then Castelvetrano in the province of Trapani (Sicily) – where he made his name capturing the bandit Paolo Grisalfi – before moving to Florence in 1915 as vice-quaestor.Dickie, Cosa Nostra, pp. 176-78

At the end of the First World War, the situation of Sicilian criminality got worse when war veterans joined gangs of bandits. In 1919 Mori was sent back to Sicily as the head of special forces against brigandage.Newark, Mafia Allies, p. 17 In his roundups, Mori distinguished himself for his energetic and radical methods. At Caltabellotta he arrested more than 300 people in one night.Petacco, Il prefetto di ferro, p. ? The press wrote of a...
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