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Mob Informant's Brother Gunned Down on Christmas

Marcello Bruzzese was killed in Pesaro, Italy
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2018 5:40 PM CST

(Newser) – Some are questioning the Italian government’s ability to protect police informants and their families after the brother of a former mafia member was gunned down on Christmas Day, The Local reports. Two assailants executed 51-year-old Marcello Bruzzese, brother of mobster-turned-informant Girolamo “Mommo” Bruzzese, as he sat in his car near his apartment in the city of Pesaro. The killers wore balaclavas and fired at least 20 shots at Bruzzese, per the Guardian. “This is a very serious issue. The state dedicates fewer and fewer resources to protection programs,” Senator Pietro Grasso tells The Local, saying “While the interior minister posted a photo of his meals [on social media], a mafia ambush was taking place.”

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Police suspect the Calabrian mafia, the ‘Ndrangheta, ordered the slaying. Marcello Bruzzese was not a member of the organization, according to reports. But his father, Domenico Bruzzese was a lieutenant in the organization before he was killed in 1995. And his brother Girolamo Bruzzese was a member until 2003, when he shot mafia boss Teodoro Crea (who survived) and then became an informant, providing law enforcement with information that led to several arrests of mafia members and others with ties to the group. Anti-mafia group Libera has demanded an “immediate and firm” government response to the latest killing, adding that informants are crucial to dismantling the mafia. (Read more Mafia stories.)

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