Here’s an interesting fact, culled from How the Mafia Works:
In the early 1900s, organized crime had so thoroughly infiltrated Sicilian life that it was virtually impossible to avoid contact with the Mafia. Dictator Benito Mussolini cracked down on the Mafia using harsh, often brutal methods. But when U.S. troops occupied Sicily during World War II, they mistook the many jailed criminals for political prisoners and not only set them free, but also appointed many of them as mayors and police chiefs. Before long, the Mafia had a firm grasp on Italy’s Christian Democrat party.