Habitantes en villalba: Habitantes Collado Villalba 1900-2021

Villalba

Villalba, Puerto Rico

El municipio de Villalba es conocido como la “Ciudad de los Avancinos”, la “Ciudad de los Lagos”, la “Ciudad del Cooperativismo” y la “Ciudad del Gandul” y sus habitantes son llamados villalbeños. Su santa patrona es Nuestra Señora del Carmen. Algunos señalan que el nombre de este municipio proviene de la visita realizada por el Duque de Alba al pueblo. Luego de ésta, sus vecinos decidieron llamarle Villa-Alba. Otros sostienen que proviene de una familia de origen gallego que se dice vivía en esta región.

Su territorio se extiende a través de 37 millas cuadradas. Este municipio cuenta con 27,913 habitantes (Censo 2000). El municipio está organizado en los barrios: Villalba Pueblo, Caonillas Abajo, Caonillas Arriba, Hato Puerco Abajo, Hato Puerco Arriba, Vacas, Villalba Abajo y Villalba Arriba.

Su economía se basa en la siembra y recolección del gandul; éste se procesa y enlata en una planta en Villalba. Además, cuenta con varias fábricas de maquinarias y equipos electrónicos, de productos alimenticios y de envases de aluminio.

Geografía

Villalba limita al norte con el municipio de Orocovis; al este con Coamo; al sur y oeste con Juana Díaz. Geográficamente pertenece a la subregión conocida como Colinas del Sur. Se encuentra al sur de la Cordillera Central, en la parte lluviosa de las Colinas Semiáridas del Sur. Las elevaciones que se distinguen en el municipio son La Corona y La Montería. Esta última alcanza los 1,574 pies de altura (479.75 metros).

El sistema hidrográfico de Villalba está compuesto por el río Jacaguas, el río Toa Vacas, las quebradas: Achiote, Cuesta Pasto, Meolaya, De los Güiros y Jagüeyes. El río Jacaguas nace entre los barrios Hato Puerco Arriba y Vacas; éste se extiende unos 36 kilómetros (22.5 millas) hasta desembocar en el Mar Caribe. El río Toa Vacas, afluente del Jacaguas, recibe las aguas de las quebradas: La Cotorra, Limón y Grande. Además, Villalba cuenta con los embalses Toa Vacas y Guayabal. Toa Vacas fue construido en la cuenca del río Jacaguas, su capacidad original es de 55,891 pies, aproximadamente 69 millones de metros cúbicos.

Este municipio también cuenta con la cueva del Indio, ésta es una cueva profunda, oscura y húmeda. Dicha cueva sirvió como lugar de estudio a los arqueólogos durante la década de 1970, cuando la Sociedad Guaynía de Arqueología e Historia de Ponce localizó, inventarió y estudió dos cuevas, ubicadas en el barrio Caonillas Arriba, sector Hacienda El Limón.

 

Villalba era un barrio de Ponce. Fue deslindado de este municipio para ser anexado a Juana Díaz en 1823. Luego, a mediados del siglo XIX, se dividió en Villalba Abajo y Villalba Arriba. Para ese entonces, dependía de la producción de caña de azúcar y del cultivo de frutos menores.

En 1917, se separaron de Juana Díaz los barrios Hato Puerco Arriba, Hato Puerco Abajo, Caonillas Arriba, Caonillas Abajo, Villalba Arriba y Villalba Abajo y formaron una comunidad autónoma con el nombre oficial de Villalba.

Durante las primeras décadas del siglo XX, un legislador estadounidense, Walter Mc Jones, organizó a los vecinos, para que Villalba se constituyera como municipio independiente. Esto se hizo realidad mediante la Ley No. 42 del 12 de abril de 1917 aprobada por la Asamblea Legislativa de Puerto Rico, que dispuso que se creara la nueva entidad municipal con el nombre de Villalba. Para ese entonces, Villalba estaba compuesto por los barrios: Caonillas Abajo, Caonillas Arriba, Hato Puerco Abajo, Hato Puerco Arriba, Villalba Abajo y Villalba Arriba, así deslindándose de Juana Díaz.

Otros sostienen que la segregación de Villalba del pueblo de Juana Díaz fue iniciada en 1916 por José Víctor Figueroa, quien fuera delegado de la Cámara por el Distrito de Ponce de1914 a 1917 y representante de 1917 a 1924. Los historiadores están de acuerdo con que los fundadores de Villalba fueron los señores José Ramón Figueroa y Walter Mc Jones.

En el 1875, el Papa León XIII concedió el permiso para la construcción de la iglesia que luego se llamaría Parroquia de la Virgen del Carmen, en honor a doña Carmen Reyes de Figueroa, su madrina y fundadora.

Para el 1940, Villalba todavía contaba con un pequeño ingenio azucarero. Durante la década de 1970, dependía del cultivo del gandul y el café. Para ese entonces, se le dedicaban unas 3,500 cuerdas al cultivo del gandul. Además, contaba con dos haciendas de café: “El Limón” y “El Semil”.

Este municipio se conoce como “Ciudad de los Avancinos” porque en 1929 se erigió la primera planta hidroeléctrica de todo Puerto Rico. Este evento convirtió a Villalba en el primer pueblo con energía eléctrica en la Isla. De este hecho surge el cognomento de la “Ciudad Avanzada”, o como se conoce hoy, “Ciudad de los Avancinos”. En la actualidad, dicha planta lleva el nombre de “Toro Negro” y genera energía para todo Puerto Rico.

Símbolos

Bandera
La bandera de Villalba lleva un diseño similar al escudo municipal, con la diferencia de que en ella los metales oro y plata se sustituyen por los colores amarillo y blanco, respectivamente. Consiste de cuatro franjas horizontales, desiguales en su anchura, que de arriba hacia abajo guardan el siguiente orden: verde, blanca almenada, verde, amarillo. En el lado inmediato al asta de la bandera, en la franja superior, figura el mismo lucero del escudo en color blanco.

Escudo
El escudo consiste de una villa puertorriqueña del siglo XIX, con seis casas y una iglesia de color plata. La iglesia está cargada de un escusón con las armas de la orden del Carmelo y, en jefe a la diestra, un lucero de plata. Al timbre, hay una corona mural de oro, de tres torres. El poblado está representado por las edificaciones y el lucero de alba. El blasón de la orden del Carmelo alude a Nuestra Señora del Carmen, patrona del pueblo. Los demás símbolos se refieren al apellido Figueroa, recordando la bordadura al fundador, José Ramón Figueroa. La corona mural es un distintivo de los blasones municipales. Debajo del escudo, hay un listón con la inscripción: Villalba.

Lugares de interés

• Cerro La Corona
• Cerro Maravilla
• Chorro Doña Juana
• Lago Guayabal
• Lago Toa Vacas
• Reserva Forestal Toro Negro

Personajes ilustres

Doel López – poeta e historiador

Carlos Mercado – poeta

Virgilio Negrón – poeta

Daniel Serrano
– poeta

Moisés Aponte – pintor

Maximino Miranda Jiménez – senador

Eventos

Fiestas Patronales – julio
Maratón de Puerto Rico – julio
Festival Areyto – noviembre
Maratón Carlos Báez – diciembre

Nota: Estos artículos han sido editados y cotejados por académicos y especialistas en Historia. Pueden existir discrepancias entre historiadores con respecto a algunos datos.

Texto tomado de la enciclopediapr.org

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5.

Patriarch of Villalba. Mafia yesterday and today

5. Patriarch of Villalba

After the death of Don Vito Casho Ferro, Calogero Vizzini, called Don Calo, was elected leader of the mafia. His political connections and ties of kinship with the prelates of the Catholic Church ensured him the patronage of the powers that be. The illiterate son of a poor peasant, Don Calo left after his death a fortune estimated at about 2 billion lire. His life is a classic example of how the head of the mafia can amass huge wealth, using the special socio-economic conditions of Sicily, and remain at the center of active criminal activity without being persecuted by justice thanks to his extensive connections, patronage and «omerta» (the law of silence). , mutual responsibility).

He was considered the «black sheep» in the family. The fact is that his family, although it was not bourgeois, enjoyed the prestige that it owed to a prominent priest from the episcopal curia of Caltanissetta, who was a relative of them. We are talking about the brother of Don Calo’s mother, who, while still relatively young, reached the high rank of bishop, laying the foundation for a very profitable family tradition — to devote his sons to the service of the church. The nephew of this bishop, a cousin of Don Calo, a certain Giuseppe Scarlata, who became a priest, also reached the rank of bishop and founded the monastic order of Santa Maria del Carmelo, of which he was the cautious and far-sighted head for many years.

The two brothers of Don Calo, Giovanni and Salvatore, also chose the career of clergy and would undoubtedly have reached high degrees if the activities of their elder brother had not caused the intervention of the fascist hierarchs who turned to the Vatican authorities. However, due to the absurd spirit of contradiction, Don Calo, in spite of all the benefits of a spiritual vocation, from childhood showed inclinations of a completely different kind. He constantly avoided attending school and therefore did not receive an education, but this did not bother him at all, on the contrary, even as an adult, he boasted of his illiteracy, because thanks to one quick wit, without any classes, he could make the most complex calculations in his mind, make up without anyone — either help very profitable lease agreements and put your signature under them.

He made his debut as a real mafist, who does not tolerate obstacles or interference in his affairs, when he was still a young man. He was barely 17 years old when he fell in love with a blooming girl, the daughter of the owner of the ice cream factory Sollazzo from Villalba, and since he was by no means going to follow the long and honest path of matchmaking and marriage, he decided to achieve the satisfaction of his passion by a shorter and to nothing non-binding. The only obstacle to this was Don Andrea Parenti, an influential man, court clerk in Vplalba and a passionate admirer of the girl.

Young Calogero found an opportunity to publicly dispose of his rival, as befitted a man of his stock. Once, in the company of his friends, he went to eat ice cream at Sollazzo, where Parenti was already, and, having started a quarrel, into which he managed to draw the unlucky boyfriend of the girl, he beat him properly. Young Calogero Vizzpni was detained and taken to the police station. But then Uncle Calogero, at that time the parish priest of Villalba, immediately intervened, and the matter was settled: Parenti refused to sue his offender, and everything was forgotten. After this incident, no one dared to approach this beautiful girl, who had the misfortune to please Calogero.

Like all mafia leaders, Don Calo became interested in fiefs, renting their lands, so already in his youth he was classified as a gabellotto.

When the First World War broke out, «Uncle Kahlo», having spent only a few days in military service, was released from military service, as was due to a man of his position. He immediately realized what huge opportunities for enrichment the new situation opens up for a clever person, well-versed in commercial fraud and having a wide network of accomplices. That is why he took up the underground trade in basic necessities, which little by little entangled the village with its network. At this time, a commission arrived in Kaltannssetta to requisition horses and cattle for the needs of the army in the field, and therefore, a new opportunity for profitable combinations opened up. Don Calo and the mafia group headed by him began to act in three directions: firstly, they provided assistance to the owners of cattle and horses who did not want to sell them to the state; secondly, they helped the owners of crippled and decrepit cattle to hand it over to property owners at «friendly» prices, which was a good deal; and thirdly, since the requisitioning commissions also needed perfectly fit and healthy animals, they sold stolen cattle and horses to her, saving themselves from the need to sell them at low prices to buyers of stolen goods.

Soon the machine started working, who needed to be greased up, and if that didn’t help, more «persuasive» arguments were used. Things went so well that the commission in Caltanissetta bought all the nags in the area and more than 80 stolen animals at outrageous prices.

Some time later, when «Uncle Kahlo» and his cosca had already become rich, the Ministry of War decided to intervene and sent General Moccia to investigate this matter, and then it turned out that the royal army was in the role of a shameless and mediocre buyer of stolen goods. Calogero Vizzini, along with several officers and many accomplices, was tried by a military tribunal in Palermo on charges of committing grave crimes in wartime that caused great damage to the nation, however, when the witnesses who had given earlier testimony on the basis of which the accused were brought to justice were brought before court, they renounced everything and no force could force them to tell the truth. As a result, nine people were prosecuted and convicted of deliberately concealing the truth and giving false testimony; but all of them stubbornly stood their ground without blinking an eye, and in the end «Uncle Kahlo» and his accomplices were acquitted for «lack of evidence.»

As a result of this whole story, including the process and its completion, the prestige of Calogero Vizzini increased even more, this was facilitated both by the enormous wealth he had acquired, and by the fact (especially it) that the heaviest accusations were brought against him, as against the most dangerous leader mafia and the instigator of all these dirty deeds. His acquittal, with the usual wording for the accused mafists «due to lack of evidence» after all these events that caused a scandal, brought high-ranking officers and high-ranking officials of the civil administration to the dock and received a response even within the walls of parliament, played a decisive role in recognizing Calogero Vizzini as the leader of the mafia of the entire his province and made his name famous, inspiring awe throughout the island.

As already mentioned, at this time the power of the mafia in the fiefs, where its criminal activities unfolded, reached its zenith. The barons were replaced by large tenants (gabellotto), no less than the first interested in maintaining the old feudal privileges. Overseers and field watchmen took the place of guards and armed detachments, which, under the pretext of protecting property from bandits, committed arbitrariness and violence against the rural population. Gabellotto imposed on the peasants, whose life depended only on the opportunity to work on the land, low wages and hated sublease agreements.

This social structure was kept strong, since it guaranteed the immunity of the barons before the law and legitimate authorities, whose place was gradually taken by the mafia, which undertook to maintain public order in the village, creating a speedy trial and reprisal.

At the beginning of this century, the new landed bourgeoisie, consisting of the gabellotto, acquired such strength and power that they brought all activities in the area under their control; under the threat of destroying crops, vineyards and livestock, it imposed any taxes and taxes. Whoever paid the required bribe or tax became a «friend», acquiring in return the patronage of the «skassapagiari»[36]. Mafist Gabellotto, who had the opportunity to impose his will on numerous families living on the territory of the feud, soon turned into an influential supplier of votes. And it is no coincidence, of course, as we have already mentioned, in the era of the electoral system, in which one deputy was elected in each district, the constituencies coincided with the sphere of activity of certain mafia consortia.

Over time, the gabellottos gained such power that they stopped paying rent to the landowners, but when the latter tried to sell their land, they did not find other buyers, except for the same gabellottos, who offered a ridiculously low price. But no one else dared to pay more. That is how Don Kahlo acquired, without any competitors, the Suora Marqueza fief, 505 hectares of state land in the Serradifalco region. At the same time, he began to organize cooperatives of former front-line soldiers and war veterans, created after the First World War and subsequently placed under the control of the fascist regime. He forced to elect his brother, the priest Don Salvatore, as chairman of one of these cooperatives, and his nephew, the son of his sister, as manager. The size of the allotments established by members of the Vizzini family were so much smaller than they were supposed to be that they were soon prosecuted for deceit and fraud, but, as in all cases against members of the mafia, the investigation dragged on for almost 20 years, up to 1943 years, when Don Calo was appointed mayor of Villalba, that is, until the authors of the revelations themselves withdrew their complaints, agreeing, in addition, to reimburse all legal costs. Some peasants who became members of the local fascist party did everything possible to ensure that the lands were actually transferred to the members of the cooperative, but Don Calo used the usual weapons of the mafia: some of the peasants had their crops burned or their livestock slaughtered. With the help of such methods, he not only reasoned with the members of the cooperative, but also drove the peasants of other feuds from the land, such as Polizzello, Michchik? and Vicaretto, which were then rented out to him.

In 1922, Don Calo had already achieved «the respect accorded to the leaders of the consortia». In the same year, the police once again tried to send him to hard labor for murder and robbery, but this time Don Calo was acquitted due to «insufficient evidence» and avoided hard labor, and his prestige only grew and strengthened even more.

After this lawsuit, chance brought him together with a man who had a great influence on his entire future life and business. Friends from Palermo sent a young Tuscan squadrist to him with a request to hide him from the police, who were looking for him for a murder he had committed in his area. The young blackshirt was given a welcome befitting a man recommended by the «respectable society», and he settled in the estate of Mastra Ignazia, owned by Vizzini. It must be assumed that conversations with a fascist hiding from the police turned out to be very useful for Vizzini, because, ahead of events, he began to behave more carefully, trying to adapt to the new political situation, and even financed the fascist detachments that took part in the «march on Rome»[37 ].

Don Calo, having been engaged in the most diverse activities throughout his turbulent life, could not but become interested in the rich sulfur mines. For their exploitation, he established a society, which included family members of a number of fascist hierarchs. In addition, during one of his trips to Tuscany, where he went on behalf of his fascist friend hiding from the police, he became interested in the sources of Chianciano, which he acquired for several tens of thousands of lire and established another society to exploit them.

Completely disregarding the rights of others, he lost the confidence of his companions, who accused him of fraud and deceit, besides, his Friends and relatives from Villalba involved him in a number of crimes, then, by order of Maury, he was arrested and put on trial. Again acquitted «for lack of evidence», he was, however, exiled for five years. But, before going to the place of exile, he managed, through a Palermo friend, to smuggle a letter to the fascist who was his guest. The results exceeded all expectations. Don Calo had not yet had time to settle in a new place, when he was released and sent to Rome, where he met with a fascist who had previously been hiding with him, who had meanwhile become a deputy minister in Mussolini’s government. But all this, although it returned his freedom and strengthened his prestige in the eyes of the members of the mafia, did not save him, however, from the stain of «anti-fascist», and his enemies tried to use this, doing everything possible to send him to hard labor. At 19In 25, he was again prosecuted for participation in a criminal organization, but this time he was acquitted, because the plaintiff and witnesses did not dare to openly confirm the accusations, which they told the fascist authorities in the quiet of the office.

In 1929, he was again prosecuted on charges of belonging to a criminal organization and again acquitted «for lack of evidence.» In 1932, the court case initiated against him on charges of extortion was declared terminated due to prescription: this case lay in the courts of Caltanissetta for more than ten years. However, in Sicily, there were often cases when initiated criminal cases mysteriously disappeared from the archive. At 19In 35, Don Calo was declared bankrupt, after which he was left alone for some time.

In the last years of the war, when things on the fronts took a bad turn for the Italian army, Don Calo, with the help of his brother priests, deftly maneuvered between the various conflicting groups of rapists and oppressors that had formed on the island. On the one hand, there were fascists, supported by bourgeois former mafists who had long since joined the ranks of the fascist party, and on the other, the clergy and gabellotto, who fought against the former, of course, not for ideological reasons, but because of dominance in certain sectors of village life. Don Calogero was the most prominent figure and to some extent even the arbiter in this conflict between the two groups. Not yet possessing the title of head of the entire Sicilian mafia, which would soon be entrusted to him, he already controlled a dense network of beds from Petralia to Lercara, from Mussomeli to Caltanissetta, which was a very profitable business.

The events that followed the Allied landing in Sicily gave Don Calo a prestige he had never enjoyed in the past. Engaged in major fraud on the black market and the reorganization of beds, he frequented Palermo, where he met with people of various political views and aspirations, some of whom later became deputies and ministers.

There were no barriers for Don Calo. He was the only civilian who could get a room in the only surviving Palermo hotel requisitioned by the Allies. Pondering how to maintain his prestige and his power, he decided to restore old political ties and return to the mafia its former role as an important tool in the electoral struggle in exchange for various benefits and services. Don Calo maintained good relations with everyone, guessing who to bet on in order to be able to revive the network of beds and consortia destroyed by fascism, and most importantly, to rebuild the structure and connections in order to establish new relations with American gangsters of Sicilian origin on the other side of the ocean.

§ 85. Patriarch Nikon

§ 85. Patriarch Nikon
So, the internal life of the state under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich was accompanied by many upheavals. In the same way, important and disturbing events related to the activities of Patriarch Nikon took place in the church life of that time. After the death of Filaret

Patriarch Tsar

Tsar Patriarch
So, according to TV on the throne — Vasily Shuisky. They offered, they say, to be the king of Mstislavsky, but he refused: «If they elect me to be king, then I will immediately become a monk.» So at one time Godunov also “refused”, but the real basis here is simpler: Mstislavsky

45. Patriarch Gamliel II

45. Patriarch Gamliel II
After Johanan ben Zakai, Gamliel II, the son of Simon II, the last leader of the Jerusalem Sanhedrin, became the head of the Sanhedrin in Yavne. Simon died during the siege of Jerusalem, and Johanan ben Zakai took his young son Gamliel into his care. Jochanan

Tsar and Patriarch

king and patriarch
With the return of Filaret, the meaning of Michael immediately changed. Now there would be no one who dared to control the hands of the young king. Filaret immediately took all power into his own hands. Both rulers were written in state documents of that time — Mikhail

Patriarch Nikon

Patriarch Nikon
During the reign of Alexei there was a difficult phenomenon in Russian history — a split. The culprit of the split was the archimandrite of the Moscow Novospassky Monastery Nikon, whom the tsar loved very much for his wise speeches and brought him closer to him. The king became especially fond of

Patriarch Nikifor

Patriarch Nikifor
III
[He] (the leader of the Bulgar tribe Kuvrat. — Ed.) commanded never to refuse to live together with each other, so that thanks to good relationships, everything under their rule would survive. They, considering the fatherly instructions as trifling, after

Patriarch Nikon

Patriarch Nikon
Patriarch Nikon. From the «Royal titular» Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. 1672. Quite unexpectedly, the appearance of the supreme guardian of the home-grown order of the church and moral, the most all-Russian

Patriarch

Patriarch
One cannot suspect any sympathy for the revolutionary class and the cause of my grandfather. Baimagambet was in the sixteenth generation a direct descendant of the noble family of Karakesek. Among his ancestors there were many people who left some trace in the history of the people. Say

Patriarch

Patriarch
One cannot suspect any sympathy for the revolutionary class and the cause of my grandfather. Baimagambet was in the sixteenth generation a direct descendant of the noble family of Karakesek. Among his ancestors there were many people who left some trace in the history of the people. Let’s say

Patriarch Job

Patriarch Job
The spiritual career of the future patriarch began in 1569. At that time he was a monk of the Dormition Monastery in Staritsa. Tsar Ivan the Terrible, who visited the monastery, immediately noticed a stately monk who had a beautiful voice and knew the Holy Scriptures well. In 1571 to

Patriarch Nikon

Patriarch Nikon
Quite unexpectedly, the appearance of the supreme guardian of the home-grown order of the church-moral, the most all-Russian patriarch, appeared among the accusers of home-grown political disorders. But it was not just a patriarch, but Patriarch Nikon himself. Remember

Patriarch Nikon

Patriarch Nikon
In May 1605, in the small village of Alyominovo, not far from Nizhny Novgorod, a son, Nikita, was born into the family of a peasant, Mina. The mother of the newborn soon died, the father married a second time, the stepmother entered Mina’s house with children from her first marriage, and began for the boy

Patriarch Filaret

Patriarch Filaret
In the autumn of 1617, the Polish army approached Moscow, and negotiations began on November 23. The Russians and Poles signed a truce for 14.5 years. Poland received the Smolensk region and part of the Seversk land, and Russia needed a respite from Polish aggression. And only

Read «Terror: inspirers and perpetrators» — Kovalev Eduard Vasilyevich, Malyshev Vladimir Viktorovich — Page 41

That morning an American fighter appeared in the sky over the village. The people of Villalba watched him with more curiosity than fear. The Germans and the Blackshirt divisions quickly retreated; it was clear to everyone that Sicily would be occupied soon and without much difficulty.

The plane slowly circled over the houses. Here it has decreased so much that a strange yellow flag has become noticeable. Rather, a large scarf tied to the cockpit. In the center of this handkerchief, a black letter «L» was clearly visible.

The plane descended even lower, and when it flew over the house of Giovanni Vizzini, brother of Don Calo, almost touching the roofs with its wheels, the pilot threw a large plastic envelope out of the cockpit, which, circling in the air, slowly sank to the ground. The package was picked up by the recruit Nuzzolese. On it was the inscription: «For Don Calo.»

The package was immediately delivered to the addressee. It contained the same yellow silk handkerchief with the letter «L» embroidered on it. However, for the boss of the Sicilian mafia, this was quite enough. He immediately realized that he wanted to tell him a mysterious addressee.

On the same day, a rider flew out of Villalba in clouds of dust and galloped at full speed to the neighboring town of Mussomelli. It was the reliable «picciotto»[10] of Don Calo, nicknamed Manjapane (Glutton). Under his shirt, the messenger carried a note from his boss, which in the event of an «unpleasant meeting» should have been swallowed. The letter was addressed to the leader of another «family» of the Sicilian mafia — Giuseppe Genco Russo.

“Kum Turi,” read a message written in the Sicilian dialect, “will drive the cattle to the fair in Cerda on Tuesday 20 July. And on the same day, together with cows, carts and a bull, I also set off. Prepare a place where you can feed and shelter the sheep.”

This note was hardly worth swallowing. The uninitiated would still not understand anything in it. The note was encrypted; in the language of the mafia, it was reported that on July 20, someone named Turi would lead the Allied motorized divisions to Cherda, while Don Calo with the bulk of the troops (with cows), with tanks (carts) and with the commander-in-chief (bull) would go to that same day. The recipient of the note must prepare everything necessary for the deployment of troops.

Manjapane delivered Don Calo’s letter to its destination. On July 20, raising clouds of dust, three American tanks rolled up to Villalba with a roar. On the tower of one of them, the same yellow scarf with the mysterious letter “L” fluttered.

The tanks stopped in the square near the fountain. The hatch of one of the vehicles slowly opened, and an American officer jumped to the ground. The war was not over yet, but none of the local fascists even thought to shoot him. Meanwhile, the officer, much to the amazement of the crowd gathered around, in the purest Sicilian dialect, asked to find Don Calo.

The mafia leader was already waiting for the messenger. Pushing his hat over his eyes and not letting his thick cigar out of his mouth, Don Kahlo slowly approached the American and took out of his pocket the same yellow handkerchief as the one that fluttered on the turret of the tank. The officer nodded contentedly and helped the corpulent Don Kahlo climb into the hatch of the steel car. The engines roared, the tanks turned around and drove away as quickly as they appeared.

A few days later, the allied troops launched an offensive and, with little or no resistance, quickly occupied the mafia-controlled areas. A significant role was played in this by the fact that two-thirds of the soldiers of the local garrisons fled the day before. Among them, “explanatory work” was carried out by mafia people who provided deserters with civilian clothes.

A week later, Don Calogero Vizzini returned and his hometown was even more puffed up and important than usual. And not alone, but accompanied by officers of the American army. By order of the command of the occupying forces, the leader of the mafia was appointed mayor of Villalba for «special merits». At the inauguration ceremony for Don Calo, enthusiastic local mafiosi shouted at the top of their lungs: “Long live the mafia! Long live Don Calo!” In all neighboring towns, at the direction of Calogero Vizzini, «faithful people» were appointed mayors. For the local population, of course, little has changed. In addition, from the secret power of the mafia has become clear.

Behind the scenes of this operation, during which the mafia assisted the Anglo-American troops in Sicily, was the leader of the American «Cosa Nostra» Lucky Luciano (Lucky Luciano). It was his initials that meant the letter “L”, embroidered on a yellow scarf dropped from an airplane. The transfer of handkerchiefs with a conventional ciphered sign is a favorite method of correspondence between mafiosi. In 1943, shortly before the opening of the second front, American intelligence services released Lucky Luciano from prison in the United States, where he was serving another term for numerous crimes — from murder to drug trafficking — and transferred him to Sicily to organize communications with local mafia leaders. The «Respectable Society»[11], which closely, although secretly, collaborated with the Mussolini regime, realized in time that the collapse of fascism was inevitable, and reoriented itself towards the future masters of Italy — the Americans. By the way, it was not difficult for him to do this, since his leaders always maintained the closest ties not only with their American «colleagues», but also with the US intelligence services. These ties remained after the end of the war, and the nickname Lucky became even more firmly established for Luciano. Although it is possible that after this operation, he was included in the lists of American intelligence agencies, under a different nickname.

“Between the US secret service, the American gangsters and the Italian mafia,” writes Michele Pantaleone in Mafia and Politics, “a special close relationship was established, which made it possible after the war to ensure the restructuring of the “respectable society” and strengthen its influence in Sicily. The relationship that developed between the leaders of the American gangster syndicates and mafiosi allowed the Sicilian mafia to update its methods of activity, opened up new horizons for criminal activity.

Indeed, in Sicily occupied by the allied forces, speculation, the «black market», smuggling, and drug trafficking are flourishing, on which the mafiosi make huge capital. It was at this time that the gangster Lucky Luciano (and now an American intelligence agent) spotted an efficient guy from the Sicilian town of Patti, who was briskly selling grain on the black market. This guy’s name was Michele Sindona. He was destined to make such a dizzying career that Lucky Luciano himself could envy.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. All this happened much later. It all started with the fact that Lucky Luciano entrusted the “faithful picciotto” Michele with a responsible mission — cleaning up the “dirty” mafia dollars received from drug trafficking, gambling, and later kidnapping.

Having made a fortune, Sindona began to join «big politics». The mafia needed a political environment that would allow it to enrich itself with impunity, and an accommodating government. In the post-war years, a separatist movement was activated in Sicily, advocating the separation of the island from Italy. This is demanded by the powerful Sicilian landowners, who fear the growth of the influence of the leftist parties and the loss of their semi-feudal latifundia. The mafia also supported the separatists, counting on strengthening their influence on the island. The US intelligence services and the Pentagon were even more interested in «Operation Sicily», considering the island as an important strategic foothold in the Mediterranean.

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