Giuseppe Antoci had been warned more than once. “You will end with your throat cut,” read one note, composed entirely of individual letters clipped from newspapers in ransom-note style. In May 2016, they came. Antoci, then president of the Nebrodi National Park, a protected area in Sicily’s north-east, was returning home from a meeting accompanied by his police escort. As his armour-plated Lancia Thesis rounded a bend in the Miraglia forest, he saw the mountain road was strewn with rocks, forcing the driver to stop. First, two hitmen fired at the vehicle’s wheels to immobilise it. Then a shootout ensued. The would-be assassins eventually fled but Antoci recalls his terror that night: “The police tried to move me to another car but, in my fear, I didn’t recognise them. I thought I was being kidnapped. I thought of my family and prayed they were safe.” Antoci believes the attempted hit was ordered by the Sicilian Mafia in retaliation for new regulations blocking millions of euros in E...

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