On the evening of September 5, the mayor of a southern Italian town in the mafia-ridden region of Campania was shot to death. Angelo Vassallo, 57, the centre-left mayor of Pollica, near Salerno, was known for his many battles in support of the environment and against the local mafia. In what police described as a horrific show of violence, gunmen sprayed his car with bullets. ‘[Vassallo] was worried ... He was a man in the front line against crime and reported all developments to me,' said the prosecutor in charge of the investigation. Police said they were ‘exploring all avenues' in the case, as Vassallo had reportedly been accused of extortion and other crimes in the past. The murder made headlines in Italian newspapers, some calling him the ‘mayor martyr' for his commitment to upholding the law in his jurisdiction.