Elected in 2019, she is the first woman to be elected to Rome’s mayor’s office and is part of the anti-system Five Star Movement party, in power in a governing coalition.

In a pre-recorded interview on Italian television, Virginia Raggi said that the Casamonica family, known for their organized crime activities, targeted her after the mayor’s office demolished her illegally built villas and has since been guarded by police.

“I was informed that they were planning an attack on me and my family,” she said without giving details.

The mayor said she was fighting powerful mafia families operating in various parts of Rome, including the Spada families in the Ostia and Marando neighborhoods of San Basilio, on the outskirts of Rome.

“In some parts of Rome people come to me and tell me to keep fighting, but they leave immediately because they are afraid of being noticed by clans,” Raggi said.

The Casamonica clan has Roma roots. The mayor’s office said in 2018 that the villas built 30 years ago are a symbol of the “impotence of the authorities in front of the mafias” and that it is the largest operation against organized crime in Rome until then.

The demolished villas in the Quadraro district violated construction laws, and some incorporated “entire portions of the Felice Aqueduct.”