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Anonima sarda

Anonima sarda (also anonima sequestri in Italian) is a broad journalistic term widely used in Italy to describe Sardinian bandits and the main activities they were engaged in, mainly killings and kidnappings for ransom. The unwritten basis for criminal actions was the so-called Barbagian code (codice barbaricino in Italian), a behavioural set of norms common to the rural and pastoral inner lands of Sardinia.

The frequency and severity of crimes would become relevant and gain national-level notoriety in the '60s, targeting people on the Mainland and even famous Italians like Fabrizio de André. The attacks ended in the '90s.


Unlike the hierarchical structure of the Italian criminal gangs, such as the Sicilian mafia and the Camorra (which have a certain internal order and infiltrate the political apparatus), "Anonima Sarda" has been just a term used by journalists to report the peculiar modus operandi of Sardinian bandits, who operated mainly by themselves in accordance with a traditional local civil code. They had no interest in exercising influence over any political institution of the Italian state, which in fact they rejected, nor did they associate with the mainland criminal organizations.

Many scholars therefore assert that it is not correct to classify the Anonima as a criminal syndicate, since it lacked any kind of command structure and its members have operated with little to no relationship with each other.

The bandits, the most infamous of them being Graziano Mesina (also known as Gratzianeddu in Sardinian), Matteo Boe and Attilio Cubeddu (still one of the most wanted fugitives in Italy) to name a few, operated mainly in Sardinia but also in the nearby island of Corsica and, from the second post war period onwards, decided to target the Italian mainland. Sardinian bandits have now stopped the activity of kidnapping for ransom.

See also


  • Antonio Pigliaru, Il codice della vendetta barbaricina ("The Barbagian Code"), Edizioni Il Maestrale.
  • Paola Sirigu, Il codice barbaricino, La Riflessione (Davide Zedda Editore), 2007
  • Elettrio Corda, The Law and the bush: The Sardinian bandits from the eighteenth century to the present day, Rusconi
  • Luigi Casalunga, Anonima Sequestri Sarda, The archive of the crimes (1960–1997)