Manciaracina was born in Mazara del Vallo in the province of Trapani. He was initiated in Cosa Nostra in 1985 or 1986. In 1992, after the arrest of Mariano Agate, he became "reggente" (regent) of the "mandamento" of Mazara del Vallo, a position he shared with Vincenzo Sinacori.
According to Sinacori, who became a pentito in 1996 and started to collaborate with Italian justice, it had been Cosa Nostra boss Totò Riina who favoured the nomination of Manciaracina. His father Vito Manciaracina had been a front man for one of Riina’s companies. Father and son Manciaracina were among the few who knew how to reach the fugitive Riina. (Vito Manciaracina was initiated in 1989 and arrested on May 27, 2001 )
Manciaracina’s name was mentioned in the trial against Giulio Andreotti. The sevenfold Prime Minister of Italy stood accused of collusion with Cosa Nostra. Investigators found that Andreotti, at the time minister of Foreign Affairs, had met Manciaracina at a meeting in Hotel Hopps in Mazara del Vallo on August 19, 1985, and held a private conversation. Initially, Andreotti denied the episode and later, when it became clear that there was undeniable proof, he claimed was not aware of the position of Manciaracina. Andreotti has been absolved from any charge in 2004.
Manciaracina became part of a "directorate" that ruled Cosa Nostra since the mid-1990s and was established by Bernardo Provenzano after the arrest of Totò Riina. This group "of about four to seven people met very infrequently, only when necessary, when there were strategic decisions to make." Among the other members of the directorate were Salvatore Lo Piccolo from Palermo; Benedetto Spera from Belmonte Mezzagno; Salvatore Rinella from Trabia; Giuseppe Balsano from Monreale; Matteo Messina Denaro from Castelvetrano; Vincenzo Virga from Trapani; and Antonino Giuffrè from Caccamo.
Manciaracina was a fugitive since 1991. Until his arrest on January 31, 2003, – with Natale Bonafede, tha Mafia boss of Marsala – he was on the "Most wanted list" of the 30 most dangerous criminals of the Italian ministry of the Interior.
- (Italian) Il colloquio riservato tra il sen. Giulio Andreotti e Andrea Manciaracina, svoltosi all’Hotel Hopps di Mazara del Vallo in data 19 agosto 1985
- (Italian) La Mafia cerca il confronto con lo Stato, Polizia e democrazia, Nr 64, September 2001
- Andreotti assolto, caso chiuso
- The Mafia after Provenzano-peace or all-out war? by Philip Pullella, Reuters, April 12, 2006.
- (Italian) Oliva & Palazzolo, L’altra mafia
- (Italian) Blitz nella villetta-covo, La Repubblica, January 31, 2003
- Oliva, Ernesto; Salvo Palazzolo (2001). L’altra mafia: Biografia di Bernardo Provenzano (in Italian). Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino Editore.