25 years ago today, on May 23, 1992, at the location pictured left that now features this monument in Capaci, along Sicily’s autostrada between the Punta Raisi airport and Palermo, a half-ton of explosives were detonated under the highway killing anti-mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone, his wife Francesca Morvillo, and his police detail including Rocco Dicillo, Antonio Montinaro, and Vito Schifani. The blast, which registered on earthquake monitors, was the masterwork of the Sicilian mafia. The calculated murder of their hero also sent a tremor through the hearts of Sicilians. It marks one of the incidents that inspired a grassroots effort to stop the plague of organized crime that has diseased Sicily for centuries.
Pictured right is the commemoration that took place today (Thank you to my cousin Maurizio for the photo.), illustrating the power of the people of Palermo and Sicily to engage sweeping change in their society–from the ground up. Earlier this evening in Palermo, a series of speeches and music performances were held as part of this anti-Mafia celebration and commemoration. To put it in perspective, such an outward display of solidarity would have been dangerous 25 years ago.
Sicily’s anti-Mafia movement and its success is what we should glorify!