Capaci massacre anniversary commemorated in Italy

Deputy Mayor of Milan Anna Scavuzzo stands on the balcony of the Palazzo Marino as she unfurls a banner featuring an artwork by the artist TvBoy with a message reading in Italian: 'It's time to move on!' paying homage to the famous anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone on the 28th anniversary of his assassination, in Milan, northern Italy, 23 May 2020. EPA-EFE/MATTEO BAZZI

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Italy on Saturday commemorated the Capaci massacre, a bombing orchestrated by the Sicilian Mafia, which killed judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife the judge Francesca Morvillo and three other people from the judge’s escort on 23 May 1992.

In a speech by Italian President Sergio  Mattarella to students involved in a community project inspired by the Capaci killings, he said that “It was the highest point of the challenge of the mafia to the state”.

He added “The mafiosi – however – underlines the head of state – in planning the assassination of the two magistrates, had not foreseen a decisive aspect: what it would have caused in society. In their criminal mentality, they had not foreseen the teaching of Falcone and of Borsellino, their example, the values ​​they manifested, would survive, strengthening, beyond their death: spreading, transmitting aspiration of freedom from crime, taking root in the conscience and affection of the many honest people “. “Young people were among the first to understand the sense of sacrifice of Falcone and Borsellino, and they became the custodians, in some ways also the heirs. Since 1992, year after year, new generations of young people are approaching these figures exemplary and passionate about their work and the dedication to justice they have shown, ” the Italian President said.

Revelations lead to life sentences for Mafiosi in Falcone murder
A file picture dated 23 May 1992 showing the site where Italian Anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife Francesca Morvillo and tree body-guards were killed in a bomb explosion on Palermo’s motor-way near Capaci, Sicily, Italy

Later in the day, a wreath was placed on the site of the Capaci massacre during the commemorations to remember the judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife Francesca Morvillo and the three escort agents.

Capaci massacre anniversary observed in Palermo
A white sheet hangs on the balconies of the buildings at Palazzo dei Normanni, also called Palazzo Reale, seat of the Sicilian regional assembly, on the 28th anniversary of the Capaci massacre, in Palermo. EPA-EFE/Roberto Ginex

Due to the coronavirus emergency, there will be no demonstrations this year and the foundation named after the magistrate has proposed displaying a white sheet on the balconies. During the morning a mass will be celebrated in the church of San Domenico, where Falcone is buried, and at 17.58 – time of the massacre – a minute of silence in front of the Falcone tree, in via Notarbartolo.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella gives speach to mark anniversary of Capaci Bombing
A handout photo made available by the Quirnale Press Office shows Italian President Sergio Mattarella during a speech to the students involved in the ‘The ship of legality’ project, for the 28th anniversary of the Capaci massacre, at Quirinale in Rome, Italy. EPA-EFE/QUIRINALE PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT

Falcone was murdered, along with his wife Francesca Morvillo (who was also a magistrate) and three police escort officers, in the 1992 Capaci bombing on Sicily’s Highway A29 that was orchestrated by the island’s Cosa Nostra. Falcone rose to prominence by relentlessly prosecuting Mafiosi and their money-laundering activities from his office in Palermo, culminating in the landmark 1986-87 Maxi Trial that saw 338 people convicted.

His assassination, along with the killing of his close friend and colleague Paolo Borsellino a few months later, sent shockwaves throughout Italy and the world, weakening the Cosa Nostra’s image and giving rise to anti-mafia sentiment across the country.


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