Almost everyone knows that Falcone and Borsellino were two judges from Palermo killed by Mafia, but to understand the importance of their contribution to the fight against Mafia we need to know the background of this story. In Palermo, indeed, between 1981 and 1982 a Mafia war had begun which caused about 1200 victims. It was discovered that behind the murders there was the Corleonese ‘family’, led by Totò Riina. The violence of Mafia also turned against the State with the killing of the politician Pio La Torre, of the general Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa and of the magistrate Rocco Chinnici. Falcone and Borsellino were part of the so-called ‘Anti-Mafia Pool’, an organization made up of judges and policemen who investigated these criminals. Gradually, almost all the people who were part of the Pool were killed. Falcone and Borsellino knew they were risking their lives but still continued their struggle. Thanks to the information gathered by the repentant Tommaso Buscetta, a ‘Maxi Trial’ was organized, where several criminals associated with Mafia and even some bosses, including Totò Riina, were arrested. Meanwhile, Giovanni Falcone moved to Rome to take up a post in the Ministry of justice. But on 23rd May 1992, while he was on the highway, near the town of Capaci in Sicily, 500 kg of TNT exploded and killed him, his wife and three men of his security detail. Fifty-seven days after, on 19th July, Paolo Borsellino was also killed by a car bomb while he was going to visit his mother.

Nowadays, the task of freeing the country from the devastating Mafia phenomenon cannot be entrusted only to the judiciary system or other institutions, but an action on a social and cultural level is also necessary. This means that even an individual can and must personally commit himself to countering with the ‘culture of Mafia’, to remove it at its roots. It is therefore necessary for individuals to actively engage in a change of mentality, in which the first step must start from the refusal of compromises of any sort. Falcone and Borsellino’s deaths arose a great interest and awareness in issues concerning the Mafia and more and more people have taken sides against organized crime. Building a future without Mafia means, therefore, concretely supporting those who are fighting on the front line to assert legality.

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Gabriele Giglio


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