23rd of May, 1992. A day we must always remember.
20 years ago today, a massive amount of TNT exploded on the roadside near Capaci.
The Italian prosecuting magistrate Giovanni Falcone, his wife Francesca Morvillo and body guards(police officers, “guardian angels”, who never left their sides) Rocco Dicillo, Antonio Montinaro and Vito Schifani were killed. The explosives were placed inside a tunnel under the road previously and was detonated by the Sicilian Mafias, more specifically by those of Corleone lead by the infamous boss Totò Riina.
Falcone was taken to the hospital but passed away an hour later. Borsellino, who had rushed there to see him as soon as he’d heard the news, walked out of the hospital and said, “He died in my arms”.
57 days later, in via d’Amelio, Paolo Borsellino and his body guards meet the same fate. A car with tons of explosives literally blew them up into pieces. Even when he knew he was next in line after Falcone’s death, Borsellino hadn’t stopped the fight. He pushed himself further, working harder than ever to find out the truth of Falcone’s death, until his very last day.
A team of brave magistrates(the “Pool Anti-Mafia”) lead by Falcone and his close friend and colleague Paolo Borsellino had dedicated thier lives in bringing down the empire of the Sicilian Mafia, while its very existence was being hushed and dare not spoken aloud of those years. An impressive number (more than 800) of members of and politicians related to the criminal organization were arrested and sentenced guilty, thanks to their hard work.
The killers of the Corleone may be those who placed the explosives but it wasn’t just the Mafia who killed them. While the mindless violence spilt blood on the streets of Palermo, a few great men had battled alone.
They were murdered because they were getting too close to the names of politicians that were just as desperate as “the boss” Riina himself, to protect their blood stained empire . Many refuse to believe those who were eventually charged of the deaths are the only ones involved. Both Falcone and Borsellino knew many important names, which probably was why the Mafia eliminated them in such hurry in the first place, and some of them we may never see brought to justice. Because those corrupted men who sold their souls for money, who are holding hands with the devil, who gained power by the blood shed of men, women and children are still free and protected. We cry in rage and shame because we fear that for what this country has become, those heroes had died in vane.
He who is silent and bows his head dies every time he does so. He who speaks aloud and walks with his head held high dies only once. —Giovanni Falcone
They will kill me, but it will not be a mafia’s revenge, mafia do not use murder to get revenge. Maybe mafia will physically kill me, but he/she who will actually order my murder will be “others”. —Paolo Borsellino
The fight against mafia, which is the first problem to solve in our unfortunate and beautiful land, must be not only a cold repressive action, but a moral and cultural movement, involving everyone, especially younger generations, the most fit to feel the beauty of the fresh taste of freedom that sweeps away the foulness of moral compromise, of indifference, of contiguity and, hence, of complicity. —Paolo Borsellino, from the speech during Falcone’s funerals
(quotes translated into English taken from wikipedia)
True heroes exist. And the fight still continues. So many people fought and gave their lives for us, for our future.