July 19 marked the 29th anniversary of the Via D’Amelio massacre in which Judge Paolo Borsellino and his security forces Agostino Catalano, Emanuela Loi, Vincenzo Li Muli, Walter Eddie Cosina and Claudio Traina lost their lives.
The magistrate was assassinated on July 19, 1992 by the Italian mafia.
“The attack on Via D’Amelio twenty-nine years ago was inhumane,” Borsellino’s brother said in a statement.
“Paolo Borsellino defended justice with his life. “The memory of this massacre still evokes an emotion and at the same time reminds us that we must all work together to eliminate the mafia,” said President Sergio Mattarella in a message.
“29 years after the Via D’Amelio massacre, Italy has not forgotten Judge Paolo Borsellino. The bombing that killed the judge and security agents on July 19, 1992 warns us that no compromise can be tolerated in the fight against the mafia.
Almost 30 years later it is unacceptable that the scene of the event and the facts have not yet been reconstructed. “Only the full truth can free justice and relieve Italy of this painful burden,” said Senate President Elisabetta Casellati.
When commemorating people like Paolo Borsellino, the task of commemoration should not be an end in itself, but should always remind the value of a strong civic responsibility, inspired by the principles of the Constitutional Charter, which makes us an increasingly united community. in solidarity, in justice and in the necessary project of a country free from the mafia “, said the politician Roberto Fico
“On July 19, 1992, Paolo Borsellino was killed in a cowardly attack. Remembering his strength and courage is a moral duty for those who will never bow before the mafia and for those who fight every day to wipe out this cancer from our country. “Borsellino is not synonymous with sacrifice but a model of reference, along with Falcone, for many generations.” said Matteo Perego, vice-president of Forza Italia MPs.
But who was Paolo Borsellino
Borsellino was born in Palermo in 1940. In 1959 he enrolled in law school and graduated in 1962. At the age of 23, he won the competition for judge. In 1975 he moved to Palermo and started working alongside Rocco Chinnici, reports abcnews.al
But Borsellino’s career would take off in 1980 when an escort was made available to him and he later officially became part of the anti-mafia, led by Judge Caponnetto. In the years 1985-1986 Borsellino worked together with other members of the group to prepare the “Maxi Trial”, which developed from 1986 to 1992 led behind bars 342 mobsters.
He befriended Falconen and the two spent a lot of time together, both at work and in private. According to the testimony of Borsellino’s brother, they both had their own way of greeting: Falcone with a fist, while Borsellino with the novel greeting.
But of course the risk was great. Among the first to receive blows from the mafia were Judge Cesare Terranova and his bodyguard, Police Marshal Lenin Mancuso, who were killed on September 25, 1979; Carabinieri captain Emanuele Basile, who collaborated with Borsellino since 1975, was assassinated on May 4, 1980.
The list of murders during those years was too long: politicians, law enforcement officers, representatives of justice, anyone who paves the way for the mafia puts his life in danger.
For Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falconen those were the most difficult moments: on July 29, 1983, Rocco Chinnici, and two of his bodyguards were killed in a bomb attack.
But the work continued for Borsellino and his team, reports abcnews.al
In 1987 Caponnetto resigned for health reasons; the best choice to give the job continuity would be to replace him with Giovanni Falconen, but the High Council of Justice, under political pressure and under the pretext of greater seniority at work, decides to appoint Antonino Mele.
On May 23, 1992, Falcone lost his life after a bomb attack.
On July 19, 1992, in Palermo, on D’Amelio Street, Judge Paolo Borsellino and his bodyguards were killed in the same way: Agostino Catalano, Walter Cusina, Emanuela Loi, Vincenzo Li Muli, Claudio Traina.
But Borsellino was aware of his fate. Before the assassination that took his life, Borsellino had written: “I am neither a hero nor a suicide bomber, just a person like many others. I fear the latter because I see it as a mysterious thing, I do not know what will happen in the afterlife.
But the important thing is that courage triumphs… If it were not for the pain of leaving my family, I could have died peacefully ”.
Despite constant and severe threats, Borsellino did not back down, but continued with zealous and heroic determination the hard work of investigation, but was barbarically killed in an ambush, with brutal savagery, sacrificing his life, in the service of the highest ideals of justice and institutions ”.
Just five months after the assassination of Paolo Borsellino, it seems that things are finally changing: investigations and arrests are resuming. The most sensational, on January 15, 1993, is the arrest of the head of the Corleone family, the most prominent mafia family of that period, Toto Riina.
But the mafia does not give up: a series of assassinations between May and July of the same year gave the signal that the road will be very long.