So, not to talk too much about the mafia (or ‘the lemons’ as I call it here), I cannot mention Palermo or Sicilia without mentioning two of my heroes in the fight against the mafia: Paolo Borsellino and Giuseppe Falcone.  Everyone who’s reading this blog probably already knows about them because I’ve told everyone, i.e. my family and my friends who will listen, about them, possibly even several times but I’ll go over it one more time because it never gets old for me!  🙂

Right – why my fascination with these two men?  In one of my first Italian classes (in university because I didn’t take it before), I watched a film called Excellent Cadavers, which was based off of the book, Excellent Cadavers, which I read in a later Italian class.  This documentary, because it is one, is a chronology of Borsellino and Falcone’s fight against the mafia in the ’80’s and ’90’s.  And let me tell you – they were amazing men – some of the greatest men that Italy and the world has managed to create in the recent decades.  While they were afraid, they still confronted the mafia, recognizing the spread of its disease, and realizing that something had to be done.  They headed a team of investigators and created the greatest maxi-trial against the mafia that, at that point and perhaps even now (I’m not sure about the now part), the world had ever seen.  They were geniuses!  Unfortunately, many of the mafiosi were set free due to “judiciary mistakes/technicalities.”  Falcone eventually accepted a spot in Roma where he began to transform judiciary laws, specifically involving the mafia, making it so there were things such as the witness-protection program for mafiosi who turned (which Berlusconi eventually did away with most, if not all, of these reforms but that’s another story because of his ties, *wink-wink*).  For some reason – forgive me, it’s been awhile since I read the book and saw the documentary – Falcone was called back to Palermo, for the continuation of the trial (there were several phases).  In May 1992, on his way from the Palermo airport (now named after both investigators), a bomb blew up the entire road – both sides – killing him, his wife, and his escorts.  His return had been planned secretively.  Fifty-seven days later, Borsellino was killed, alongside police escorts, in a bomb blast yards away from his mother’s house.  The phrase excellent cadavers means high-profile kills that the mafia makes.  The mafia killed some truly wonderful, irreplaceable men.

These pictures above all deal with Borsellino and Falcone.  On the highway, there lies two stone markers, one on either side, that marks the spot where Falcone was killed.  One is dedicated to him, and the other to Borsellino.  In the distance – one mile away I believe – the building where the mafia set off the charges still stands.  It reads No Mafia on it.  And though we did not get the chance to pass by the spot of Borsellino, we passed by a metal monument that was dedicated to all of the victims of the mafia, as well as the Palace of Justice, where Borsellino and Falcone worked day in and day out in order to fight for justice.  (taken 25.2.2015)