Giuseppe Cimarosa is intimately familiar with the Mafia and its methods of blackmail. The 40-year-old Sicilian is the son of a repentant mafioso and his mother is a relative of Matteo Messina Tenaro, the most powerful supporter of Cosa Nostra, who was arrested on January 16 in Palermo after 30 years.
For an anti-Mafia activist who witnessed the mysterious death of one of his horses a few years ago, the fight against the octopus today involves educating the youth to change the “mindsets” that will rule society for decades to come. Its yoke.
After Matteo Messina Denaro’s arrest, “real war has now become culture,” the bearded man in his forties told AFP in an interview with the hideout, which he manages in the countryside of Castelvetrano in western Sicily, just a few kilometers away.
“Now we have to change the mentality of the people. The enemy is no longer the mafia, but unfortunately still the mafia mentality that controls the way of behavior or simply thinking,” said Mr., who organized a demonstration under the windows of Antimafia on Thursday. Cimarosa explains. Godfather’s family home in the historic center of the city.
“We need to start education in schools and then the government should show solidarity with rebels like me,” says his own father, who convinced several members of Messina’s Tenaro clan to cooperate with the justice system.
The weight of the omerta, this law of peace imposed by the Mafia, is still strongly felt in Sicilian society: the media, including the AFP, descended on Castelvetrano to cover the end of the run of Italy’s most wanted criminal, facing reluctance. of residents to testify.
– Generation Clash –
“Mafia bases its entire strength on fear, so people are afraid to expose themselves, not realizing that this is everyone’s business and they want to look elsewhere,” laments this passionate activist, recalling the vandalism of his grieving father’s grave. twice.
“My father broke down the wall of omerta that was so strong at the time,” he says, and his cooperation with justice “was born precisely from the conflict that opposed us.”
He himself “did not receive any obvious threats (Mafia, editor’s note), but things happened that could be understood as news: I saw one of my horses dead, and immediately after my father’s death, his grave was destroyed twice. ,” he testifies.
He and his family have opted out of the judicial protection program and continue to live in Castelvetrano.
“I can’t agree to give up my identity and who I am because of a criminal I don’t know,” he reasons. “I stayed here because it was my mission, because I think it would be easier to say what I have to say from a distance, and it would have more value if I said it to Castelvetrano.”
Today, he feels “a little more secure” and wants to be optimistic: “The mafia can no longer win as it thought, the state is strong”.
As was the case between him and his father, he puts all his faith in “the clash between generations, the clash of dispositions that can occur within the same family.”