Mafia is the cross that Sicily has to bear, a relentless source of sufferings and oppression. There is completely nothing honorable in mafia, it’s only criminal. “Men of honor”? Absolutely not. Those are men of lie, death, blood, blackmail, robbery, kidnapping and finally corruption. Corruption among authorities and corruption in the society.
In fact, the “Godfather” movie caused a lot of harm to Sicilian reality, because it created a false legend of “bandit ethos” which in practice doesn’t exist. There is nothing honorable or “noble” in this organized crime. Those people do not know any scruples, and they are not even christian believers. All that is only a propaganda for show, created for the purpose of manipulating the public opinion and to hide the real face of the violent gangsterism. It kills people, it kills society, corrupts it, it kills Sicily and finally it kills Italy.
It is said that the origins of mafia are rooted in the social movements against multiple invaders in the Sicilian history. Like organized resistance and mutual assistance at the same time. “L’omerta”, meaning “conspiracy of silence” – doesn’t it sound like a confirmation to this theory?
“Cosa nostra” means “our cause”. Even if origins of this organization, hidden in the dark, were combined with the independence struggle. It was never proven and it’s not important anymore. It took 50 years to change the mentality of common simply Sicilian, to change the popular belief in the “noble mission” of the Cosa Nostra. Now, the largest part of the society is finally aware that mafia is destroying their country, their families, their labor market, and so on.
Surprisingly, the big “hero” of the anti-mafia fight was Mussolini, the fascist dictator who destroyed almost completely the structures of mafia and other organized crimes in Italy. But it really didn’t matter, since he became a symbol of evil and was eventually hung by the feet in Rome.
American winners could simply walk in peace through Sicily in their way to Rome, taking flowers from cheering people, so happy that the nightmare of war had finished. But they didn’t know all the story and it is difficult to tell now if it was due to the ignorance of their intelligence services or it was just a pure coincidence.
On 10th of July 1943 – 39 American special airborne troopers, who had to prepare a landing operation of the main forces, were killed by the Italian and German casts of the two postal offices in the mountains near Dirillo. But it was a case, the organized military resistance in Sicily just didn’t exist, except of a few checkpoints or small camps. It was a Sicilian village, Cassibile near Syracuse, where general Giuseppe Castellano (an Italian of Sicilian origins) signed unconditional surrender of Italy. The general dressed in a civilian suit with a handkerchief in his buttonhole…
But before the invasion Americans expected so strong resistance that they destroyed Sicily with their bombardments. They even signed a pact with the boss of mafia, Lucky Luciano – a ruthless, cruel criminal and murderer, who was jailed in American prison. In return for the support of small local structures of Cosa Nostra in Sicily for the American troops, they just released their boss in Sicily and restored the mafia power by installing many of the mafia magnates in the positions of public administration.
Sicily – a tragic land that was so long governed from outside and oppressed from inside. With an ancient history but without its own “future”. I want to believe in the Sicilian future, in the Sicilians, in their hearts, their courage and their stubborn patience which is above imagination. In their love of life, their love to live.