Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A STREET FOR A HERO



On Sunday Modica named a street in honour of Giuseppe [Peppino] Impastato, the anti-Mafia campaigner from Cinisi [Palermo Province] who was murdered at the age of 30.

Giuseppe Impastato was born into a Mafia family but, traumatised by the Mafia murder of an uncle, began to ask questions and campaign against the criminal organisation during his teenage years. He became estranged from his father, who threw him out of the family home.  As a left-wing activist and writer, Peppino used humour to criticise both the Mafia and politicians and, in the year of his death, became a candidate in local elections.  He was brutally murdered on the night of 8th - 9th May 1978 and his body, with TNT beneath it, was tied to a railway line, either to make it look as if he had been involved in a botched terrorist attack on the line or to simulate his suicide.  Two days later the people of Cinisi symbolically elected him as a town councillor.

Peppino's mother and brother fought for justice for him for many years and in 2002 Gaetano Badalamenti, the head of the Mafia in Cinisi, was sentenced to life for the murder by an Italian court.  However, Badalamenti was already serving time in a US penitentiary and he died in America in 2004.

The house where Giuseppe Impastato was killed is to become an anti-Mafia museum and exhibitions of documents, photos and art have already been held there.

6 comments:

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

Very interesting. He sure was a hero and is being rightly honored.

the cuby poet said...

Peppino so brave dying so young - a true hero.Thank you for telling about him here.:)

James Higham said...

As a left-wing activist and writer, Peppino used humour to criticise both the Mafia and politicians ...

One doesn't need to be leftwing for that. Many on the right are decnet people who wish to see an end to the mafia grip.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Betty. Yes, I'm glad he is being honoured. Thanks, Cuby. Yes, he was very brave. Hi, James. No one said you have to be left-wing to do that: the use of "as" in the sentence means it is one of the things he did IN HIS ROLE AS a left-wing activist and journalist; it does not imply that such an activity was the monopoly of the left.

Winchester whisperer said...

RIP Peppino - your work shall not be forgotten

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Well said, WW.

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