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.