Now, I remember when all those three words (Mafia, Coppole, and Lupare) were combined together and led an entire city (Palermo) and my personal memories of it, to a long a nightmarish year of violences and deaths.
There are still vivid in my mind, the memories of a six years old boy, of when his loved city plunged into a bloody Mafia's war (The first Mafia War in 1962-63). I well remember that, for an entire year wasn't there a day in which my city woke up at the news that a dead body was found in some city's corner. At that time, it looked like the Mafia was gone totally insane and couldn't be stopped in its trail of blood and violence throughout the city.
The violent deaths were reported by the newspapers, like they were game's scorings, and I remember every afternoon myself with some young friends of mine, when we went together to a newsstand to buy the newspaper and read it, like we were reading a soccer match reporting, "September, 19, Mafia's death tolls has reached today the record of 234 "morti ammazzati" (deads by assassination). All the newspapers' reports of the Mafia assassinations, kept going till the end of that year.
Unfortunately as in any war, even innocent people succumbed to the madness of the Mafia's cycle revenges. I can even recall from my memories, the un-mentioned fears I could read all over the faces of the everyday guy that was thinking could be him, the next one to die mistakenly at the hand of the Mafia's rage.
First Mafia War.
- The first Mafia War took place in the 1962-63. The conflicted erupted over an underweight shipment of heroin. The La Barbera brothers were the protagonists in a bloody conflict between rival clans in Palermo in the early 1960s.
Second Mafia War.
- The Second Mafia War mostly taking place in the early 1980s, which is sometimes referred to as The Great Mafia War or the Mattanza, involved the entire Mafia and radically altered the power balance within the organization.
Of course, there were many other wars of Mafia such these ones, but especially the first Mafia's war, it was one of the two mostly bloody and violent Mafia's wars, in which the city of Palermo had to deal with.
Criminal capital of the world.
It one point, my Palermo was named, "the capital of crime" due to its death-roll, and it was compared to New York City, of when New York itself was named criminal capital of the world, for its crime rates. That record by itself wasn't for sure a boast of confidence and image, for any proud city.
Nowadays, Palermo has ceased to be the city of the hundreds violent deaths per year.
Thank God for that, but...there's still a but. The Mafia hasn't been defeated, despite all the battles already won by the police forces, this monster hasn't yet exhaled its last breath. The Mafia is wounded and now it's hiding from the spotlights, waiting for the right moment to re-emerge again from its dark hideouts.
I don't know, if the Sicilian society is ready to reckon again with the intimidations of a next Mafia's reappearances!!! Only time will tell us, how Sicilians will handle with a new Mafia occurrences.
Meanwhile, I wish that my city will get stronger and better prepared, in the event that this cancer will spread once again inside its social and economic tissues.
I end here with a homage to my loved Sicily, with the hope of a better future without a Mafia, Coppole, or Lupare.
My loved Sicily.
Mafia, Coppole, and Lupare. (part I)
Sicily, a land of lost opportunities.
Sicily "mafia land". (part one)
Sicily "mafia land". (part due)