Culture of legality? Inattentive politics

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Falcone said: “The Mafia is a human thing, and as all other human things it has a beginning and will have an end…”. This statement is of historic value. It gives to understand that the Mafia phenomenon has to be considered from its beginning. We must not forget that Mafia exists in Italy since 1600, and in the meanwhile it has more and more taken root in our country. It has come up to its present forms about the end of 1800. But it would be a mistake to interpret Falcone’s statement as describing a linear concept, because the fight against criminality hasn’t got a single direction, it is not a line directed to a specific point. It can take a step forward, but even a step backward.

Maybe, during this period we are going backwards. The most efficient period of fight against the Mafia was absolutely the end of the 90s, but then we went back. The CENSIS stated that 52% of the Italian people do no longer see the Mafia as something dangerous, and this statistics have to be analysed. Usually I am an optimistic, but in this case I cannot help thinking that criminality has been operating in a different way over the last 20 years. Being less visible, it has a lower impact on public opinion, and for this reason who is not an expert in this subject could undervalue it.

Whereas, who stands in the front line everyday knows that today the Mafia exists but that it is operating especially in hidden ways, that is: corruption, money laundering, counterfeiting (which is not considered to be a crime at all by the same citizens), prostitution (which is nothing but the visible face of the business hidden behind it, that is the trafficking in human beings). We can therefore say that the Mafia hid itself, for this reason it is less perceived as a problem by people, who today are more concerned about the economic crisis.

About that 23 May in Capaci, the excitement for this episode is still very strong. It was the period in which a group of magistrates gathered almost all over Italy to organize the fight against the Mafia … And what happened was shocking. Something that, as a substitute anti-Mafia prosecutor, I partly lived during the several attacks in Florence, Milan, and Rome in 1993.

Many years have passed since that time, and yet at the level of culture of legality, we are still very weak. Unfortunately dishonesty is so widespread that the law has difficulty to emerge. I believe that a lot of work has to be done in schools by qualified personnel. When boys and girls are stimulated in the right way, they have a good reaction. So we have great hope in the new generations.

What is missing, as usual, is the awareness by politicians of the seriousness of the phenomenon; too often they try to minimize it, not facing problems as they should do according to the law. And then we have to consider that we have got a Criminal Procedure Code which trial part is very inadequate.

Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo

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