Judge Paolo Borsellino And His Life Of Fighting Against The Mafia

In this article, I tell you about Paolo Borsellino. One of the greatest enemies of the mafia who ever existed in Italy.

Paolo Borsellino Judge

Good morning to everyone, today the old Don Tano Bongiorno will be briefly recounting the story of one of the most valiant heroes in the entire history of Italy, Paolo Borsellino.

He couldn’t fly, he didn’t have steel muscles and he didn’t have an X-ray view, but he had a great super power: courage.

Much more than all the superheroes of Marvel put together.

I’m talking about Judge Paolo Borsellino. Together with his friend and colleague Giovanni Falcone, he represents the greatest symbol of the fight against the mafia.

On the contrary, I will start narrating the story from the time he died.

The death of Paolo Borsellino

Paolo Borsellino died on July 19, 1992, in what is now called “The massacre of Via D’Amelio”.

Borsellino Borsellino dies after having dedicated his entire life to the fight against Cosa Nostra (the name of the Sicilian Mafia).

He is killed in a perfect pyrotechnic mafia style.

On 19 July 1992, at 4.58 p.m., a car stuffed with TNT, which was parked in Via D’Amelio (Palermo), below the house of the judge, killed Paolo Borsellino and the agents of the escort.

Death of Paolo Borsellino

Borsellino Via D'amelio

The massacre of Via D’Amelio

On the 22nd of May of the same year, Giovanni Falcone suffered the same fate (in Capaci).

Who was Paolo Borsellino? Why is it important to remember the anniversary of his death?

Paolo Borsellino was a special man who, together with Giovanni Falcone, not only fought against Cosa Nostra but also changed an entire mafia culture that was rooted in Sicily until the 1990s.

Since he was a child he decided to follow the path of legality.

Borsellino was born in 1940 in Palermo in the popular district of La Kalsa. Giovanni Falcone himself grew up in those same streets, but also future mafia bosses such as Tommaso Buscetta.

Both Falcone and Borsellino however decided to choose the path of the fight against crime, by studying Law with the dream of becoming magistrates.

As a matter of fact, in 1963 Borsellino fulfilled his dream and became the youngest magistrate in Italy. From that moment on, his whole life was dedicated to the fight against the mafia.

“It is nice to die for what you believe in; those who are afraid die every day, those who are not afraid die only once” (Paolo Borsellino)

It is impossible to recount his entire career as a magistrate and everything he did to obstruct the mafia. A whole encyclopedia could be written on this subject.

But I’ll just tell you about the culmination of his career (and life).

In the 80’s, Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone were the teachers of what will go down in history as the maxi-process of Palermo.

Strengthened by the statements of the repentant Tommaso Buscetta, a former leader of Cosa Nostra in the nineties, the judges succeeded in achieving as many as 342 convictions (this is why “maxi”), many of which, however, affected mafia figures who were still at large, such as Totò Riina and Bernardo Provenzano.

Imagine a courtroom with more than 300 mobsters and as many lawyers inside.

And let’s not talk about pickpockets and street thieves. We’re talking about people who used to melt the children of rival families alive in barrels of acid.

Those months were hectic for the whole country, but above all for Falcone and Borsellino, who in the preparatory phases of the trial had to spend several weeks in Asinara, the small penal island north of Sardinia where the families of the magistrates were also requested to live, for security reasons.

With 342 convictions, Borsellino and Falcone crippled the mafia phenomenon and gave the entire town a great awakening. However, this cost both of them their lives.

After his death

The shock over Borsellino’s death was very strong across the country: ten thousand people attended his funeral.

In the funeral prayer for Borsellino, Antonino Caponnetto, a judge, said: “Dear Paolo, the struggle you have supported must become and will become the struggle for each and every one of us”.

Let’s treasure these words, let’s use Borsellino’s life as an example and always say: “No to the mafia!”

How to pay homage to Borsellino

If you are in Palermo and would like to pay homage to Paolo Borsellino, you can go to Via D’amelio, where you will find a large tree with many photographs and messages from the citizens of Palermo at the point where the TNT was placed.

For any question, doubt or concerns do not hesitate to leave a comment in the box below and I will reply as soon as possible.

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About Don Tano

I’m full-blooded Sicilian born from the noise of the Vucciria market and the gentle sound of the waves of Mondello. I grew up eating “pane e panelle” and “pasta con le sarde”. But most of all, I grew up with an awareness: Palermo is a beautiful city to live intensely and to love without question!