Headline, April20, 2013


One notorious mafia feast in 1980 ended when all the guests were strangled!

Along the coastline at Mongerbino and Aspra, as you breathe in the smell of hot pines, and look down from the rocks at the clear, turquoise water, and the brightly painted red and blue fishing boats pulled up on the beach, miss not a knowing, that just nearby are the wooden doors of the ''death chamber'' where the Mafia's executioners used to strangle their victims and dissolve their bodies in the vats of acid!!

Brightly painted fishing boats don't have quite the same happy aspects once you know that their owners may have taken bodies out to sea in the dead of the night and dumped them, weighted with chains, into deep crevasses under the water.
In Palermo itself, where for many years, corrugated iron barriers and no-go areas were part of the cityscaper. Mafia violence had driven everybody off the streets after dark.

The City still has a heavy feel. the hot tarmac absorbs the cacophony of traffic, reflecting back darkness and inertia. There are so many landmarks where notorious killings have taken place, they are part of the city, like the dark, brooding ficus trees trailing their roots from the branches. But Palermo is undoubtedly enjoying a renaissance. Parts of the old city have been reclaimed from scandalous neglect.

And one student spoke about Sicily's ''Necrophilia''. He was disgusted that so much more attention was paid to the dead than to the living. These days. Sicily not only honors its dead, but admonishes the culprits.

The Mafia still has its hand in everything in Sicily. It owns properties all over. Mafia made millions from the boom in Agrigento, where magnificent temples now stand against a backdrop of sprawling concrete. Mafia bought vineyards in the sweeping Valle de Belice. But all this  -instead of keeping the tourists away, just so craves them all in. The contrasts, culture, careless destruction, feasts and cruelty, diffidence and warmth are just to alluring for human nature.

Life has returned here. Instead of fleeing the crumbling historic centre for the suburbs, people are using it, and it's back on the discerning tourist's map. Bars are bustling, restaurants are thriving and the markets are as noisy, crowded and vibrant as souks.Or maybe, here, death is part of life.

In the developing world, ''Mafia'' is a word most touted around. You have a Mafia for everything. You have a Mafia for every single thing. Or so I am told, and for sure I observed. That alone should do the Mafia Bosses in Sicily and around the world glaring, even proud. Imitation is a sincere and the highest form of flattery!!
Or is it? 

Respectful dedication to the supremacy of the law!

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voicelesss


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