Thousands march in Rome against the mafia, demanding justice for victims

Demonstrators walk past the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, Thursday, March 21,
Demonstrators walk past the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, Thursday, March 21, Copyright Gregorio Borgia/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Gregorio Borgia/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

Hundreds of victim's families took part in the demonstration which is marked annually on the first day of spring, 21 March.


Tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Rome on Thursday to remember the hundreds of people killed by the mafia in Italy and to demand justice.

The “Day of Remembrance and Commitment for Innocent Victims of Mafia" was organised by the non-profit organisation Libera.

To date, 1081 people have been killed by the mafia since 1861. Victims include ordinary citizens, judges, journalists, police officers, priests, business people, trade unionists, politicians and public administrators.

“Corruption is the sharpest and most silent weapon the mafia has today. Memory is the key to keeping the presence of people alive," said Mario Esposito Ferraioli, the brother of a mafia victim.

Groups of students from all over Italy arrived with their teachers to join the demonstration, carrying signs bearing anti-mafia slogans.

The mayor of Rome was joined by other politicians including the mayor of Bari, Antonio Decaro, who lives under escort and is currently in danger of seeing his municipality dissolved for mafia involvement.

Ten city councils in Italy have been dissolved over the last year in similar circumstances.

The "Roma città libera" procession left Piazza Esquilino at 9.00 am local time before arriving at the Circus Maximus, where the names of all the 1081 innocent victims of the mafia were read out.

The founder and president of Libera, Father Luigi Ciotti, gave the closing speech at this 29th edition of the annual commemoration. The event is a national day but not a public holiday - and has been recognised by the Italian state since 2017.

Italy's mafia

Italy has many mafia groups, the most prominent over the decades has been Sicily’s Cosa Nostra, but the more powerful groups now are the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta and the Camorra', a group based in the region around Naples.

These groups are heavily invested in drug trafficking, disposal of waste, construction and many others.

In 2023, they generated an estimated profit of €40 billion, equivalent to 2 per cent of the Italian GDP, according to a study by CGIA (Italian Association of Artisans).

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Inside the historic Rome atelier responsible for 17 Oscar wins for costume design

Verdicts expected in Italian maxi-trial involving 'Ndrangheta mafia members

Italian anti-mafia writer Roberto Saviano fined €1000 for calling PM Giorgia Meloni a 'bastard'