Italy president hugs those like him who lost family to Mafia


ROME (AP) — Italy’s president, whose brother was murdered by Cosa Nostra, has traveled to an organized crime stronghold in southern Italy to honor hundreds of Italians slain by the country’s mobsters over the past decades.

President Sergio Mattarella praised the judges, prosecutors, police officers, union leaders, businessmen and politicians who courageously combatted or denounced organized crime.

During the ceremony Sunday in Locri, a Calabrian town that is a longtime base of the ‘ndrangheta crime syndicate, the names of innocent victims, some accidentally hit by crossfire of feuding crime clans, were read aloud. Among the names was that of the president’s brother, Piersanti Mattarella, the Sicilian governor assassinated in Palermo in 1980.

Mattarella lamented that the “Mafia is still strong” and controls or tries to infiltrate much of Italy’s economy.

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