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Italy sees tens of thousands take part in anti-Mafia demonstrations

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Italy commemorated the victims of organized crime on Thursday with a series of anti-Mafia events being held in different cities across the country.

One of the largest demonstrations took place in the capital Rome, where people marched through the city centre with banners and placards and gathered in front of the Colosseum.

The protest was initiated by Luigi Ciotto – also known as Don Ciotto – a priest and well-known opponent of the Mafia in Italy.

The demonstration was attended by relatives of people killed by the Mafia as well as schoolchildren and students. The names of the 1,081 innocent victims were read out.

The mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri, was joined by the social democratic opposition leader Elly Schlein and former head of government Giuseppe Conte from the Five Star Movement. “We must remind everyone that the mafia exists and that we, the institutions and civil society, must be united,” said Gualtieri.

Many people also took to the streets in other Italian cities to mark the day of remembrance, which takes place every year on March 21. Events were held in Palermo in Sicily, and Naples, where the notorious Mafia organizations Cosa Nostra and Camorra are active.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni promised that the fight against the Mafia will continue and intensify. “The memory of those who have paid such a high price and the example of those who have sacrificed their lives in defence of the law must be the beacon that guides all our actions and deeds,” she wrote on the X platform, formerly Twitter.

People take part in a rally honouring the people killed in Italy by the Mafia. Valentina Stefanelli/Zuma Press/dpa

People take part in a rally honouring the people killed in Italy by the Mafia. Valentina Stefanelli/Zuma Press/dpa

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