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Mayor of Corleone says town no longer home for Mafia

Declares freedom from Mob on 20th anniversary of Riina arrest

14 January, 15:42
Mayor of Corleone says town no longer home for Mafia

(ANSA) - Corleone, January 14 - The Sicilian town of Corleone no longer belongs to the Mafia men and women of its past, but instead to the heroes of law and order, the mayor announced Monday.

Marking the 20th anniversary of the arrest of Corleone chieftain and Cosa Nostra head Toto' 'the Beast' Riina, Leoluchina Savona said authorities sought forgiveness all of the victims of the mafia.

"I apologize on behalf of all of Corleone, I ask forgiveness for the blood that was paid," she said during a ceremony that also saw a street named for a Mafia victim.

"The blood, however, has not been shed in vain... (but) as a reminder that there is one way, only one field to choose from".

She named a long list of Mafia victims - including anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino killed in separate bomb blasts in 1992 - who he said did not die in vain.

The mayor also urged an end to mob violence.

"To the Mafia...I ask you to leave this land, and to abandon the struggle," said Savona.

"I ask them to admit defeat, to surrender in awareness that this earth, at last, one day it will liberated". Riina is currently serving multiple life-sentences after leading the Corleonesi faction to the top of the Sicilian mafia, waging a ruthless campaign of violence against rival mobsters and the Italian State in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Corleone was made famous the world over by Mafia films such as Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather series, starring Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.

A farming community about 60 km from Palermo, it was the birthplace of a string of top Mafiosi including Riina and his successor as 'capo dei capi', Bernardo 'The Bulldozer' Provenzano, arrested in 2006 after 43 years on the run.