Tens of thousands march in Naples against mafia

Relatives of victims, some wearing white gloves and holding  pictures of their loved ones, led the demonstration as the names  of some 900 people killed by the mafia were read out through  loudspeakers.

One banner said: “You didn’t kill them. They are walking  with us.” Another read: “Don’t turn the other way.”

Writer Roberto Saviano, a symbol of the fight against the  mafia since his best-selling book Gomorra exposed how the mob  dominates life around Naples, was also at the rally. The 29-year  old has received death threats and lives under police escort.  Organisers said some 150,000 people from across Italy and 30  other countries attended the demonstration. Police put the  number at more than 100,000.

“Today is a day of celebration because we remember our dead  with all these young people gathered here. They are the future  of Italy,” said Vincenzo D’Agostino, the father of a policeman  who was killed by the mafia with his wife and son.

Some families said they were still waiting for the killers  of their relatives to be identified.

“We are still battling to know what happened. We are asking  the state for the truth,” said Anna Adavastro, whose 18-year-old  son Daniele vanished in Reggio Calabria in 2005. His body was  later found, charred.

The march was organised by Libera (Free), an association of  civil society groups involved in many anti-mafia activities,  including acquiring farms and buildings confiscated from the  mafia and using them for social good, such as school and drug  rehabilitation centres.

Tight grip on economy

“A day like today is meaningful only if we keep fighting the  other 364 days of the year,” said Father Luigi Ciotti, a priest  and Libera’s president.   Italian police have inflicted major blows on the Sicilian  mafia in recent years, arresting several high-profile mafiosi,  such as the “boss of bosses” Bernardo Provenzano and his heir  apparent Salvatore Lo Piccolo in 2007

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