UK

Corleone Mayor Apologises For Legacy Of Cosa Nostra Mafia Murders

16/01/2013 15:42 GMT | Updated 17/01/2013 09:46 GMT

The mayor of a Sicilian town famous for its connections to the mafia has asked for forgiveness for the bloodshed committed by its godfathers.

Marking the 20th anniversary of the arrest of Cosa Nostra boss Salvatore Toto Riina, Leoluchina Savona declared the town of Corleone must no longer be tainted by the legacy of the Sicilian mafia.

She told the Gazzetta del Sud newspaper: "I apologise on behalf of all Corleone, I ask forgiveness for the blood that was paid.

still of marlon brando from the godfather

Corleone was immortalised in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and in subsequent films

"To the mafia, I ask you to leave this land, and to abandon the struggle.

"I ask them to admit defeat, to surrender in awareness that this earth, at last, one day, shall be liberated."

Riina was born and raised in Corleone and his capture was considered symbolic of Italy's continuing struggle against the mafia.

Known as "the Beast" due to his sadistic cruelty, he is serving multiple life sentences after his eventual capture in 1993, following 23 years on the run.

corleone

Corleone is located some 60km from the Sicilian capital of Palermo

He is believed to have personally killed around forty people and ordered the deaths of hundreds more. Corleone was immortalised in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and in subsequent films starring Al Pacino, Marlon Brando and Robert Di Niro.

Perhaps the most acclaimed and notable set of films of the 20th century, The Godfather films told the story of the complicated machinations and drama of the Corleone crime family, jumping from Vito's emigration from Italy to the mad, backstabbing scramble by his sons to be his successor.

According to The Telegraph, Savona paid tribute to politicians, police and civilians killed by the mafia, including prominent prosecutors Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone, who were blown up in bomb attacks in 1992.

She added: "In the 20 years since the arrest of Toto Riina, their blood reminds us all that there can only be one path to choose in this war (that of legality)."

Although the mafia still has some presence in Corleone, it is no longer the force it once was, the BBC reports.

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