The trial “Maqueda” in Palermo: the Supreme Court confirms an unprecedented sentence


25 June 2022

The trial started after the report of 11 shopkeepers from Banglasesh, supported by Addiopizzo.

The Court confirmed the sentence for the criminals who imposed extortion, robbery, violence and threats against 11 foreign merchants, Even if these convicted subjects were not part of the local mafia mob, they committed the crimes in with “mafia methods”. A series of crimes and violence that had set fire to the street of Via Maqueda and the district of Ballarò.

Some of their stories are incredible: they left Bangladesh more than fifteen ago, after a long journey through the sea, and landed on the Sicilian coast. They opened businesses and started to produced income and employment. They got married and gave bith to children who perfectly integrated into the Sicilian society.

Seven years ago, some of them contacted us because they had been harassed for years by a criminal group: an incessant series of requests for money, threats, robberies, thefts and assaults. They were forced to work closed off inside their businesses since the early afternoon, like a curfew.

They met us, shared their suffering, and we set up a relationship of trust. We went with them to the police for the report, a process of self-liberation started.
Criminal organizations do not discriminate: they base their strength on the control of the territory and exploit everyone in the same way, regardless of the color the skin or passports.

During the trial, several moments of tension occurred. The victims witnessed all the facts, expressing their suffering and moments of fear with great dignity.
In Palermo, a group of shopkeepres who came from afar took a stand against an all-Italian problem, giving a lesson to their Italian colleagues.
For this reason, we think that the choice of reporting of these brave men is an example towards those who still bow to extortion and mafia.



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