CATANIA – Today, Saturday 18 March, on the occasion of 41st anniversary of the assassination of the Marshal Major “Adjutant” Alfredo AgostaGold Medal for Valor of the Carabinieri in memory, was placed a laurel wreath on the commemorative plaque placed in via Florencewhere the soldier lost his life at the hands of his assassins.
There ceremony was attended by Marshal Agosta’s family members, civil, military and religious personalities of the province of Catania, as well as by the commander of the “Sicilia” Carabinieri Legion, General of Division Rosary Castlethe provincial commander of Catania, Colonel Rino Coppola and a representation of the National Carabinieri Association and the pupils of the “Mario Cutelli and Carmelo Salanitro” State High School. During the ceremony, the motivation for the Gold Medal was read and the Military Chaplain blessed both the plaque and the laurel wreath. Many citizens and passers-by, hearing the “sound of silence” played by a military bugler of the Fanfare of the 12th Carabinieri Regiment “Sicily” to honor the fallen in service, stopped to pay homage to the victim.
Subsequently, at the Palace of Justice in front of the Prefect of Catania and the highest judicial authorities of the province, the ceremony of naming of premises which host the Judicial Police Section – Carabinieri Rate in memory of the fallen Marshal, on the initiative of the Presidency of the Court of Appeal of Catania and the National Anti-Mafia Association “Alfredo Agosta”. During the ceremony, she was a commemorative plaque unveiled together with a painting with the face of Marshal Agosta and the engraving of the motivation of the Medal of Valor.
During the event the president of the Court of Appeal, Dr Philip PennisiMajor General Rosary Castle and the Prefect of Catania they recalled the courageous gesture of Marshal Agosta and underlined the importance of the work of the carabinieri of the Catania judicial police section, in close collaboration with the judiciary. The initiative had a high symbolic value as it honored a fallen soldier who served precisely in those offices. The event took place between the celebration of the “Day of National Unity, the Constitution, the anthem and the flag” and the upcoming March 21 of the “Day of Remembrance and Commitment in remembrance of the Innocent Victims of the Mafia” . During the interventions, the son of Marshal Agostadoctor Joseph Augustathanked those present and recalled the good times spent with his father as a child during the investigation activities.
Subsequently, a conference was held at the “Mario Cutelli and Carmelo Salanitro” state high school on the theme “The Mafia yesterday and today: techniques for investigating and monitoring the phenomenon”. The event was attended by Dr. Giuseppe Agosta, Dr. Paolo Borrometi, co-director of AGI (Italian Journalistic Agency), Dr. Francesco Puleio, Deputy Prosecutor of the Republic of Catania, and Division General Rosario Castello. The conference was moderated by the lawyer Cosimo Dellisanti.
During his speech at the conference, General Castello analyzed theevolution of organized crime in Sicily, with particular reference to Cosa Nostra etnea. He underlined how the mafia has adopted a strategy more focused on infiltrating the legal productive fabric, rather than on violence and murder. The General also discussed the new strategies to combat mafia associations, which provide for the confiscation of illicit assets and the prevention of pollution of the legal economy, especially in view of the funding connected to the PNRR.
The General cited the example of the Provincial Command of the Carabinieri of Catania, which in 2022 executed three separate decrees for the seizure of assets for the purposes of confiscation, for a total value of approximately €4,700,000, originating from illicitly acquired capital and attributable to top exponents of local clans. Finally, General Castello spoke of the project of the “Culture of Legality in young people”, promoted by the Carabinieri at a national level, which aims to develop a civic awareness in young people and to fight organized crime from the grassroots.
During the conference, the Quaestor of Catania, the provincial commander of the Catania carabinieri and the AGI co-director were awarded for their commitment in the fight against crime and malfeasance. Furthermore, the Catania restaurant entrepreneurs Angelo, Francesca and Lucio were awarded, who contributed to the arrest of their extortionists thanks to their courage and civic sense.
The reconstruction of the crime
Forty-one years ago, on the evening of March 18, 1982, Marshal Agosta he was in a bar in Catania along with a local criminal from whom he usually acquired confidential information. Suddenly, a man armed with a sawed-off shotgun burst into the room with the intention of killing the Marshal’s interlocutor. The non-commissioned officer bravely tried to react, but was fatally shot by the assassin who also fired at him to cancel his counter action. The intended victim was then killed by a second offender. The killers fled without a trace. Marshal Agosta received the Gold Medal of Valor of the Carabinieri in Memory, in recognition of his very high sense of duty.