The businessman who defied the Mafia

Witness History

By BBC World Service

The businessman who defied the Mafia

Thursday, 2 September

Palermo businessman Libero Grassi published an open letter in Sicily’s main newspaper denouncing the Mafia for constantly demanding extortion payments. Grassi was hailed as a hero, but his public refusal to pay was intolerable to the Mafia and a few months later, in the summer of 1991, he was executed in person by one of Cosa Nostra’s top bosses. Libero Grassi’s defiance is credited with inspiring a new grass-roots movement among businesses in Sicily that stands up to the Mafia. Simon Watts spoke to his daughter, Alice Grassi. This programme is a rebroadcast
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