The obscenity of corruption

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Earlier this month, Mediapart organised a public debate on the issue of corruption and how to fight this scourge of democracy. The honorary guest and speaker at this rich evening of discussion was Roberto Scarpinato, a senior Italian magistrate and veteran anti-Mafia investigator who since February 2013 has served as public prosecutor in Palermo, Sicily. Scarpinato has regularly denounced, and prosecuted, the hidden corruption and collusion with the Mafia among the Italian establishment. Here, Mediapart editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel analyses the political sense this tireless and courageous figure gives to his mission, and which offers inspiration to all those who seek to eradicate both the corrupt practices that have gangrened society, and the oligarchs that feed off them.

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“The problems of corruption and Mafia-like crime appear to have been erased from the agenda of political parties,” wrote Italian public prosecutor Roberto Scarpinato in the opening of his 2008 book Il Ritorno del Principe (The Return of the Prince). “Corruption has disappeared under a concrete floor, even though its irrepressible proliferation has a global cost that is evermore insupportable for the country.”