Aldo Civico comments on his relationship with Mayor Leoluca Orlando of Palermo and Mayor Orlando’s political leadership. He came from Northern Italy at a young age to become a senior adviser for Mayor Orlando and a press officer for the Municipality of Palermo. Civico worked often with German-language media, amongst whom Mayor Orlando was particularly well liked. He recalls Mayor Orlando’s outspoken anti-Mafia stance as surprising and unusual for a Palermitan politician of the 1980s. Civico also explains the nature of Mayor Orlando’s exit from the Christian Democratic Party and leadership of La Rete. He recounts the legacy of Mafia power and anti-Mafia governance that preceded Mayor Orlando’s 1993-2000 term. He describes Mayor Orlando’s diverse political and international network through which Mayor Orlando drew and offered support for his and others’ reforms. Mayor Orlando had a particularly close relationship with the governmental leaderships of Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia. Civico discusses Mayor Orlando’s anti-mafia efforts and the challenges they faced. He concludes by describing Mayor Orlando’s allegiance to his political principles rather than to a party, lobby, or other interest as his defining and most effective trait as a leader.
Case Studies: Palermo Renaissance Part 1: Rebuilding Civic Identity and Reclaiming a City from the Mafia in Italy, 1993-2000; Palermo Renaissance Part 2: Reforming City Hall, 1993-2000; and Palermo Renaissance Part 3: Strengthening Municipal Services, 1993-2000
Aldo Civico served as press officer of the Municipality of Palermo and senior adviser to Mayor Leoluca Orlando from September 1991 to September 1995. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in the department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Rutgers-Newark and the co-founder and director of the International Institute for Peace. Previously, Civico worked as a free-lance journalist, reporting on social issues related to organized crime in southern Italy, and then as Director of the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University. For the last ten years, his work has focused on conflict resolution, particularly in Colombia, through ethnographic research and facilitating peace processes. Civico holds a doctorate in Anthropology from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Bologna, Italy.