At around 2 am on September 5, Angelo Vassallo, mayor of Pollica (near Salerno, in Campania, Italy), was shot in his car. The mayor of this small town located in the area of Cilento was involved in Slow Food projects and was vice-president of Cittaslow – the network of towns committed to improve the quality of inhabitants’ and visitors’ life – who tried to use the experience developed through Slow Food in the wine and food sector to guide his town.
“This tragedy deeply affects all of us. Angelo Vassallo’s support to Slow Food philosophy and his role in the Cittaslow network was a strong stance, the clear choice of an alternative to cementification and building speculation,” said president of Slow Food International, Carlo Petrini. “With his work as mayor he was a great example for Ciliento in the safeguard of the territory and the enhancement of local agriculture. Maybe his continuous activity is one of the causes of this ambush, as assumed also by Alfredo Greco, the deputy public prosecutor of Vallo della Lucania, when he declares that who was killed was a hope for Cilento and a symbol of lawfulness.”
“I remember Angelo as a person who knew the territory, his background as a fisherman, his passion in promoting food education projects in schools, organizing farmers’ markets and initiatives to support farmers from his town. His unique sensitivity was that of a man who loved his land and had great respect for people and institutions,” Petrini concluded.
Gian Luca Marconi, president of Cittaslow and mayor of Castelnovo ne’ Monti (province of Reggio Emilia) said: “I am shocked by what occurred to this great friend of mine. Together we shared the enlargement of the Cittaslow network to the whole world. His last international experience was the mission to China as representative of our association. He strongly believed in Slow Food ideals and this is also witnessed by his speech at the Congress of Slow Food Italia in Abano Terme last May, where he gained loud applause and great approval. He was able to talk to people’s hearts. I remember his remarkable work as mayor and both Petrini’s and the deputy public prosecutor’s words already say everything. A great friend is gone, but his life, his choices, his fight against cementification in the name of the environment will stay with us”.
We would like to remember Angelo Vassallo through his speech at the Congress of Slow Food Italia in Abano Terme (14th-16th May 2010).
In Italian: http://www.youtube.com/SlowFoodItalia