Bangladeshi shopkeepers suffered years of threats and extortion in Palermo. Then they stood up to the gangsters — and won.

The Distinguished Reporting Award 2020 Nominee

By Ismail Einashe

One afternoon in April 2016, Yusupha Susso was walking with two friends in the cobbled backstreets of Palermo when a local criminal with ties to Sicily’s mafia insulted them. “This is my street,” said Emanuele Rubino, who then told the young migrants to get out of his way.

Susso, a 21-year-old from the Gambia, was worried but carried on walking. After all, he thought, he had two friends with him. What could Rubino do?