In an atmosphere of deep pain and anger, the memorial service for the one year since the murder of Konstantinos Katsifas by the Albanian police Special Forces was held in the village of Vouliarates in Northern Epirus at the southern part of Albania.
The mother of the 35-year-old member of the Greek minority of Albania denounced the Albanian authorities for the blockades that had been set up at the border and around other Greek villages stopping many from coming to the memorial service.
Overwhelmed by the loss of her child, Vasilia Katsifas shouted: “My Konstantine, my brave boy! We are indigenous Greeks, Christians … They will not uproot us!”
Besides the many obstacles of the Albanian government many of Katsifas’ friends managed to reach Vouliarates for the memorial service. But quite many were forced to return to Greece as “suspects of causing tensions”…
But the presence of the police in the surrounding villages was also very noticeable with the police officers being quite provocative. The Greeks members of the indigenous ethnic minority were stopped at police road blocks when they attempted to reach Vouliarates, leaving them filling like prisoners in their own land.
The family opened their home to the world, who arrived in the village to honor Konstantinos’ memory.