Matteo Messina Denaro, a mafia fugitive for 30 years, was arrested in Palermo by Carabinieri – ROS department – while he was in the La Maddalena private clinic receiving chemotherapy treatment under the false name of Andrea Bonafede. He had already been operated on in Marsala for colon cancer and was undergoing treatment for a liver metastasis at the Palermo clinic.
Matteo Messina Denaro, Totò Rina, Bernardo Provenzano… Law Enforcement and Magistrates define as big hits their arrests. To me, apart from the symbolic meaning, they seem more like retirements of bloodthirsty criminals fed up with their life of crime.
Any private investigator from my investigative agency Octopus knows that in investigations timing is everything, but the arrest of the superlatitant Matteo Messina Denaro does not seem timely to me. Even any private investigator‘s investigation of marital infidelity requires a minimum of timing. Mutatis mutandis the press conference for Matteo Messina Denaro’s arrest is like me, as a private investigator, going to a client who turned to my first detective agency Octopus in Bergamo and triumphantly informing her that I have finally figured out how her spouse cheated on her in the 1990s.
Agreed, there is no comparison between the investigations that the ROS department of Carabinieri are facing and those of a private investigator who owns a detective agency in Milan. However, neither do the powerful means at the State’s disposal compare with those of a private detective.
What leaves a bitter taste in the mouth about these arrest-retirements is that Matteo Messina Denaro did not even have to leave his homeland to make himself untraceable all these years. This, in addition to casting a pall on the efficiency and professionalism of the police, says a lot about how much our beautiful Trinacria (and equally beautiful neighboring regions) needs to be detoxed from the mafia. And I am not referring to the people left to their own devices by the central state and local governments, but to politicians and all those who, despite having the power, do not seriously fight the mafias.
Often poor people have to live with the mafia in order not to be killed. Yet, over the years, I have witnessed more than one magistrate, super-protected by armed and armored escorts, consider mobsters even those people who do not denounce just out of survival. Even the police acts on the ground and in the social apparatus of certain parts of Italy like a transplanted organ in constant risk of rejection. We need more magistrates like Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino who could understand the complexity of the mafia phenomenon and fight it without collateral damage to the innocent population involved.