The last mafia boss is dead

The last mafia boss is dead

While the Sicilian Mafia is still breathing, the most famous Cosa Nostra leader of recent times is barely breathing his last.


Matteo Messina Denaro (61 years old), suffering from cancer, slept in the prison hospital in L’Aquila. This is what Agence France-Presse wrote on Monday night.

The notorious killer met his death in a far more peaceful manner than he let on for his victims.

Among other things, Denaro was behind the assassinations of judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992, as well as bombings in Milan, Florence and Rome the following year.

He was also convicted of the brutal murder of 12-year-old Giuseppe Di Matteo, who was kidnapped and tortured because his father cooperated with the police. After 800 days in captivity, the little boy’s body was dissolved in an acid bath, so the family had no grave to go to.

Matteo Pessina Denaro is referred to in many contexts, preferably outside Italy, as “the last godfather of the Mafia”. Maybe it wasn’t.

But the arrest of the country’s most wanted man was just as important – and a victory for anti-mafia work.

It is by far the biggest fish caught by Sicilian police since they arrested the last known “Godfather”, Toto Riina in 1993.

After the Cosa Nostra leader was arrested at a doctor’s office in January this year, he underwent cancer surgery twice. In early September, the life-prolonging treatment was terminated, at Denaro’s request.

On Friday evening, he fell into a coma, and the tube that was feeding him was cut off.

All weekend, his daughter Lorenza, who recently took his surname, kept vigil by his hospital bed.

The prosecution has been trying for eight months to persuade Matteo Messina Denaro – or “Diabolik” as he is called after an Italian cartoon character – to tell what he knows about the Sicilian mafia.

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Denaro told Palermo prosecutor Maurizio De Lucia early on that he “would like to talk, but cooperation is unlikely.”

In accordance with the Cosa Nostra non-disclosure law, OmertaDiabolik denied any knowledge of the criminal group he helped lead for many years. He refused, in the classical tradition, to be a “man of honour,” as Mafia members unironically called themselves, and even raised the rhetorical question about the actual existence of the Mafia.

This is despite the fact that the Italian police possess a body of evidence; They have photos, wiretap recordings, and knowledge of actions in which Denaro participated.

Moreover, he did a lot My daughter – Dissidents – since the 1980s have provided police and prosecutors with detailed information about Cosa Nostra’s activities and internal life.

But even if Diabolik denies being behind the bomb massacres that police know for sure he orchestrated, or knowing about the dozens of murders he carried out on his own, the various seizures at Denarau’s hideouts have paid off.

Among other things, the Mafia hunters found sets of keys that they assumed were for hideouts and safes that they had not yet found.

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The arrest of Diabolik, the last leader of Cosa Nostra, is a major achievement for the Italian police.

But the two most important elements the prosecution had hoped to find are conspicuous by their absence:

First: Toto Reina archive.

It was almost certainly Matteo Messina Denaro who emptied Toto Reina’s apartment in Palermo da Cosa Nostras Capo di tutti capi – The boss of all bosses – was arrested on January 15, 1993. Strangely, the house was not searched until a day later. Everything was then freshly painted and all documents removed.

secondly Borsellino’s Red Notes.

The private investigator’s notebook disappeared when he was taken out of his mother’s home in the Sicilian capital. The diaries are said to contain sensitive investigative material, and are also alleged to contain the names of informants and double agents. Police always believed she must have been in possession of Denaro.

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Few know how high Denarro rose in the Cosa Nostra hierarchy. The only thing that seems certain is that he was not the “Godfather” (a word the Mafia does not use) as long as Toto Riina (1930-2017) was alive. And he himself referred to himself Capo di capi While Reyna was breathing, that might indicate that he wasn’t like that anymore.

According to an intercepted conversation with Puglia’s president Alberto Lorusso, Toto Reina made it brilliantly clear that this power did not belong to the “fugitive”, as he disparagingly called Denaro.

The change of power in Cosa Nostra occurs by succession, not abdication.

In December 2018, Settimo Mineo, the 80-year-old president of Palermo, was arrested before his appointment as commander-in-chief of Cosa Nostra. This in itself was a sign that Denarau was not as highly regarded as he himself had given the impression.

Nawab Minu Calogero lo piccolo And Leandro Greco He was arrested a little over a month later, and has since been so-called dome – The Commission, the highest decision-making body of Cosa Nostra, no longer meets.

according to Maurizio De Luca, Was it the rules of Cosa Nostra that dictated that Denaro could not be paramount – simply because the larger, more powerful and wealthier families of Palermo “would never have agreed to be led by a non-Palermitan”.

And so Matteo Messina Denaro came from a crazy city and a crazy family.

Denaro was from Castelvetrano, and although the city is so steeped in Cosa Nostra that it has recently been placed under the administration of Rome, it is still in the province of Palermo where the Sicilian Mafia has its power base.

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The province of Trapani, ruled by Denarro, did not have the same authority.

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Matteo Pessina Denaro’s official position in Cosa Nostra was not decisive for his reputation in any case. It was the name “Diabolik” and its coveted iconic image for 30 years that kept alive the idea of ​​a mafia boss smarter than the state.

The myth of the “Uncatchable Godfather” was enriched by Matteo Pessina Denaro’s brilliant cat-and-mouse game with the police.

It kept internal morale high and reinforced the external perception of Cosa Nostra’s invincibility that the president was at large.

In fact, the old structure was rotting.

All the old Cosa Nostra tops are now either dead or in prison.

The famous crown princes are housed in high-security cells, and their families are subject to constant surveillance. The committee was unable to meet for five years.

The Palermo prosecutor’s office now believes one of two things will happen:

Either the Sicilian Mafia is lying with such a broken back that it will never be able to rise again.

Or the energy vacuum is used to restart, Cosa nostra 2.0. – A more flexible federal union of regional groupings without an authoritarian supreme government.

It would give the Mafia weaker coordination and less influence, but it could lead to the return of the gang wars that Toto Riina succeeded in eliminating by annihilating rival gangs.

The death of Matteo Pessina Denaro marks a turning point in the brutal history of the evil grandmother of all crime syndicates.


Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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