Matteo Messina Denaro – Italy’s Most Wanted Mafia Arrested After 30 Years

Matteo Messina Denaro- arrested italy's most wanted mafia

Italy Desk, Delhi Magazine: The arrest of Matteo Messina Denaro , the latest news today live: the videos and photos of the capture. The mafia boss who has been on the run for 30 years was arrested without resistance in the “La Maddalena” clinic in Palermo, where he was being treated under the false name of Andrea Bonafede because he was suffering from cancer .

The boss was in line for a swab before undergoing a cycle of chemotherapy: Messina Denaro had already been operated on for colon cancer a year ago and was being treated for liver metastases, as well as suffering from Crohn’s disease. To the carabinieri he said clearly : “I am Matteo Messina Denaro”. “A great victory for the state”, commented Giorgia Meloni. At 5 pm the press conference of the “Sicilia” Carabinieri Legion Command in Palermo, live on

The arrest operation was conducted by the Carabinieri dei Ros, by prosecutors Maurizio De Lucia and Paolo Di Guido. The fugitive, considered among the most dangerous in the world, will be taken to a maximum security prison. His driver Giovanni Luppino was also arrested .

Who is Matteo Messina Denaro

Matteo Messina Denaro, 60 years old and a fugitive since 1993, is sentenced to life imprisonment for dozens of murders, including that of little Giuseppe Di Matteo, dissolved in acid, and for the massacres of ’92, costing the lives of judges Falcone and Borsellino, as well as for the 1993 attacks in Milan, Florence and Rome.

Matteo Messina Denaro

Matteo Messina Denaro, the most prominent Italian mafia fugitive, considered the head of Cosa Nostra.

Messina Denaro was born in Castelvetrano (Trapani), in the Belice valley, in 1962. He attended school there until he withdrew from the Ferrigno commercial technical institute in Castelvetrano. As reported in the book The Invisible , written by Giacomo Di Girolamo, in a letter recovered by the police in 2015 Messina Denaro wrote: «I have some regrets in my life, not having studied is one of them. It was one of the biggest mistakes of my life, my greatest anger is that I was a good student only that I got distracted with something else».

What distracted Messina Denaro was following in the footsteps of his father, Francesco, don Ciccio, mafia boss of Castelvetrano linked by a close alliance to the Corleonesi of Totò Riina, the winning clan of the eighties and nineties. At the age of twenty Messina Denaro actively participated, together with the Corleonesi, in the war against the rebel families of Marsala and Belice. He became Totò Riina’s pupil. He was already a mafioso but he took unemployment benefits from INPS, and bragged about it. He drove around in a Porsche, wore Armani, wore a Rolex Daytona on his wrist.

It was Paolo Borsellino, in 1989, who entered his name in an investigation file for the first time. A police commissioner from Castelvetrano, Rino Germanà, began to investigate that boy: that boy decided to kill him. Messina Denaro, Leoluca Bagarella and Giuseppe Graviano, aboard a Fiat Tipo, intercepted Germanà on the seafront of Mazara del Vallo. They started shooting, the inspector returned fire, got out of the car and jumped into the sea pursued by Bagarella whose Kalashnikov jammed.

Years later Giovanni Brusca, as Di Girolamo’s book always recalls, said during the hearing of a trial: «Bagarella doesn’t know how to use modern weapons». Germana was saved.

After the attack, Messina Denaro became a fugitive: his name was officially entered on the wanted list on June 2, 1993. At that point he had already become the head of Cosa Nostra in the province of Trapani, the undisputed leader of the new recruits. The money came from extortion: for most of the contracts, agreements, transactions in the Trapani area, a percentage had to be paid to the Messina Denaros.

Much other money came from illegal waste disposal, money laundering and of course drug trafficking. The money passed through the accounts of hundreds of front men. Messina Denaro did, and presumably has done so far, business in South America, Spain, France, the Netherlands, North Africa. Very loyal to Totò Riina, Messina Denaro exercised military control over the Trapani area. He was the one who decided the targets to hit, he was the one who commanded the armies in the mafia wars.

A lot of money also came from contracts: his family practically had a monopoly on construction in the province. The entire production cycle that led to the building of illegal houses everywhere, along the coast of Castelvetrano and Mazara del Vallo, belonged to the family.

Among other things, mafia summits were held in one of the concrete manufacturing companies in Mazara del Vallo. It is there that the attack on Maurizio Costanzo was decided and the massacre strategy that Messina Denaro fully shared was developed. It was he who signaled to Riina the monuments in Rome, Milan and Florence to be hit in order to attack the state between 1992 and 1993.

Francesco Geraci, a mafia repentant, said: «One day Matteo came to see me asking me what I thought of a project to carry out attacks against famous people such as Baudo, Costanzo, Martelli, Santoro and other important personalities. He said that this would destabilize the state. I replied “Good it is”. So he told me that we would soon move to Rome to hang out with VIPs».

Before leaving, Messina Denaro took Geraci, Vincenzo Sinacori, Giuseppe Graviano and Fifetto Cannella to buy elegant clothes. In Rome they frequented trendy clubs hoping to meet celebrities and actors. They began to study Maurizio Costanzo’s movements, they went at least twice to the Parioli theater where Costanzo recorded his transmission. The attack was carried out in via Fauro, in Rome, on May 14, 1993: Costanzo and his wife Maria De Filippi escaped unharmed.

Messina Denaro decided that after Vincenzo Milazzo, the mafia boss of Alcamo who was very critical of the Corleonesi, his fiancée Antonella Bonomo, three months pregnant, strangled on July 15, 1992, should also die. It was also he who authorized the kidnapping and murder of Giuseppe Di Matteo, the thirteen-year-old son of a repentant mafioso, kidnapped in San Giuseppe Jato, in the province of Palermo, on November 23, 1993, strangled and then dissolved in acid by Giovanni Brusca on January 11, 1996, after 25 months in prison.

But Messina Denaro has always tried to appear different from the classic figure of the mafioso.

After the arrest of Totò Riina on January 15, 1993, Messina Denaro became the undisputed leader of the Cosa Nostra. There were no other possibilities, he being his “dolphin”.

There are many things that distinguish Messina Denaro from mafiosi like Totò Riina and Bernardo Provenzano. One is that Messina Denaro is not married, he doesn’t have a traditional family around him. To Sonia, his fiancée, he wrote in his first period on the run: «I don’t even want to think of involving you in this labyrinth from which I don’t know how I’ll get out for the simple fact that I don’t know how and when I entered it. Don’t think about me anymore, it’s not worth it.”

Another girlfriend, Maria Mesi, got into trouble, arrested for aiding and abetting.

Delhi Magazine Team

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