'Ndrangheta massacre trial in Reggio, the judges: “Convergence of interests between mafias and politics”


By John

Excellent crimes, but above all a test of criminal strength, of unprecedented arrogance, against the State. The massacres in Calabria, wanted by the “single Mafia”, coincided with the attacks on the Carabinieri which bloodied Reggino between the end of 1993 and the first months of 1994. Massacres for which they were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Court of Assize of Reggio Calabria the Palermo boss Giuseppe Gravianoa long past as head of the Brancaccio district, and the Reggio area Rocco Santo Filippone, considered a leading exponent of the Piromalli gang of Gioia Tauro. The reasons for the sentence were given, also highlighting the aspect of the challenge open to the State, which in that period insisted on tightening the anti-mafia legislation. The Judges write: «There is no doubt that these crimes, as crimes committed against individuals belonging to vital organs of state security, cannot be assimilated to any crime of minimal social alarm, conversely having a profound impact on the conscience of citizens and of any organ of the State, which clearly receives a profound and immediate backlash, clearly aimed at destabilizing the top institutions and therefore clearly characterized by a terrorist-subversive matrix”.

«Another undoubted outcome that this judgment has delivered is constituted by the confirmed connections that over the years have unraveled between criminal organizations and Masonic and political environments, in an evident convergence and mixture of interests which aimed at the common intent of destabilizing the State and replacing the old ruling class which, in the eyes of the aforementioned, had not satisfied their 'desires'”. This is what is written in the 1,400 pages of the «'Ndrangheta massacre» sentence filed by the Assize Court of Appeal of Reggio Calabria which, in March 2023, has life sentences confirmed for Giuseppe Graviano and Rocco Santo Filippone accused of the attack in which they died on 18 January 1994 the carabinieri Antonino Fava and Vincenzo Garofalo. The one accused of the Brancaccio boss and the exponent of the Piromalli gang is an ambush which is part of the so-called “continental massacres” which bloodied Italy at the beginning of the nineties.

Speaking of politics, the sentence also says that “Clearly Cosa Nostra and the 'Ndrangheta were interested in the new Forza Italia party, as stated by numerous collaborators. It emerges that Cosa Nostra had decided to create an autonomist movement, like what was happening in the rest of Southern Italy, but that this project was subsequently abandoned in favor of supporting the nascent Forza Italia party, with some of whose exponents Sicilians had initiated contacts, so much so that the massacres stopped during 1994, with the expectation that the new political entity would have 'helped the criminal organizations that had supported him electorally'. The ruling of the Assize Court of Appeal confirmed the requests of the DDA of Reggio Calabria, led by the prosecutor Giovanni Bombardieri and, in particular, the results of the investigation coordinated by the deputy prosecutor Giuseppe Lombardor that, together with the added Walter Ignazittoalso represented the prosecution in the second degree trial.

«It certainly does not appear to be the result of coincidence – we read in the sentence written by the president Bruno Muscle and by the judge at the side Giuliana Campagna – the coincidence in the choice of the targets to be struck, identified both in Calabria and in Rome in the members of the Carabinieri, men evidently symbols of the defense of the State, who had to be attacked at almost contextual moments in geographical points distant from each other, but with a single purpose, that is to 'bend' the State to the requests for mitigation and/or elimination of hard prison for mafiosi and 'Ndrangheta members and for the revision of the legislation on collaborators of justice, which both represented aspects of particular rigor for the criminals concerned, impediments the realization of one's interests”.

«The Court holds that the copious evidentiary material does not allow a well-founded alternative reconstruction to that made by the prosecution body» the judges write again, according to which there is «no doubt that, on the initiative of Totò RiinaCosa Nostra decided to launch a massacre strategy between 1991 and 1992 in order to launch an attack against the State, which was then to culminate with the carabinieri massacre at the Olympic stadium in Rome at the beginning of 1994″.