‘Ndrangheta, the former mayor of Pizzo after the acquittal: “My life has been turned upside down”


By John

«In the end, Justice worked. This, however, does not erase the upheaval in my life, which today is different.” He writes it on Facebook Gianluca Callipo, former mayor of Pizzo (Vibo Valentia), acquitted last Monday in the first degree trial arising from the ‘Rinascita Scott’ investigation against the most powerful ‘Ndrangheta gangs in the Vibonese area. For Callipo, who was accused of external complicity and aggravated abuse of office, the Catanzaro DDA had requested an 18-year sentence.
«’Don’t do harm, don’t be afraid’. I have always supported him with conviction. Until I really got scared. But Callipo begins in the post, commenting on his acquittal despite everything I’ve kept telling myself this over the last 4 years, during which my life has literally been turned upside down. I tried to believe it with all my strength even when this axiom dangerously faltered in the face of the increasingly oppressive fear that it is not always enough to be right, but sometimes one is forced to fear even what, in theory, is not should never scare us. And I repeated it to myself almost like a mantra, in which however I believed less and less, when, last June, I heard the request for punishment against me: 18 years in prison for crimes I had never even imagined. And the more I repeated it to myself, the more I wondered how it was possible to end up in this nightmare that tore me away from my loved ones, from my work, from the other life that ended forever on December 19, 2019.”
«Feelings – continues the former mayor of Pizzo – which accompanied me until last Monday, when the Court of Vibo acquitted me with the broadest and most incontrovertible formula. Since the sentence, I waited a few days before writing these few lines, overwhelmed by emotions and sensations that only those who have been through it can fully understand. In recent years, in addition to the awareness of not having committed what was accused of me, I have clung to faith in institutions and democracy, very solid beliefs that have always accompanied me in my short but intense political career, crowned by the election as mayor, twice, from my beloved city, Pizzo”.
Callipo adds: «To some it might seem like the usual rhetoric used in these cases, but I really believe it. And in fact, in the end, Justice worked. This, however, does not erase the upheaval in my life, which today is different. A luxury that not everyone can afford, however, if they have no alternatives. But perhaps, more than anything, what has supported me in these years has been the affection and closeness not only of my family but also of hundreds of friends and acquaintances, who have never had any doubts about my innocence. Like my lawyers, Armando Veneto and Vincenzo Trungadi. And it is to them – concludes Gianluca Callipo – that I want to say thank you, breaking the reserve that now dominates my soul. You gave me the strength to carry on in a very difficult moment in my life.”