Mafia and eavesdropping in Italy

It is a rainy winter, like so many previous ones in Palermo and throughout Sicily that, as in the rest of Italy, the arrest of one of the main mafia bosses, Matteo Messina Denaro, was observed with a certain indifference.

In the streets, no one came out to applaud or demand justice as the popular expressions that called for political and social commitment to put an end to the mafia had done so many times. Meanwhile, Giorgia Meloni’s government seems not to have read reality correctly and is promoting legislation to put a limit on the wiretaps of Justice, the same ones that allowed Messina Denaro to be arrested.

To further complicate the situation, the leaders of the Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia), the ultra-right party in government, flaunted their impunity and used wiretaps on a detained anarchist for political use. Yesterday the scandal broke out over this issue in which the opposition is demanding the resignation of two ministers in an Italy that is suffering from increases in fuel prices while salaries are not enough and there is no expectation of an increase.

“I don’t think they caught him. I think that everyone knew who he was and where he was (Denaro Messina)”, said Rosario, a taxi driver from Palermo who has long disbelieved in politics and now, also in the Police.

On January 16, Matteo Messina Denaro, one of the most important mafia bosses in Italy and throughout Europe, was arrested. The arrest occurred in a hospital in Palermo when the “Boss”, who with a false identity was undergoing treatment for a serious illness that affects him. The investigations were transferred to Campobello de Mazara, in the province of Trapani where the mafia boss led an almost normal life. He did his shopping at the supermarket, rented cars, went to the hairdresser, and paid for sex. Even yesterday it was learned that he traveled with his lover who appeared before the police to declare that he did not know that he was Messina Denaro.

At the moment there are more questions than certainties about one of the most important arrests in Italy in recent times. Some remember a chapter of the Montalbano series, when a mafia boss harassed by a deadly disease, prefers to turn himself in.

From Rome, the Meloni government that initially sought to capitalize on the fall of Messina Denaro, debates its own mistakes. One is that, at the precise moment that the Police arrest the main mafia boss in the country, his government proposes to cut the possibility of wiretapping to the Justice to carry out investigations.

On January 19, Justice Minister Carlo Nordio proposed that judges not have wiretapping tools. Known for investigating the Red Brigades and at Tangentopoli, Nordio proposed a Copernican change in the face of what he called an “abuse” of wiretapping, particularly for government people. Faced with this, the opposition criticized the government.

Meloni’s men, however, showed their double standard and took advantage of these wiretaps to dirty the imprisoned anarchist leader and on hunger strike, Alfredo Cospito.

The opposition demanded the resignations of the deputy Giovanni Donzelli and the Undersecretary of Justice, Andrea Delmastro, both from Hermanos de Italia, after the former assured in Parliament that Cospito had held talks with mafia bosses.

At the moment, the Meloni government is running in a disorderly and unintelligent way trying to protect itself and creating enemies, while the rainy and cold winter turns over Italy in which fuel prices rise but wages do not.

Mafia and eavesdropping in Italy