Matteo Messina Denaro, the last ‘boss of bosses’ of Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia (southern Italy), died this Monday, September 25, at the age of 61 in the L’Aquila hospital (center) due to the colon cancer he suffered from.
According to EFE, Matteo Messina is considered the last godfather who took mafia secrets to the grave: attacks, criminal organization and alleged negotiations with the State.
In fact, his life was surrounded by luxury, as he had an entire economic empire with tourist resorts, supermarkets, works of art and even wind farms.
(You can read: Cosa Nostra: the story of Matteo Messina’s powerful criminal organization).
After 30 years on the run from Italian justice, Matteo Messina Denaro was captured on January 16, 2023 in a private clinic where he went for medical treatment.
This day, the capture of the gangster was a great achievement, since he was one of the most wanted in the nation. He was even taken to the maximum security prison in L’Aquila (central Italy).
From that day on, Messina decided to never collaborate with Justice, nor appear in the proceedings opened against him.
“I will never regret it,” were the words he told the investigators when he refused to reveal the information and that was it.
The story of the last boss of the Sicilian mafia
You will hear about me (implying that I knew that shortly afterward his name would be associated with serious bloodshed) and you will paint me as a demon, but it is all falsehoods
Messina Denaro was born into a criminal family in Castelvetrano. His father, Francesco Messina Denaro, was the one who taught him how to use weapons at a young age.
Little by little he rose through the ranks in Cosa Nostra and investigators considered that he became the “boss of bosses” of the Sicilian mafia from his hiding place after the arrest of Toto Riina, just 30 years ago, and later of Bernardo Provenzano, who He was on the run from Justice for 38 years.
Messina Denaro had been a fugitive since the summer of 1993, when in a letter written to his then girlfriend, Angela, after the mafia massacres in Rome, Milan and Florence, he announced the beginning of his life as a fugitive from Justice. “You will hear about me (implying that I knew that shortly afterward his name would be associated with serious bloodshed) and you will paint me as a demon, but it is all falsehoods,” he wrote.
The last sentence He is considered the mastermind of the attacks that led to the death of the two anti-mafia magistrates in 1992, Paolo Borsellino and Giovani Falcone, his wife, Francesca Morvillo, and eight escort agents.
In addition, he had accumulated several life sentences for dozens of murders, including that of little Giuseppe Di Matteo, the son of the collaborator of justice, strangled and dissolved in acid after almost two years of captivity.
In fact, “Messina Denaro is said to have once boasted that he could fill a cemetery with his victims.”
In recent years, some details of his life have become known, such as that, despite being the most wanted man in Italy, this did not prevent him from traveling to Barcelona to undergo eye surgery, as has been demonstrated in several investigations.
The power of the considered last boss of Cosa Nostra, the last of the “Corleoneses”, is demonstrated not only in his extensive network of contacts and front men that he has acquired in recent years, but can also be quantified in the more than 4,000 million of euros that have been confiscated from those around them.
According to the researchers, Messina Denaro continued from clandestinity giving orders in Cosa Nostraas proven by the “pizzini”, the pieces of paper with which its members communicate, intercepted by the Italian Police in recent years.
Although his figure has always been surrounded by legends, researchers pointed out that the elusive “capo” of Costa Nostra was a very different personality from that of the rest of the mafia bosses such as Riina and Provenzano, of little intelligence and hidden for years in the middle of the field in terrible conditions.
Messina Denaro was spoken of as having great intelligence and that he loved luxury, travel, automobiles and clothes.
The fortune and luxuries of the mafia
According to the economic newspaper Il Sole24Ore, Matteo Messina Deniro lived from a great empire. One of the ways he increased the money was by using front men to launder dirty money.
However, The figure that was known, regarding his economic empire, was five billion dollars, only representing the assets that were seized after his capture.
However, at the time, Eleonora Montani, professor of criminal law at Bocconi University and member of the Milan anti-mafia committee, explained to Rai News24 that the fortune is much greater: “The calculation so far has been made based on the operations police, as in the supermarket sector and wind farms.”
However, he added: “Organized crime enters the sectors that can infiltrate (…) LThe mafia does not invest for the good of society, but to obtain profits for it”.
According to AFP, A definitive figure was never known to be calculated, since Matteo used ordinary people as front men., which became rich. In 2018, the DIA ordered the confiscation of the assets of Carmelo Patti, an electrician from Pavia (north), who owned the hotel and resort chain, Valtur, which belonged to the mafia.
Police raid Matteo Messina’s refuge
AFP photo/Press office of Carabineros of Italy
When Matteo was captured, The Italian authorities found the mafia’s hiding place in a town in the province of Trapani. In this place there were: expensive perfumes, designer clothes and luxury furniture.
In fact, when he was arrested, Matteo was wearing a watch valued at 35,000 euros ($38,000).
GERALDINE BAJONERO VÁSQUEZ
LATEST NEWS EDITORIAL
*With information from EFE
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