Italy arrests most wanted mobster, Matteo Messina Denaro

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Italy arrests the most wanted mobster, Matteo Messina Denaro

The mafioso Matteo Messina Denaro, a ruthless killer, was arrested in Palermo, Sicily on Monday.

Blow to the Sicilian “Octopus”: the most wanted mafia godfather of& #x27;Italy, Matteo Messina Denaro, a ruthless killer, was arrested Monday in Palermo after 30 years on the run.

The legend of Matteo Messina Denaro, 60, equals that of the great historical leaders of the Cosa Nostra, Toto Riina and Bernardo Provenzano, who died in prison in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

A great victory of the state which demonstrates that it does not surrender to the mafia, reacted the head of government Giorgia Meloni while her deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini warned: Sooner or later, even the most major criminals on the run are arrested.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella, whose brother Piersanti, then president of the Sicilian region, was shot dead in the early 1980s by the mafia, expressed his congratulations to law enforcement.

Matteo Messina Denaro was arrested at a clinic in Palermo, Carabinieri General Pasquale Angelosanto said in a video statement distributed to the press.

According to Italian news agencies, this is the La Maddalena clinic where he was being treated, under an assumed name, for colon cancer.

Italy's most wanted mafia boss, Sicilian Matteo Messina Denaro has been arrested after 30 years on the run. He was in a medical clinic in Palermo. The story of Lise Villeneuve.

On the Interior Ministry's list of the six most wanted criminals in Italy, Matteo Messina Denaro, born in April 1962 near Trapani in Sicily, ranked first.

Heir to the bygone era of the great historical power of Cosa Nostra, he is the last, the most resilient, the purest Sicilian mafioso who remains, reminds AFP criminologist Anna Sergi, specialist mafias.

A former Cosa Nostra trigger, he was sentenced in absentia in 2000 to life imprisonment for murder. The only known photo of him dates back to the early 1990s.

He was described as a great lover of luxury clothes and cars.

Hundreds of police and carabinieri had been involved for many years in the hunt for Italy's best-known fugitive.

Since the 2000s, the Italian police have multiplied the arrests and seizures of property in his entourage, a strategy of isolation which took nearly 20 years to bear fruit as his support network was so important.


His arrest symbolically comes the day after the 30th anniversary of the arrest of Toto Riina, nicknamed la belva (the beast) and who had reigned terror within Cosa for 20 years Nostra, which he took control from the 1970s.

Matteo Messina Denaro is one of the last great Cosa Nostra figures, largely decimated by relentless state operations after the 1992 assassination of judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

In December 2018, Italian police arrested several dozen Sicilian mobsters, including Settimo Mineo, an 80-year-old jeweler at the time, head of the Paglarelli district (near Palermo) and considered by justice as the new godfather of the Palermitan mafia.

Nicknamed zio Settimo (uncle Settimo), he was elected in May 2018 to succeed Toto Riina, who died in prison in 2017, during a secret meeting of the Coupole, a commission of mafia leaders whose role is to ;ensure compliance with the rules of the Cosa Nostra and settle disputes between families.

Wanted for 30 years by all the police in Italy, the Sicilian godfather Matteo Messina Denaro, arrested Monday in Palermo, was a ruthless assassin whose cruelty is part of the great tradition of the leaders of the Cosa Nostra, the sicilian mafia.

With the people I killed myself, I could fill a cemetery, this great firearms enthusiast would have boasted, who committed his first homicide at age 18.

Nicknamed Diabolik, from the name of a criminal protagonist of a famous Italian comic strip of which he himself is a fan, this man sentenced several times to life imprisonment was the undisputed leader of the Cosa Nostra in the province of Trapani, in western Sicily, although its power extended far beyond this territory, both towards Agrigento (south) and towards Palermo, the capital of the island.

On the left, Italian police released a computer-generated image of mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, who has been on the run for 30 years. On the right, the photo of the number one fugitive in Italy after his arrest.

A fan of gold Rolexes and designer clothes, this video game and comic book enthusiast also has a reputation as a great seducer.

Born on April 26, 1962 in Castelvetrano, in the south-west of Sicily, he was steeped in organized crime from childhood: his father, don Ciccio, was the leader of the local clan, and his baptismal godfather was him. -even a man of honor.

In 1989 his first run-ins with the law began because of his participation in the bloody struggle between two clans. In 1989, he was accused of the murder of Nicola Consales, a hotel owner who had complained in front of one of his employees of always having these little mafiosos in his hands. However, this employee was none other than the mistress of Messina Denaro.

In 1992, he was part of a group of assassins sent to Rome to try to assassinate Judge Giovanni Falcone. They are finally called back by Toto Riina, the boss of Corleone nicknamed the beast for his ferocity, who wanted another modus operandi.

Matteo Messina Denaro himself was ruthless during his long career. In July 1992, after participating in the murder of Vincenzo Milazzo, the head of the Alcamo clan, he strangled the latter's companion, who was three months pregnant. The two corpses were buried in the countryside.

As head of the clan of Castelvetrano, this myopic with thick glasses is allied to the famous Corleonesi, immortalized in the cinema in The Godfather , in the murderous war of the mafia with blows of attacks in the peninsula.

After the arrest of Toto Riina, Messina Denaro continued her strategy of all-out terror of the mafia, providing logistical support to organize attacks in Florence, Milan and Rome, which left a total of ten dead and a hundred of injured.

It was during the summer of 1993 that he chose to disappear into the wild, thus beginning his long flight from justice, which multiplied the arrest warrants against the criminal, accused among other things of mafia association, homicide, possession of explosives and theft.

In 1994 and 1996, the testimonies of repentants made it possible to shed light on his role within the Cosa Nostra. In 2000, at the end of the maxi-trial against the mafia baptized Omega in Trapani, he was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment.

In November 1993, he was one of the organizers of the kidnapping of little Giuseppe Di Matteo to force his father Santino to retract his testimony on the assassination of Judge Falcone. After 779 days of detention, the child is strangled and his body dissolved in acid.

During his long years on the run, he manages his business by communicating under the pseudonym Alessio through pizzini, these messages written on small pieces of paper, appreciated by the mafia for their discretion over telephones laptops.

In 2010, Forbes magazine named him one of the ten most dangerous fugitives in the world.

His years on the run are surrounded by many rumors, including a supposed cosmetic surgery operation to make him unrecognizable. He enjoys many sources of income, from drug trafficking to gambling, both in Italy and abroad.

In 2020, many of his collaborators were arrested, tightening the meshes of the net around the boss. In addition, on October 21, 2020, he was again sentenced in absentia to life for having been one of the sponsors of the assassination of Judge Falcone.

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