Foggia, mafia crime has also thrived due to the underestimation of the state

Foggia unfortunately continues to be talked about for mafia crime facts. And today we are fully aware of the varied responsibilities of this collapse. The clans of the Capitanata were born, raised and fed also due to a long and irresponsible underestimation by the public apparatuses. The first definitive sentence on the mafia of the “Foggia Society” was in 1999 (Panunzio trial) and, even after that historic ruling by the Supreme Court, politics and institutions did not stop diminishing the problem. To put it with Sciascia, “Social ills are just like individual diseases: hiding them, denying them, minimizing them means above all not wanting to cure them, not wanting to get rid of them”. That is why we now find ourselves in these conditions.

Piernicola Silvis – who was Quaestor of Foggia from 2014 to 2017 – knows the history of the Dauna mafia well and in his latest book, Understanding the mafia (Luiss University Press, 2022), recalls how public power has for too long taken the phenomenon under wraps, “tracing it back to the expression of pseudo-tribal manifestations of the subculture of underworld Foggia“. In the Eighties, the affiliates of the “batteries” were, for many Foggia people, only “louts who challenged each other with gunshots”.

“This reductionist vision – emphasizes Silvis – was also cultivated by the same judiciary, not yet culturally ready to consider the presence on the territory of an armed and dangerous organization realistic. And, as was normal, all this allowed the Foggia company to grow undisturbed ”. Of course, because undervaluation naturally translates into impunity for the bosses and the main reputation of the mafia is linked precisely to impunity.

In the Eighties and Nineties, the reaction of the Foggia judicial offices was mild, indeed “almost absent”, as Luciano Violante tells in his It is not the octopus (Einaudi, 1994). “The slowness of Foggia – explains the then President of the Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission – was probably determined by the high degree of conflict which manifested itself among the magistrates “. But not even the action of the distant District Directorate of Bari was adequate, certainly not up to the “excellent work” carried out by the Salento judicial authority.

But let’s go back to our days, when it is now established that the mafia also exists in Foggia It is on Gargano. Despite this, we cannot fail to point out that not enough is being done to interrupt the consolidation of the gangs and not even to fight crime in general. After the suppression of the Court of Lucera in 2012 – so it went from eight judicial offices to just one – the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court of Foggia are constantly in trouble. How can one think that there can be an answer satisfying to the citizens’ question of justice? In the province of Foggia, as elsewhere, there are not only the mafias, there is also the equally insidious crime of white-collar workers, there are the hateful predatory crimes and all the other crimes that still cause damage to the victims and the community. The frequent non-punishment of crimes is undoubtedly toxicbecause it generates despair, resignation, fear and therefore in the population distrust in the state. How can we expect collaboration with justice from those who no longer believe in justice?

Yesterday I thought about contacting Michele Carota, Provincial Secretary of the Siulp – State Police, to hear his point of view. He repeats to me once again his negative opinion on the closure of the Court of Lucera and of the School of Alumni agents of Foggia: “The reopening of these two principals of legality would be an important signal for a community that feels abandoned”, he tells me.

The situation is very serious – let’s be clear – and we all have to roll up our sleeves. Meanwhile, we learn from the press that the new National Anti-Mafia Prosecutor, Giovanni Melillo, will come to Foggia on 18 July for a conference organized by the Aiga and the Bar Association. The theme will be: “Organized crime: contrast strategies, territories and the role of civil society”.

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