Mario Paciolla, the second autopsy questions suicide. The parents at “he did not kill himself. Little help from the UN and Italy “

“Mario was a lover of life, never would have made a self-injurious gesture. We never believed insuicide hypothesis from the very first moments in which the news of our son’s death was communicated to us ”. So they speak to Anna Maria and Giuseppe Paciollathe parents of Mario Paciollathe Italian aid worker found dead on 15 July 2020 in his home in San Vicente del Caguánin the department of Caquetáin Colombia. Operational employee of the verification mission of the United Nations in the country, he had been found hanged from the ceiling of his house with a sheet in an apparent self-inflicted death scenario. “We understood that the UN wanted to close the game immediately, asking us immediately if we wanted the body to be returned”, they continue.

For the Colombian authorities and the United Nations, the aid worker allegedly took his own life with a sheet but there are many points in the story that continue to be unclear. New details have emerged thanks to an article published in the Colombian newspaper El Espectador: the journalist, who knew Paciolla and followed the evolution of the case from the very beginning, reported some elements contained in the report of the second autopsy made in Italy by the medical examiner Vittorio Fineschi and the forensic toxicologist Donata Favretto. The report had been delivered to the Rome prosecutor, which is conducting the investigation, in autumn 2020 and the Italian authorities have kept it confidential. These details certify that “some evidence finds no alternative explanation in the context of the suicide hypothesis, (while) they predominantly support the hypothesis of strangulation with subsequent suspension of the body “. From one of the documents other details emerged, namely that some wounds they may have been inflicted when Paciolla was in a state agonizing or already dead. Regarding what was leaked, the cooperating’s family maintains secrecy.

What makes the suicide hypothesis unconvincing is there house cleaning di Paciolla, personally coordinated by the mission security officer and former member of the army Christian Thompson that he would enter the apartment, having the keys delivered by the Colombian owner. His name – along with that of his UN colleague Juan Vasquez and of the four agents present on the spot – figure in the complaint that on July 15, 2022, two years after the disappearance of the aid worker, the family presented to the Bogota. “It seems to us absolutely anomalous and unjustifiable the choice of the two UN officials to break into an apartment, which was private among other things because it was leased to our son who regularly paid the rent, clean up the crime scene with bleach, to then throw in landfill evidence essential for the investigation. All this resulted the destruction and concealment of evidence which were essential to ascertain Mario’s murder ”, explain Paciolla’s parents. “We hope that the new president of Colombia can accelerate the resolution of the case. We also hope that people who know and who have not dared to come forward so far can collaborate, feeling more confident and free to talk ”.

On the death of Paciolla, the United Nations has opened ainternal investigation but the family denounces that they “do not feel absolutely supported by the UN” nor that they “are aware of the result or whether the investigation has ever been carried out”. Furthermore, the United Nations was aware of the cooperant’s imminent return to Italy. Paciolla was supposed to leave Bogota on 20 July 2020 and “already had a ticket in his pocket and a suitcase ready”. Shortly before he died, Paciolla had told his parents that he had been there clashed with the Heads of Mission and not to feel safe, and Christian Thompson himself, according to the reconstructions, would have been one of the last people heard before his death. Paciolla had done research on a bombingwhich took place on 29 August 2019 by the Colombian army, on the camp of Rogelio Bolivar Cordovathe commander of a cell of dissidents of the Farc, in which seven minors had also died. According to the reconstruction of El Espectador the news of the deaths of the children would reach the senator’s hands Roy Barreraswho then obtained the resignation of the defense minister Guillermo Boterothrough Raul Rosende, director of Mario’s verification mission. This outcome would have created tensions even within the United Nations.

“We will talk poorly supported by the Italian state and we are not sure if they are really interested in the sad story of Mario. Only the Speaker of the House, Roberto Ficomet us demonstrating his closeness and interest in the case and the general director for Italians abroad and migration policies Luigi Vignali he always reaches us on July 15 ”, continue Anna Maria and Giuseppe Paciolla. On the anniversary of his death, many participated in the mobilization that the family organized in Naples to ask for truth and justice. “Our son loved Naples and Naples loved our son. The testimony of a loyal man who did not accept compromises remains of the sacrifice of his young life ”.

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