Palermo, Maria Falcone’s appeal after the endorsements of Dell’Utri and Cuffaro on the right: “Whoever stands as a candidate, distance himself from convicted of mafia collusion”

There are only a few days left for the thirty years of the massacre of Capaci and the climate for the Palermo elections is getting hotter. The latest appeal was launched by Maria Falcone less than ten days from next May 23, the day on which precisely thirty years will occur from the death of his brother, sister-in-law and escort: “Whoever is a candidate for an important position such as that of mayor and any other elective office – he said the sister of the magistrate killed by the mafia – must explicitly distance herself from people convicted of mafia collusion ”.

The appeal is addressed to all candidates but it is only that of the center-right, the former rector Roberto Lagalla to count the support of not one but two convicted of crimes related to the mafia. The first absolute endorsement, when the center-right was still drowning in the ford of internal feuds without finding a common convergence on the candidate, came, in fact, from Marcello Dell’Utri. Having landed in Palermo in recent months, the former Forza Italia senator imprinted the electoral campaign from the rooms of theHotel delle Palme where he met the leaders of the Sicilian center-right. “I only expressed opinions,” she said on several occasions. Meanwhile, the candidate on which he had staked the chips was precisely that Lagalla on which in the end all the splits of the parties were suddenly recomposed, and the other 5 center-right candidates had to give way to the chosen one of Dell’Utri. Sentenced for external complicity to seven yearsthe former senator and founder of Forza Italia, served 4 years in prison and one and a half years under house arrest, after the sentence of the cassation in 2014. Sentence that he had awaited in Lebanon, after days in which it had completely disappeared from the radar, just before the final sentence was pronounced. It was then Silvio Berlusconi to explain his “escape” like this: “I sent it to Beirut a few days ago because Vladimir Putin asked me to support the electoral campaign of Amin Gemayel (the former president who aspired to re-nomination. “Sent there, about ten days before the final sentence, finished serving under house arrest in 2019. While the year before he had been sentenced to 12 years in the process on the Treatyto. A sentence overturned, however, last September when it was acquitted for “not having committed the deed“. So, shortly after, Berlusconi’s right-hand man spoke of “that big bullshit of the Negotiation”, in an interview on Il Foglio. And it all accumulates in these days leading up to the thirtieth anniversary.

While the political climate is heating up, the filing of the reasons for the second degree sentence is expected Court of Assizes of Palermo which partly overturned the first degree verdict on the negotiation (conviction confirmed only for the mafia members who had put pressure on politics and institutions). The reasons were expected 90 days after the ruling, but the court has asked for two postponements since then. A few days after the thirtieth anniversary of the Attentatuni, therefore, the wait to know why the acquittals are becoming more and more fervent. Meanwhile, in recent days it has been Matteo Salvini to distance himself from the “stench of the mafia”: “Where there is the stench of the mafia, I keep well away – said the leader of the Carroccio outside the Hotel delle Palme where he was staying on Thursday before the hearing on Open Arms case – Prima Italia’s lists are made up of good men and women ”. But he deferred to the candidate: “I trust Lagalla, he will judge who to involve and who not. Let’s say that I prefer that others decide for Sicily… and not the people you mentioned ”. It was Dell’Utri and Cuffaro who had been cited. Yet it was Salvini himself who met Cuffaro in Palermo in recent months, that is, in the midst of the clashes of the Sicilian center-right.

And if Dell’Utri blessed the candidacy of the former rector, it was Totò Cuffaro who gave the final turn. The former president of the Region, who resigned after being sentenced for aiding and abetting the mafia, seemed determined to give his support to the candidate wanted by Gianfranco Micciché, Francesco Lo Cascio, but in extremis, just as Cascio officially presented the candidacy, Cuffaro launched a note announcing his absence from the presentation and a few days later he communicated his support to Lagalla, effectively giving the other candidate the well-served. Shortly thereafter, in fact, even Micciché would have given up on Cascio’s race and the center-right would have found compactness (but only on Palermo). This is how the radiologist, former rector, councilor of the president in office, Nello Musumeci (he resigned only to run to the Communal), a candidate with the UDC had the push of Dell’Utri first and of Cuffaro later, while he received the banner of the Brothers of Italy, becoming Meloni’s horse at the center-right table.

Lagalla, who was highly regarded as rector, started from the center, but he is now the candidate of a very far to the right center-right (and very large: there are also the Renzians) and with the support of two convicts. An electoral context that gathered behind the former rector in the very year that marks a clear temporal distance from the massacres. Thirty years later, the fear is that everything is as before and the outcry could not be missed. Starting with the prosecutor of Agrigento Luigi Patronaggio who first raised the issue, to continue with the brother of Francesca Morvillo: “Thirty years after the massacres, Sicily is in the hands of those convicted of mafia”, said the magistrate Alfredo Morvillo, brother-in-law of Giovanni Falcone. While also from the Pio La Torre Study Center already on Friday they asked for a “clear position on the issue of legality and anti-mafia publicly refusing, first of all, any sponsorship from men affected by collusion with the political-mafia system and making known their anti-mafia prevention and contrast programs on a cultural level , political and administrative “. So that Lagalla cannot avoid the argument: “Anyone who knows my story knows perfectly well what my relationship is of loyalty to the institutions and of rejection of any less than legitimate behavior. Regarding the Utri I can say that he expressed an opinion within a party debate in which I was a guest of stone, because I was extraneous to the debate. And on Cuffaro I say that he has paid his own debt with justice and today he is the exponent, certainly inoperative, of a political force that everyone has been looking for, starting with the world of the Left ”. And he concludes by inviting us not to exploit: “I invite those who wanted to raise controversy not to exploit non-existent facts by feeding a mud machine which only demonstrates the ideal and content paucity of its maneuvers “. But Falcone’s sister asks for more: “Those who aspire to represent the capital of the anti-mafia, the city of Falcone and Borsellino – said Maria Falcone – without any hesitation take a stand by refusing endorsements of unpresentable characters “.

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