The words of Giuseppe Fava

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Giuseppe Fava was an Italian journalist. He founded the newspaper called "I Siciliani". He was killed in January 1984 by the mafia. Iím publishing an interview with him that is present on the Web, at the request of many bloggers. His words seem prophetic.

Biagi: Giuseppe Fava, journalist, writer from Catania, author of novels and theatre productions. Fava, whatís been the inspiration for your stories?
Fava: In relation to my journalistic experiences. Please excuse me but I am astounded in relation to the declarations of the Swiss director. I realize that there is an enormous confusion about the problem of the mafia. This gentleman has had dealings with those who in these parts are called "annoying devils". Small change delinquents like those that are found in any land. The mafia people are definitely in other places, and in another sort of assembly. The mafia people are in Parliament, at times they are Ministers, bankers, they are the ones who right now are leading our nation. We need to clarify this fundamental difficulty: you canít define as a mafia person a small-time delinquent that exacts a cut on your commercial activityÖ that is small-time criminality that I believe exists in all Italian and European cities. The problem of the mafia is much more tragic and important. Itís a problem of the top positions of the nation that risks leading to our ruin, to the definitive cultural collapse of Italy.
Biagi: As a journalist, you have had direct knowledge of the mafia world?
Fava: Yes. I have met different personalities, on one side or the other. Through the crime reports, the investigations that we carried out and that we straight away reported in our newspapers.
Biagi: Who do you remember the most of these people? Of the old mafia types, for example?
Fava: One man yes. Thereís an abyss between the mafia of twenty years ago and now. Then the top mafia person was Genco Russo. Iíve been to Genco Russoís house and pardon the expression, I am the only one to have had the honour to interview him. To have had a signed memo that started with the words: ďI am Genco Russo, the king of the mafiaĒ. Genco Russo governed the land of Mussomeli where, for twenty years there had not been, Iím not saying a murder, but not even a slap. There was no stealing, everything was orderly, absolutely according to the rule of law. It was the old agricultural mafia, the type that governed a territory with an extraordinary force that the world of that time could not ignore. He controlled between 15 and 40 thousand preference votes. No political man could ignore this determined power. It would have been enough for Russo to move those votes not from one party to another, but even within a party to determine the future or otherwise of a politician. That is why he could go to the Region of Sicily and kick down the door of the councillors: he was the boss. Then society changed and the mafia people were no longer those like Genco Russo. The mafia people are not those that kill. Those are the executors. Even at the top level. They name the Greco brothers. It is said that they are the winning mafia people in Palermo, the governors of the mafia. Thatís not true: they too are executors. They are in the organisation, they are in their positions. An organisation that manages to manoevre a hundred thousand billion a year. If Iím not mistaken, thatís more than a yearís balance sheet for the Italian State. Itís in a position to provide equipment for armies, to possess fleets, to have its own airforce. In fact itís happening that the mafia is taking ownership, at least in the medium term, of the sale of weapons.
The Americans play their part in this, but not even they would have citizenship in Italy, like the mafia people, if it werenít for the political and financial power that allows them to exist. Letís say that of these hundred thousand billion, a third stays in Italy and has to be recycled, laundered, reinvested. And so here you are with the banks, this proliferation of new banks. General Dalla Chiesa understood. This was his great intuition, that led to his death. You need to look hard inside the banks: there there are tens of billions covered with blood that come out cleansed by the banks to arrive at public works. It is said that many churches have been constructed with the bloody money of the mafia.
Biagi: At one time it was said that the strength of the mafia is the capacity to stay silent. And now?
Fava: I agree with Nando Dalla Chiesa: the mafia has gained such a level of impunity that it has become impertinent. The relationships are done officially. Certainly, they raise their hands when someone is about to be killed, they try to fish out the personal or moral alibi. I have seen many State funerals. Now Iíll say something that only I myself am convinced of, so it could be not true: but very often the assassins were on the stage of the authorities.
Biagi: According to the language of the mafia, what does it mean to be ďprotectedĒ?
Fava: To be able to live in this society. I have read an exemplary interview, with that gentleman from Turin who corrupted the whole political environment in Turin. He said something fundamental, a mafia law that has become part of the national culture: nothing is done without political assent. We are living in this type of society, in which the protection is indispensable unless you want to live the life of the lone wolf. This life can also be fascinating, proudly alone, right to the end, but 60 million Italians cannot do that.
Biagi: I want to ask a question of everyone: according to you what must be done to eliminate this phenomenon?
Fava: My opinion is that everything starts with the absence of the State and the failure of the Italian political society. Perhaps we need to create a second Republic in Italy, that has laws, democratic structures that eliminate the danger that the politician can become under the domination of himself, of his greed, of the ferociousness of the others, of the fear or that he can just become a professional of politics. Everything starts from there. From the collapse of the politicians and of politics. From our democracy, just as with our good faith we have built it up with passion and that it is now crumbling in our hands.
Dalla Chiesa: I have thought a lot about this. I believe that the main rule is to make it understood that crime does not give power, but that in fact it takes it away.

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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:55 PM in | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen | TrackBack (0) |
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The Italians must be educated about how Mafia takes away every day whatever the Italian people needs in terms of welfare, jobs, medical assistance and police (see the consequences in the other post).
Until everybody will be aware of these consequences, Mafia will be seen as a normal part of the public and political life.

And those politicians must go away.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | November 4, 2007 08:41 PM


Why can't we change the front cover of our passport? It shouldn't say "Repubblica Italiana", but "Kingdom of the Mafia", that would be much more in line with our government. Nonetheless the Mafia is the enterprise with the biggest turnover in our country. The fact is that I would like to know if it is the Mafia which is a State owned enterprise or the State that is a Mafia owned enterprise: they should make this distinction clear!

Posted by: Sandro Cagnin | November 4, 2007 09:26 AM


It is shocking to see how this interview, done
23 years ago, was so realistic.
Recently the media estimate the volume of business
of the mafia in 7% of the total yearly italian
product, the tendency is to grow more.
The number is impressive and exceeds the budget of
any other legal financial or industrial company.
Soon this number will reach two digits, what will
happen than? Which will be the action of the rulers?
I have the feeling that this an action in this direction would have a boosting effect greater than any FINANZIARIA that our politicians could
never design.
Why the ruling parties never move in the direction to control such parasite activity?
Why the opposition never rise this is issue?

Posted by: maurizio confalonieri | November 4, 2007 04:59 AM


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