A boy all alone/2


The Mayor of Barrafranca has replied with an open letter to the many emails that he received following the publication of my post “A boy all alone”. One of the recipients sent me a copy and I’m publishing it here.
In the post, I cited an article in il Corriere della Sera that gave an opinion of the investigators, those who are trying to find out the truth: “a serious situation of environmental pressure taking place in the village of Barrafranca”, referring to the boy who is witness to the facts. I am happy that the Mayor has replied even though I don’t acknowledge his letter.
It was not my intention to criminalize the citizens of Barrafranca. Just those who are isolating and intimidating a young courageous witness.
I will send a letter to the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, that I’ll publish on the blog, I’ll ask for the “gold medal for civil merit" for the boy who has had the courage to bear witness.

PS Organised by Equivita, Comitato Scientifico Animalisti Italiani Movimento Ecologico Nazionale UNA and with the support of Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare, tomorrow in Rome there will be the conference: "The inheritance of Pietro Croce to put into place the substitution and then the abolition of experimentation on animals" in sala delle Colonne, Palazzo Marini Via Poli 19, Roma from 9:00am until 6:00 pm.

Angelo” is not alone!
After the publication of the article published by Il Corriere della Sera (1.12.2006) and taken up by “Beppe Grillo’s Blog ” (5.12.2006) the email inbox of the Mayor has been flooded - in these few hours – by email from every part of Italy and the world.
I would like to have responded individually to each of the thousands of letters, of invitations and of appeals, of warnings – but for obvious reasons of immediacy, allow me to reply with this single open letter.
I’ll start off by saying that what was published by “Beppe Grillo’s Blog” does not correspond to the truth and represents, instead, a reality that defames the citizens of Barra and the institutions. Having said this, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all those, with different means and expressions who have wished to encourage the Mayor to “do something”.
I thank everyone, even those who, in good faith, and to get their feelings out, have used terms and expressions that are hurtful to myself but above all, to my city and its inhabitants. But I understand!
I too would have behaved like that on reading the scoop of the Blog! But it’s possible to distort the reality in such a violent and underhand way about the tragedy that is the death of Francesco for mean interest to increase the number of copies of a newspaper or to increase the number of visitors to one’s own site?
We are talking about gossip, of the football market or of popular songs? What anguish, sadness, and pain, reading and re-reading those falsehoods that distort reality and integrally deform even the article in Il Corriere della Sera written by Giusy Fasano! Please re-read the article again and compare it with the Blog.
Another preliminary: I will resign immediately if it is proved that I’ve done nothing, that I haven’t had the courage, that I have shielded the presumed guilty ones, that I have left the “boy-witness” isolated. No one knows like me how much we in Barrafranca have suffered!
I beg you to have the patience to get to know and understand the truth before judging and condemning. On that tragic afternoon of 16 December last year il Signor Questore di Enna {law enforcement official}told me on the telephone that a boy had gone missing and that the family had reported it.
I went immediately to the Caserma dei Carabinieri {Police Station}where I found the parents of the boy, various members of the family and various investigators of the Carbinieri. I participated with them in the initial investigations and I organised and coordinated the search.
The following morning, in a great spirit of altruism and generosity, hundreds and hundreds of citizens, volunteers, and young people from Barra, took part in the search. As it happened Francesco was found by a patrol of volunteers at the location where, because I know the territory, I had suggested that they look.
Destiny had it that I, together with the Commander of the Compagnia di Piazza Armerina and the Commander of the Stazione dei Carabinieri di Barrafranca were the first to see the body of Francesco.
Consider, dear friends, gentle mothers, that I will not be able to forget, as a man and as a father, the vision of that child with his eyes closed to the sky, his arms open, with his T shirt lifted, with a bloody face, thrown near the remains of an old washing machine?
Do you think that the “quaquaraqquà” of the south can forget the heartbreaking pain of the father – who grabbing me – asked to be able to see his son for the last time?
“Not just the mother, not just the father, but all of us have lost a son” That’s what we shouted out during the Mass for Francesco. All of us felt the silent pain that never shouts out in the newspapers but only good people keep within themselves. We still feel that.
The whole of Barrafranca has cried for their young son. No one celebrated Christmas or the New Year. The proclamation of mourning for the town would not have been necessary. Each one of us was mourning within ourselves.
And even today we keep our mourning with composure and with dignity. For every anniversary, for each event, on every occasion Francesco, our Francesco, is present. When we go to the cemetery to honour our dear departed ones, a flower and a prayer are always reserved for him at his grave.
Those 13,115 citizens that today are accused of silence, of complicity and of other horrible things, while waiting for the body to be consigned to us by the Judicial Authorities, participated in a torchlight procession. Praying and crying, on foot for more than 7 kilometers up to that terrible place.
We stopped at nothing and for no one because we had sworn that never would any innocent person be ever again so badly used, never again would a mother be wracked by so much pain.
Immediately, with posters on the walls, with press releases, interviews, we expressed harsh condemnation of those monsters that dared to violate the innocence of a child of only 13 years and we invited the whole community to collaborate with the justice system in finding the truth. The newspapers, the national TV and radio, even the very same Corriere della Sera gave prominence to the “anomalous” behaviour of the Mayor of Barrafranca who – in the deep south – broke the “rule” of silence and of “omertà” by publicly inviting anyone who knew or had seen anything, to speak out.
We have organised various gatherings with the parents, with the young people, with the associations, with l’Associazione METER di Don Fortunato Di Noto, with the parish priest, with the law enforcement agencies and in the constant and active presence of the Bishop of Piazza Armerina we have invited and encouraged people to talk and to help the justice system to identify the authors of the crime.
But we have also defended, and we continue to do so in all situations and with all our strength, the community of Barra from the morbid attacks by the media who wanted to represent our city as a place of mafia, of drugs, of social disadvantage and of paedophilia.
Even before the identification of the people presumed responsible we have instructed the Capo Settore Affari Legali (legal representative} to identify us – together with the Ferreri family as a civil party in the trial against the monsters – whoever they are – who are responsible for the death of our Francesco and for the acts of paedophilia against other children. “Not to forget” we have named the square where he used to go and play with the name of Francesco.
We have promoted projects against paedophilia, and against youth disadvantage, we have contributed to the opening of a “Sportello METER”, we have signed a document of agreement for the creation of a City of Young People with the Prefecture, with the Diocese of Piazza Armerina, with the town of Pietraperzia and with the Comunità FRONTIERA di Don Giuseppe Di Stefano. We are working on the construction of an Artistic and Musical Workshop for Young People . We have already got work started on the new youth centre for the rehabilitation of socially disadvantaged youngsters. In recent days, in collaboration with the Police, the schools, the Parishes, the voluntary associations, we are promoting an anti-bullying project: “Povero Bullo !!!” {poor bully} and so on.
Do you think that this is a town where there is a “a serious situation of environmental pressure”? Can this community “build up a wall of silence and hostility”? You also ask: “Where is the mayor? The parish priest? The head teacher?”
Do you think that those who have had the “courage” like us to publicly declare war on drugs, on dealers, on the mafia, on organised crime that (as revealed by judicial investigations) considers Mayor Marchi to be an enemy, a “Policeman” will not have the courage to defend their own children, to defend Francesco, to help and support the young boy-witness? It’s true that to be a Mayor, you need courage, you need passion, you need to love your own city and your own people, you need the “cd.....”.
I would like to remind anyone that the Mayors (with a capital “M”) are never “employees” but servants of the State, of their own community. No one becomes a Mayor for the miserable “salary”!
The Magistrates, the Prefecture and the law enforcement agencies know well what has been our personal commitment to find out the truth. Not even in this occasion when it would be legitimate when faced with so many unjust accusations, we don’t want to shout out with all the anger kept inside, how much we have done to search for the truth, to identify the “butchers” of Francesco and to protect the young boy-witness.
We from Barra are not: “omertosi,mafiosi,conniventi o quaquaraqquà” {conniving silent mafia or just talk}. We have a strong sense of family, of the protection of children, of life.
Unfortunately, what happened in Barrafranca has happened and is still happening now in every part of Italy. With the only difference being that if the same thing happens in Barrafranca (a small town in Sicily) and people don’t speak out, this is said to be “omertà”, if the same thing happens in other “civil” parts of Italy then people haven’t seen or haven’t heard.
Is it simply a question of terminology or of culture? No one has constructed a wall of silence or of hostility! We are respectful of the work of the Magistracy just as we bow to the principle of presumption of innocence as laid down in the Constitution.
Straight after the end of the investigations by the magistracy and the law enforcement agencies (in whom we have complete trust) there was an extra-ordinary public meeting of the Town Council (broadcast directly by various channels). During this, the Signor Procuratore della Repubblica di Enna {Procurator at Enna} dr. Salvatore Cardinale in the presence of the Sostituto Procuratore dei Minorenni di Caltanissetta {Deputy Procurator for Minors}, and the Prefect of Enna and the leading provincial representatives from the Carabinieri and the Police, discussed the particular complexity of the investigations and then recognised the active contribution of the local institutions and raised the awareness of all the citizens to behave with solidarity and support to the young “ANGELO” (how we have to decided to refer to our boy-witness) who has had the courage and the strength to help the justice system.
The magistracy has justly decided (for obvious reasons of privacy) not to make known the true identity of “ANGELO” and no one , not even the Mayor, could or can make the error of publicizing any action to support our young “ANGELO” and his family. We well know the meaning and the value of the courage of “Angelo” and of his family. “ANGELO” is not and will never be alone.
He and his family know that we are silently at his side, without clamour, in this difficult and courageous search for the truth. We owe it to him. We owe it to Francesco, to all the mothers.
We owe it to our children and to our conscience. We owe it to all our children. I owe it to that child who, during the torch-light procession for Francesco, took my hand and said: “Mayor, help us”
On 19 and 20 November we organised the First Day for the Defence of Childhood and Adolescence and “so as not to forget Francesco” and with a primary motto: “Let us Play”.
On that occasion, Barrafranca was raised up by the President of the Province to be “Capital of Children” for the whole Province of Enna.
You can be sure, even with the help of all of you, that we will continue to support unconditionally our “ANGELO” and his family and not let him feel alone. I accept with great pleasure the proposal of Signora Roberta Veneto to put up a poster at the side of the one saying “No to Drugs – all together against drugs” one saying: “NO ALL’OMERTA’: Per non dimenticare Francesco, per non lasciare solo ANGELO” {No to silence, so as not to forget Francesco, so as not to leave Angelo isolated}. Thus, I will give you the information using the town’s official website about all the initiatives and all the actions that we are taking forward. Will all this be enough? I don’t know. I’m a poor mayor (this time with a lower case “m”), who at times feels powerless in the face of cases that are much bigger than him. But each day I’m given strength knowing that “the smile of a child is our most precious good and the defence of that is our strongest weapon.”
A sincere “thank you” to all of you for this immense participation and solidarity and with the wish that you will be able to admire the true Barrafranca and the true Sicily. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from
Totò Marchì Mayor of Barrafranca 6 December 2006 at the Town Hall

NB Someone will surely be asking why the Mayor does not bring an action for libel against “Beppe Grillo’s Blog” for the defamatory offences and injuries to the community of Barra with the request for compensation and damages to be devolved to the Associazione METER di Don Fortunato Di Noto that is fighting paedophilia. The reply is no. I’m not bringing an action for libel against anyone.
My fight is against the “monsters” and against the assassins not against those who simply do “gossip” clumsily. I am sure that “The Blog” will know how to appreciate this! "

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:37 PM in | Comments (2)
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I think that the mayor of Barrafranca has complety miss the point, let me tell you that this blog has the duty of report all the shit that is going on in Italy and in special way I find useful when highlighter the shit in my Sicily.
Now if the facts that are reported in this blog are not exactly correct that’s not very important what is important is that the news is out from Barrafranca and is available to everybody to comment, criticize, complain and make noise so some body or organization would do some thing about.
Stop with this Omerta’ and try don’t talk about and hide the news; let’s get this news out, let’s talk about, let’s do some thing about these problems.
This mayor of Barrafranca should be in open arms to the media that tries to publicize some disgrafully facts that in 2006 is incompressible that still happen, in this case himself should find all the kind of media and with the habitant of that village condemns the event, the people involved in this crime, the people that tries to hide that anything happened and protect this boy with love.

I am Sicilian and I want know what happen in Sicily, I want talk about and I want see what I and you can do to stop this shit.
This story have not to be in Barrafranca but got to be around the world see what the people in the world thinks about this crime, let’s shame these bastards, let’s walk together towards the Truth.

Hai Capito sindaco di Barrafranca????????????????

Posted by: Giovanni Toledo | December 21, 2006 11:29 AM

Maybe Beppe Grillo should think more about talking the people from the South of Italy. Like many people from the North we tend to simplify and pretend to be superior, because we come from a more stable society. I think that each of us would be more active and positive about what the South of Italy did and can do in various way to our country and support all the mayors that are fighting and doing good things there.

Posted by: francesco filippi | December 15, 2006 05:31 PM

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