Professor Falcone, how is the anti-mafia doing today?
Do you want to know how the fight against the mafia is or how the anti-mafia is doing?
I guess they are now different concepts: correct?
Unfortunately yes, they are now different concepts. For this I would make a distinction. The term anti-mafia has often been used by people who have not fought the mafia at all. Masking behind the anti-mafia they only did their best. For this we must point out: we cannot speak of anti-mafia in general, identifying all those who in words – and sometimes not even in words – have opposed Cosa Nostra. Within that term there are subjects who have done their homework, which was to carry forward the ideas of those who died. And there are others who have only done their best. And this pains us.
Twenty-eight years ago would you have said that the anti-mafia would become a label to be used as a shield, a screen for doing business and career?
No, I never would have said, thought or even imagined. At the time, the anti-mafia were mainly the magistrates, the investigators, who had finally started after a century to make war on the mafia. Perhaps for this reason, May 23 represents a watershed.
What do you mean?
There is a before and after. And the aftermath has unfortunately not always been a clear period. There are those who put collective interest at the center, making anti-mafia as a service to the community. And then there were those who exploited the brand, those who disguised themselves as anti-mafia, while it was something else.
This is the anti-mafia. But how is the fight against the mafia going? He will have read the multiple warnings of magistrates and investigators on clans ready to exploit the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.
Yes I’ve heard. And I thought of a concept expressed by my brother Giovanni. It was his analysis of the mafia phenomenon. We all know that the main interest of the mafia is to make money. All criminal associations put earnings first. But my brother pointed out how the mafia, to make money, manages to infiltrate the healthy fabric of society. Bribes magistrates, law enforcement men, politicians, doctors. In this way it infects healthy tissue. Today we would say that it infects it.
At one point Falcone said: the mafia went public.
That is an emblematic phrase. It is another fundamental thing that Giovanni had noticed, and to which many did not pay attention: the economic activity of the mafias is a great weakening for the economic capacities of the whole country. Because it clearly removes a part of the capital which is the lifeblood for the life of the country. The mafia takes advantage of all situations of economic crisis to exploit them to its advantage. For this reason, in this situation the mafias celebrate: the industry weakened by the long lockdown will be in difficulty and will go in search of investments. Not finding them in the legal channels, he will turn to the illegal ones. By turning legal businesses into illegal businesses: the old clean trader will become the clan’s dumbbell. We have read it a little bit everywhere these days, but it is a phenomenon that my brother Giovanni was already clear about thirty years ago.
In recent weeks there has also been talk of mafias exploiting the crisis to return to cultivating social consensus. I ask her: but how does the mafia still manage to attract social consensus?
Because it continues to find fertile ground where there is an economically problematic situation. But also culturally weak.
I ask you this question thinking about the case of Fabrizio Miccoli, a rich and famous footballer, intercepted while with the son of a boss he offends the figure of his brother.
It is easy to find consensus in people who don’t. But even in those who don’t know. The cultural question is fundamental: the fight against the mafia is above all a battle for culture. Once speaking in a school I asked a boy: who is a boss for you? He replied: it is what he earns and earns.
Regarding the release of the mafia bosses, you said: I am afraid that it is the bureaucratic inefficiencies that make the accomplices of the criminals. But isn’t it that there is a drop in tension in the fight against the mafia?
No, I don’t think this is possible. The level of alert in society is high. Of course it is also true that society is made up of many subjects. So there may be some bureaucrat who is not prepared, who does not know the phenomenon, and who therefore with his activity becomes inefficient, involuntarily complicit. But the newspapers did not pretend anything: they immediately wrote about those releases, highlighting their seriousness. So it means that the alert in society is always high. And in this the role of information is fundamental.
The judiciary is going through a complex period. What effect does it have on these judges who contract appointments as if they were on the market?
Don’t tell me about these magistrates.
Because unfortunately I have a memory and I remember the judiciary in the days of my brother. I remember how he behaved with him.
Some time ago she said: Giovanni’s main enemies were his fellow magistrates.
And I keep thinking and saying it. Unfortunately, the judiciary has become over the years a category in which the most important thing is to excel. Where every promotion is decided from above. And so it leads the magistrates – not all, but a good part – to wage war with no holds barred.
Did the maneuvers on the appointments of these months remind you of those of thirty years ago? Those taken to block the way for his brother in the race to head the Palermo Education Office?
At the time, they didn’t just want to hit Giovanni’s career. Above all, they wanted to weaken the fight against the mafia. And therefore it was necessary to create damage to Falcone. Behind that vote of the Superior Council of the judiciary there was a maneuver aimed above all at dismantling a certain method of fighting the mafia.
A holy card has been made of his brother, a sort of spotless and fearless superman. Yet he was a man. Here: what man was his brother Giovanni Falcone?
A man who has also experienced so much pain.
What specific fact do you think of? I am reminded of the famous story of the neighbor who wrote to the newspaper asking to transfer all the magistrates out of town because the escort cars made too much noise.
That case grieved him a lot, because he saw that the company did not understand or refused to understand his work. But the most terrible moment was another.
The letters of the Crow. It was a very painful period for him, because he sensed the existence of a machination created by those extremely refined minds he speaks of after the attack on the Addaura. Few caught the real references made by John. For him, the Raven’s letter struck him in what he called his only wealth, that is, the wealth of his honor.
In that letter it was practically said that the repentant Contorno had become a state killer, an avenger created by Falcone himself.
That was something that tormented him. On the other hand, we realize that that letter was a maneuver to delegitimize it and therefore create less fanfare when he died in the Addaura attack. There were those who had begun to say it before: this Falcone was not then that pure character we were talking about.
Does it bother you when politics uses the name Falcone, does it speak of the “Falcone method”, to attack the magistrates who are on the front lines today?
The Falcone method is a system created on the field by Giovanni. It is not a sentence: it is an investigation method. So yes, if it is exploited it annoys me. But among the various exploitations suffered by my brother, it is not the one that has bothered me the most.
And which one has bothered you most?
Don’t make me talk, I don’t want to get into controversy with anyone. Especially today.
Give me an example.
It annoyed me a lot when someone, and it was more than someone, used Giovanni’s name to qualify his business, his career. When they say Giovanni would appreciate their job because he was a friend of theirs. Don’t make me say anything else.
Outside of quotations and commemorations, too little is said about it. Who was Francesca Morvillo?
He was a very sweet creature, a person who always knew how to say the right word. A woman who managed to get into Giovanni’s life and heart, and it wasn’t easy. When my brother started dating, it was as if he had found tranquility, stability. I shed the same tears for Giovanni and for her: it’s as if my sister had died.
The mafia is a human fact that has a beginning and an end is another of the well-known phrases of Giovanni Falcone. Twenty-eight years later how far is the end?
It depends. Stay away until society and politics realize that fighting the mafia is a primary necessity for this country. I repeat: primary. The fight against the mafia must continue to be done intensely. Only in this way maybe one day we will succeed.