Published: 05/22/2020 19:35
by Rossana Lo Castro
“In Italy, to be taken into consideration, you have to die. Unfortunately, I have remained alive and today I am annoyed because I say what I think and not what they want me to say”. The Capaci massacre for Giuseppe Costanza, the driver of judge Giovanni Falcone who escaped the TNT of Cosa Nostra, marked the beginning of a 23-year long oblivion. “After 18 months I went back to work, I expected a different welcome and, instead, they didn’t know what to do with me. They put me in a closet, a small office with plasterboard walls built in a corridor,” he tells Adnkronos. They gave him the gold medal for civil valor and assigned him to the car park office. “I went in, stamped the card and waited for the exit time. No service orders. A nightmare. I chained myself before the courthouse, it was at that point that they realized that Giuseppe Costanza was alive. It was the worst time of my life, other than bomb … After 10 years I couldn’t take it anymore and I left “.
Today Costanza travels around Italy, goes to schools to tell the kids about the dark years of the massacres and talk about that judge “isolated and delegitimized by the same institutions that today exalt him”. “In life Falcone had more enemies than friends, he was abandoned and betrayed. He was even accused of dropping the bomb on the failed assassination attempt on Addaura by himself. The CSM rejected his candidacy to lead the Palermo education office, preferring Antonino Meli, who knew nothing about the Mafia and who dismantled the anti-Mafia pool. This is the truth – he slowly articulates -. Instead, every year we attend the usual catwalks, they come here, they go on stage and everything ends there. The pull on the principals does not rise, we are still at the labor force “. For 28 years Giuseppe Costanza has been waiting for the truth. “We will probably have it in 50 years – he says – when I will no longer be there and not even those responsible for that
“I’m tired of hearing that the mafia is only Riina, Provenzano and Messina Denaro, who were the ones who had the idea of filling the highway with explosives. Falcone in Rome walked without an escort, they could have eliminated him there. Instead, they have made in Palermo with a sensational event: a play, a misdirection, an intimidation to make someone bend to the wishes of those who had created the massacre. It takes professionals to blow up a highway, other than Totò Riina and Bernardo Provenzano … Pieces of the State and of the institutions that acted in the shadows and that exploited that labor force. “The week before the Capaci attack, Judge Falcone confided to Constance news that was not yet official and that it had to remain confidential.” He told me that he would become the national anti-mafia prosecutor and who would have set up an office in Palermo – he recalls -. He added that we would travel by helicopter and it was necessary that I take the patent to fly it. He trusted me … For me, behind the massacre there is that appointment. ”
Last year Costanza was heard for the first time by the national Anti-Mafia commission. He reconstructed the past eight years with the judge. “I asked to be heard in 1998 but that request remained a dead letter for 27 years …”. For a long time the driver of Falcone, the man with whom the judge had a very close relationship of esteem and trust (“He communicated his movements to me and not to the institutions”) was forgotten. “It has been 23 years of institutional silence, they have neither invited me nor looked for me – He says -. One day while watching TV on the occasion of the anniversary of the massacre, my nephew said to me: ‘Grandfather, but weren’t you also in Capaci? Why aren’t you with them? It was a punch in the stomach. It was then that I decided to make my voice heard. ”
He had to live with guilt for a long time to escape the attack. “I was told that if I had been in my place, Falcone would have been saved and I would have died. A lie. If I had been driving the line of fire, all three cars would have arrived and today we would cry nine victims, instead than five. ” In the past years he has learned to live with fear alongside the judge. “Every time I left the house I didn’t know if I would embrace my loved ones again – he admits – but I would never give up Falcone. I risked my life and certainly not for money, but because I saw his commitment and his need to have next to him people to trust and I was one of them. Going back I would do it again “.
The judge remembers “his will to live”. “He told me that he would have liked to be able to walk in his city without an escort, like a normal citizen. Instead, he was a life sentence.” The news of the bosses’ release in recent weeks has troubled him. “An absurd, abominable thing – he says -. Was it a mistake made by incompetents or a precise choice? I have my doubts at this point. Fortunately there was a national outrage, a movement of rebellion from a leader to the other of Italy “. Despite the years of misdirections and missing truths, however, Costanza has never lost trust in the state, even though, she bitterly admits, “there are also many within the institutions who have come for other purposes. The mafiosi were once the ones with the coppola, today instead are the many white-collar workers who crowd the palaces of power. And there you have to dig, because Cosa nostra without the support of these characters would not exist. ”
That’s why, according to the man who accompanied Falcone for eight years, keep in mind that “the anti-mafia is not done only on May 23rd“.” Today more than ever it is necessary to carefully evaluate who is anti-mafia and who, instead, lives on anti-mafia. My wish? It is not only Giuseppe Costanza, the son of a railway worker, an honest Italian citizen, but the whole of Italy that those who made a mistake can pay and today ask for it. They can no longer make fun of us. ”
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