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“23 years have passed since that May when the Cosa Nostra’s trinitrotoluene killed the magistrate Falcone and his guards with the intention of destroying the image of the State, making it appear weak. Today organized crime has cast off its skin. It no longer uses bombs, it uses the strategy of de-legitimization to “kill” the magistrates”. Maurizio Carbone, the general Secretary of the national Association of Magistrates, has pronounced these harsh words during the national commemoration of the massacre of Capaci.

What do you mean by “strategy of de-legitimization”?
“After Capaci’s episode, there was another massacre, the one of via D’Amelio. The national reaction was very strong, and perhaps also as a result of this reaction the organized crime has now changed its attitude. The criminals have understood that attacking the single magistrates was not to their advantage. So in the last years their strategy has changed. Now they use intimidation and de-legitimation against the magistrates, which is an often flattering strategy.”

“I want to be clear in order to avoid misunderstandings: I’m referring to what some of my colleagues from Palermo told me, and that is that the criminal organizations are trying to spread through the workers of the Mafia’s sequestrated firms the idea that the magistracy is causing unemployment.”

The magistrate as the one who reduces people to poverty, then?
“Practically, yes. The message that the criminals are trying to convey is that the Mafia guarantees wealth and prosperity, so to make it appear as the real power that gives job to people, whereas the magistracy with its actions hurts the country and deprives society of job, sequestering the properties confiscated from the gangs. I repeat it: it is a very dangerous strategy that discredits the magistracy in order to support and strengthen the criminal world. Unfortunately, it is a very current and worrying matter that is fomenting the illegality’s culture. Without an integral civic consciousness, the investigating and judicial fight can do little. Spreading the idea that the magistracy is a danger for our country, that it does not produce wealth but that causes unemployment, is a very serious matter. And it is important to talk about it, starting from schools and families, to make people know that it is a deceit.”

What do you remember of that terrible day?
“That May 1992 was a moment that everyone of us remembers; when a piece of the highway in Capaci exploded hurting one of the symbols of the fight against the Mafia, the whole Italy was hurt.”

Where were you?
“I was returning from Rome to Naples, my hometown. I was travelling on the highway because I had just handed the written tests to become a magistrate. So, as an aspiring young magistrate, exactly on the day when I was trying to realize my professional dream, I was told that a judge had been so brutally attacked..”

Does the Mafia still use explosives?
“Cosa Nostra always takes root where there is opportunity to gain more money; it has left by the attacks and has entered into the world of business and public contracts, as the Mafia Capitale case has shown. It uses corruption to make its own interests.”

Taking this consideration into account, what do you think about the approval of the anti-corruption Legislative Decree?
“It is important that finally, though with great difficulty, the proposal of the President of the Senate Grasso – thanks to his experience as a magistrate – has been approved. It’s the first step. It is a new tendency compared to what has been done over the past 20 years, during which the signals of an attention lowering to these crimes have been evident, with laws that have been qualified as “ad personam”, as the one about the false accounting or the Cirielli Law about prescription. Finally, we again talk about some crimes for what they really are, but more can be done, the work must be completed..”

If we want to give a stronger signal, we must fight against these crimes using the same means we use against the Mafia, since the Mafia is interested exactly in these crimes”.

Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo

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