30 years they were looking for it. Since 1993, Matteo Messina Denaro, the last great boss of the Cosa Nostra (Sicilian mafia), was as palpable for the Italian Police as Vito Corleonethe fictional character of The Godfather whom Messina adored. 30 years and yet the key to the matter was a piece of paper: This was the clue that led the Carabineros to finally arrest him last January 16.
Said piece of paper, hidden in the leg of a chairdetailed the health conditions of a person sick with cancer. That person was, of course, Matteo Messina, whom they arrested as they left the private hospital in Palermo where he was being treated under a False identity.
The discovery of this clue became one of the elements that led to the arrest of the ‘last corleone’. The discovery occurred at the home of Rosalía Messina Denaro, the gangster’s sister. Known as Rosetta, the 68-year-old woman was also arrested this Friday in Castelvetrano (Sicily) on charges of mafia association.
[Se estrecha el cerco sobre Messina Denaro, el capo de la Cosa Nostra fugitivo desde hace tres décadas]
The piece of paper was discovered by the Carabineros last December 6, while bugging Rosetta’s house, which had been the family’s historic residence before the capo’s escape. This fact evidence that, inevitably, Rosetta was aware of her brother’s conditions and that he was in charge of communicating it to the rest of the members of the mafia family.
Agents found a note inside the hollow chair leg, they photographed it and put it back in its place so as not to arouse suspicion in the woman. Then the researchers discovered that it was a real clinical diary of a cancer patient, the same one that Messina Denaro suffered from (this was not known until after his arrest, but it was what the investigators suspected).
“This demonstrates that the fugitive had informed herstep by step, of the discovery of the disease and of all the subsequent surgical interventions, probably having had several occasions to meet him personally and to ascertain his state of health”, the prosecutors explain.
Rosalía is the eldest of the five brothers Messina Denaroand the prosecutors Maurizio de Lucia and Paolo Guido believe that he is the person who, in the shadows, managed the family’s money and managed the mob boss’s communications network.
Investigations suggest that he was in charge of managing the family coffers, covering his brother’s financial needs during the 30 years he was on the run, as well as transmission network of the “pizzini”the little pieces of paper with which the gangsters communicate their orders to the rest of the members of the gangster family and that allowed Messina Denaro to continue issuing orders from his hiding place.
Until now she had never been directly involved in the investigations. However, her husband Filippo Guttadauro he had always been considered one of the most trusted men of the head of the organization.
His son Francesco, considered the favorite nephew of Matteo Messina Denaro, is also in custody.rrested in 2013 together with the capo’s younger sister, Anna Patrizia, while Rosetta’s other daughter is Lorenza Guttadaurocurrently the lawyer appointed by the mafia boss for his defense.
[La Policía italiana detiene a Matteo Messina, el jefe mafioso más buscado del país huido desde 1993]
Rosetta was arrested after the Messina Denaro driver, Giovanni Luppino; of the person who provided him with his false identity, Andrea Bonafede; of the doctor from Campobello di Mazara Alfonso Tumbarello and a second Andrea Bonafede, who is the one who withdrew the ‘capo’s’ medical prescriptionsaccording to the statement of the Carabineros.