End of race for Matteo Messina Denaro. The powerful godfather of the Sicilian mafia, captured in January after 30 years on the run, died in a hospital in the center of the country, where he was hospitalized. Aged 61, Matteo Messina Denaro, who was one of the leaders of Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia, suffered from colon cancer for which he was treated while on the run. It was while going to a clinic in Palermo that the last great living Sicilian “capo”, wanted since 1993, was arrested.
This ruthless killer was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the 1992 assassination of judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. After his arrest, he was transferred to a high-security prison in L’Aquila, where he continued to receive medical treatment. In August, Messina Denaro was transferred to the detainee ward of the local hospital, where his condition had deteriorated in recent days.
The godfather always kept silent
His arrest may have brought relief to his victims, but the mafia boss has always remained silent. In interviews he has given since his arrest, Messina Denaro has even denied being a member of Cosa Nostra. After his disappearance in 1993, some thought he had gone abroad. He actually lived in a comfortable apartment near his hometown of Castelvetrano in western Sicily. According to the residents of Campobello di Mazara, he went out in broad daylight to have a coffee at the local bar, order a pizza, do his shopping… He had false papers and pretended to be a doctor.
In 2015, prosecutor Teresa Principato estimated that if he had been able to evade the police for so long while traveling easily it was only because he was protected “at a very high level”, without however specifying the nature of this protection. “We have had confirmation of its presence in Brazil, Spain, Great Britain, Austria,” she was surprised.
In July, an Italian court sentenced him on appeal to life imprisonment for his role in the 1992 assassination of judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.