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Santo Di Matteo

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Name  Santo Matteo

Santo Di Matteo held by Italian policemen arrives at police HQ in Palermo

Strage capaci parla santino di matteo mio figlio sciolto nell acido


Santino Di Matteo (Altofonte, December 7, 1954), also known as Mezzanasca, is a member of the Sicilian Mafia from the town of Altofonte in the province of Palermo, Sicily, Italy.

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Santino Di Matteo

Santo Di Matteo took part in the killing of Antimafia judge Giovanni Falcone on May 23, 1992, near Capaci. After his arrest on June 4, 1993, he became the first of Falcone's assassins to become a government witness – a pentito. He revealed all the details of the assassination: who tunnelled beneath the motorway, who packed the 13 drums with TNT and Semtex, who hauled them into place on a skateboard, and who pressed the button.

Santino Di Matteo's son Giuseppe Di Matteo

Killing of son

Santino Di Matteo wearing t-shirt

In retaliation the Mafia kidnapped Di Matteo’s 11-year-old son, Giuseppe Di Matteo on November 23, 1993. According to a later confession by one of the kidnappers, Gaspare Spatuzza, they dressed as police officers and told the boy he was being taken to see his father, who at that time was being kept in police protection on the Italian mainland. In Spatuzza's words, "To the kid's eyes we appeared like angels, but in reality we were devils. (...) He was really happy, he kept saying 'My father, my dear father'". Instead they held Giuseppe for 26 months, during which time they tortured him and sent grisly photos to his father to force him to retract his testimony although he'd already signed a legally binding deposition.

Pippo Giordano who told Santino Di Matteo that they had killed his son

Di Matteo made a desperate trip to Sicily to try to negotiate his son's release but on January 11, 1996 after 779 days, the boy, who by now had also become physically ill due to mistreatment, was finally strangled on the orders of Giovanni Brusca. The body was subsequently dissolved in a barrel of acid to prevent the family holding a proper funeral at which they could mourn and to destroy evidence — a practice known colloquially as the lupara bianca.

Giovanni Brusca led the disguised Mafia members who kidnapped Giuseppe Di Matteo

Di Matteo once had to face Brusca, in court. Bursting into tears Di Matteo told the judge: "I guarantee my collaboration but to this animal I guarantee nothing. If you leave me alone with him for two minutes I'll cut off his head." The confrontation nearly got violent, if not for the guards who restrained Di Matteo.

Angelo Longo is also held responsible along with others, including Giovanni Brusca in the kidnapping of Giuseppe Di Matteo

In October 1997, the pentito Di Matteo was rearrested. Although a key witness in several important trials under way, he had returned home to recommence his criminal activities and avenge atrocities carried out on family members.

Release

In March 2002 Di Matteo was released early, along with four others, in return for cooperating with magistrates, outraging relatives of Falcone. Despite no police protection, he decided not to go into hiding but returned to his family in Altofonte, protected by an iron gate and two dogs.

Before his arrest Di Matteo already had become hesitant about the violent strategy of the Corleonesi. In their testimonies Di Matteo and another pentito Salvatore Cancemi described the victory celebration that followed the Capaci bombing. Totò Riina ordered French champagne and while the others toasted Cancemi and Santo Di Matteo looked at one another and exchanged a gloomy assessment of Riina and their future: "This cuckold will be the ruin of us all."

References

Santino Di Matteo Wikipedia