Train 904 massacre, new investigation by prosecutors: “The trail of the mafia alliance, services and politics”

Train 904 massacre, new investigation by prosecutors: “The trail of the mafia alliance, services and politics”

Christmas 1984 was shocked by a massacre caused by a bomb placed on a train, the rapid 904, crowded with citizens preparing for the holidays: 16 people died and 267 were injured. The investigations and trials have established the mafia matrix, the hand of the Corleonese Salvatore Riina. It was an attempt to blackmail the State against its action to combat organized crime. Alongside Cosa Nostra there would also have been others who planned this deadly action, which led the Sicilian bosses to join forces with the Camorra members of the Nuova Famiglia, with men from Roman crime, in particular from the Magliana band; with figures of the subversive right and deviant sectors of the institutions, linked and connected by a mafioso, Pippo Calòwhich, following Riina’s indications, played a pivotal role between all these “devices”.

Almost forty years after the Christmas massacre, the Florence anti-mafia district prosecutor’s office has reopened the investigation, with new elements of investigation, which aims to ascertain the external complicity of Cosa Nostra in that massacre season which began with the bomb at the rapid 904 until the massacres of 1993 and 1994 in the North. New investigative findings have forced the start of investigations. For the investigators there is a need to carry out an in-depth investigation “in relation to the position of subjects who were not involved in the trial at the time (Calò and other defendants ed.) held in Florence”.

The investigations coordinated by the deputy prosecutors Luca Turco And Luca Tescaroli were delegated more than a year ago to the Carabinieri del Ros. So what was the strategy of the Corleonesi in the 1980s and why did Cosa Nostra not want to make it clear that it was their own men who had planted the bomb on the train? «Because he wanted to divert attention from the maxi trial and the investigations they were carrying out Giovanni Falcone And Paolo Borsellinotherefore create an action strategy towards Italy, to the north, to divert attention from the south and be able to serve “our interests”” he explains Giovanni Brusca answering the prosecutors’ questions, pointing out that in that period the Palermo magistrates had ordered hundreds of arrests thanks to the revelations of Tommaso Buscetta.

«I don’t rule out that there was a hand in the 904 massacre Antonino Madonia» he adds Bruscareferring to the Palermo boss close to the Corleonesi but with strong ties to exponents of the far right and to deviant institutional apparatuses.

Innocent people were killed in the Christmas massacre. “Yes, innocent people died,” he says Brusca «but we have to enter into the Cosa Nostra mentality, also knowing that deaths happen, but they shrug their shoulders, never mind, we die anyway and sooner or later we have to die, but the important thing is to keep the State or politics or the courtesies that they go “to ask”».

According to a precise strategic plan of Riina, who had decided to make the attack appear as a “political” event with the aim of instrumentally diverting the attention of the state apparatus from the “real problem”, i.e. the search and identification of the instigators of the massacre. Which had to appear to be inspired by a terrorist matrix and therefore should have diverted the commitment of civil society from the fight against Cosa Nostra, giving rise to the existence of a danger for the institutions and the country different and greater than that posed by the mafia. All this can only be the result of the mind of Riina?

The parliamentary commission of inquiry into terrorism and massacres, in the president’s report Giovanni Pellegrino of December 1995, however, decided to question this reading of the massacre: «The proven mafia origin of the episode would seem to some extent to separate the massacre of 904 from the previous ones and to configure it almost as an anticipation of the attacks in Rome, Milan and Florence which marked the summer of 1993 and in relation to which judicial investigations appear to be on solid foundations aimed at identifying the responsibility of the mafia leadership”. There is therefore a trail that leads to a gray area characterized by cross-relationships between the mafia, secret services, crime and politics. The new investigation reopened in Florence also focuses on these points.

The bomb exploded at 7.08pm on 23 December 1984 on the Naples-Milan train in second class carriage 9 while it was traveling through the San Benedetto Val di Sambro railway tunnel, near the Vernio station, in the province of Prato. Places not far from those of the attack on the Italicus train, on August 4th ten years earlier. In 1992 the final sentence for Pippo Calòof his assistants Guido Cercola And Franco D’Agostino and the German electronics technician Friedrich Schaudinn. The former parliamentarian of the Social Movement Massimo AbbatangeloInstead, he was convicted of possession of the explosive, together with four Camorra members.

In 2011 the Naples prosecutor’s office requested and obtained the arrest of Riina. The investigation then passed to the Florence prosecutor’s office which in January 2013 asked for the boss to be sent to trial, who was acquitted two years later. Between postponements, a judge replaced because he was close to retirement and the just controversies of the victims’ families, the appeal trial was set for December 2017. Too late, because Riina meanwhile, he died the month before. It is now up to this new investigation to try to get to the truth that is still missing about this forgotten massacre.


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