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The last mafia superboss Matteo Messina Denaro was arrested after 30 years on the run.

The Prosecutor of Palermo, Maurizio de Lucia, and Deputy Prosecutor Paolo Guido coordinated the investigation which ended with the arrest of the mafia boss of Castelvetrano Trapani (TP).

The boss Matteo Messina Denaro about a year ago had been operated on at the La Maddalena private clinic in Palermo and since then, under the presentation of a false document bearing the name of Andrea Bonafede, he has been continuing chemotherapy. Three days ago the go-ahead came from the magistrates to carry out the blitz: the carabinieri were already at the Maddalena clinic while the soldiers with their faces covered had surrounded her.

A carabiniere approached the boss and asked him what his name was: "My name is Matteo Messina Denaro", he replied. After the blitz in the clinic, the fugitive was taken to a maximum security prison facility, as also happened for Totò Riina. Together with Matteo Messina, Giovanni Luppino was also arrested, accused of aiding and abetting, who allegedly accompanied the boss to the clinic for therapy.

What method was used to capture the last superboss?

The 'Dalla Chiesa method' was used, i.e. collection of information data from the various departments of the carabinieri, telephone interceptions, state databases.

The commander of the carabinieri Teo Luzi, who arrived in Palermo, said: 'A great satisfaction because it is an extraordinary result. Messina Denaro was a figure of the highest operational level, but also from a symbolic point of view because he was one of the great protagonists to have attacked the state through massacres.

For 30 years we have wanted to get to his capture and especially in recent years with huge use of personnel and instrumental resources', 'a result was also due to the work done by the other police forces, in particular the State Police. It is a result that gives us courage, which gives us new stimuli to move forward and gives us a working method for the future. Precisely Matteo Messina Denaro was blocked in the street, near the secondary entrance of the La Maddalena clinic.

The Cosa Nostra boss did not oppose any resistance and immediately declared himself, without even pretending to be the person whose identity he had used.

The prosecutor of Palermo, Maurizio De Lucia opened the press conference for the arrest of Matteo Messina Denaro with these words: "We have captured the last mass murderer responsible for the 1992-93 massacres, we are particularly proud of the work completed this morning which concludes a long and very delicate work.

It is a debt that the Italian Republic owed to the victims of the mafia which we have partly paid off".

The Palermo adjunct Paolo Guido declared: "He appeared to us in good health and good-looking, it does not seem to us that his conditions are incompatible with prison, "Obviously he will be treated as every citizen has the right to be treated," he concluded.

Who is Messina Denaro's assistant?

He is a farmer by trade, with a clean record, his name is Giovanni Luppino, arrested this morning together with the super-fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro. He was the one who took him by car to the private clinic in Palermo for treatment. Luppino is from Campobello di Mazara, a town near Castelvetrano, the birthplace of the boss. For some time he had been running, together with his children, a center for storing olives right on the outskirts of Campobello di Mazara. Giovanni Luppino was the intermediary between the producers and the large buyers who, in the area, come from Campania.

Who is Matteo Messina Denaro and why is his capture so important?

The investigative results are consistent with the arrest of Matteo Messina Denaro in an oncological clinic because according to very dated data the boss was suffering from serious pathologies. As early as 1994, Messina Denaro was in Spain, in Barcelona, ​​where he would have undergone retinal surgery, not only that, he would also have accused chronic renal failure, for which he would have had to resort to dialysis. Precisely because of this pathology and in order not to risk arrest while traveling for treatment, the boss would have installed dialysis equipment in his refuge.

Matteo Messina Denaro was the last 'first magnitude' mafia boss still wanted.

He was the son of the old mafia boss of Castelvetrano (TP) Ciccio, a historic ally of Totò Riina's Corleonesi, a fugitive from the summer of 1993, when in a letter written to his girlfriend at the time, Angela, after the mafia massacres in Rome, Milan, and Florence, heralded the beginning of his life as a Scarlet Pimpernel.

"You will hear about me - he wrote to her, implying that shortly thereafter his name would be associated with serious bloodshed - they will paint me as a devil, but they are all falsehoods".

The Trapani (TP) mafia boss was sentenced to life imprisonment for dozens of murders, including that of little Giuseppe Di Matteo, the son of the pentito strangled and dissolved in acid after two years of captivity, for the massacres of '92, costing his life to the judges Falcone and Borsellino, and for the 1993 attacks in Milan, Florence and Rome. Hundreds of law enforcement officers have been involved in his arrest over the years. A record fugitive like that of his cronies Totò Riina, who escaped handcuffs for 23 years, and Bernardo Provenzano, on the run for 38 years.

Article by Vittoria Petrolo

Responsible for Marketing,

Media & Communication Department

IPO Section Italy

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