The fact that he had been the last fugitive from Cosa Nostra, remaining in hiding until eight months ago, had made Matteo Messina Money into a guardian of secrets that seem destined to remain hidden after his death. A treasure chest that only he could open, and that he was careful not to do when he came face to face with the investigating judges after his capture. “I will never regret”, he immediately warned the prosecutor in the first interrogation. And that “If I have something, I won’t say it, it would be stupid” What he pronounced before the judge about the assets he owned could easily be extended to the background of the mafia plots in which he was the protagonist. Including those that have bloodied, contaminated and even modified the history of Italy.
He knew and could have explained, for example, why in March 1992 Totò Riina decided to change his mind about the already planned murder of Giovanni Falcone. Matteo was part of the commando sent to Rome with the intention of finding and assassinating the magistrate during the week in which he was in the capital to work at the Ministry of Justice. But after a few days in which Messina Denaro and other “young recruits” of the Corleone mafia alternated fruitless ambushes with shopping on the streets of the city center, Riina decided to call everyone back to Sicily because he had found another solution: the Capaci massacre. In the land of Sicily and with terrorist methods. An election linked to the incompletion of the “Roman mission”, but which also contained within itself a change in strategy: not only mafia revenge, but such a shocking attack that would trigger a new “strategy of tension”.
The mafia leader of Castelvetrano knows why he took that path and, above all, why it was decided to continue along it throughout 1993, before and after he went underground. When Messina Denaro evaded the first arrest order, in June 1993, Cosa Nostra had already begun killing on the continent, with the Via dei Georgofili massacre in Florence and the attempted murder of Maurizio Costanzo in Rome. Immediately afterwards, in July, protests broke out. bombs in Rome and Milan: more unsuspecting deaths, and the threat of attacking during the day instead of at night, with the threat of causing many more casualties. He was also there, at the meeting at the beginning of April 1993, in which photos and tourist brochures with images of the artistic places that were going to be attacked were distributed among the gangsters who were going to take and explode the devices in the different cities. . Who and why made that decision? With what political-strategic perspective on the part of the Mafia?
Meanwhile, Riina had been arrested in January of that year, leaving the hiding place from which he had left the morning of his capture unrecorded. And from there arose another mystery that became a possible secret of which Messina Denaro would remain the last guardian: the archive of the “boss of bosses” that survived its own owner. Legend or truth, this is what repentants considered reliable as Nino Giuffrèformer right hand of Provenzano who surrendered to the Carabinieri in 2002 and became a collaborator of justice. “I believe that part of the documents stolen (by the gangsters) from Totò Riina’s house went to Messina Denaro,” he repeated several times in the trials. Since his arrest, on January 16, 2023, that “treasure” has not appeared. Researchers have found many keys, but without discovering which doors they can open. They continue looking for one or more secret lairs of the boss, who did not want to talk about it: “These things, if he had them, he would never give them away.”
Others – including the controversial Salvatore Baiardoformer protector of mafia brothers Giuseppe y Philip Gravianowho made some inflammatory statements regarding Messina Denaro’s illness and his subsequent capture – have speculated that Matteo himself received the famous red agenda by Paolo Borsellino, who disappeared from Via D’Amelio immediately after the massacre. But it was not Mafia men who took that document from the crime scene. And if it were true that Borsellino’s secret notes ended up in the hands of Messina Money, I should have known through whom, and what use was made of them. Then there are the still hidden passages of transformation of the mafia that attacked the State with which he coexists again with him, under the direction of Bernardo Provenzano, now without bombs or “extraordinary crimes”, but with new agreements and political references that have allowed Cosa Nostra to resume its trend prior to the massacres, along with business as usual. A change in strategy that Messina Denaro not only adapted to, but shared.