ITALIAN BUILDING DEVELOPER GIUSEPPE “PINO” MASCIARI, WHO HAS
REBELLED AGAINST THE MAFIA IN CALABRIA, IS LEAVING THE PLACE
WHERE HE LIVES UNDER THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM,
WITHOUT POLICE ESCORT, TO GO BACK TO CALABRIA AS AN EXTREME
FORM OF PROTEST, WHILE HE IS AWAITING FOR A RESPONSE FROM THE
POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT; HE SIMULTANEOUSLY SEEKS ASYLUM OR
ADOPTION FOR HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN IN ANOTHER COUNTRY.
I am an enterpreneur from Calabria who chose not to submit to the racket and who reported to the
police dozens of people belonging to the local mafia network (the “’ndrangheta”) and their
accomplices inside the institutions. Since 17 October 1997 I have been on a witness protection
program: I was taken away from Calabria and dumped into a tunnel with no way out. For the past
eleven years I have been the victim of countless episodes of neglect of duty, contrary to the law
and even to human dignity, committed by those institutions which were supposed to provide me
protection. I have been abandoned to my fate together with my family, we have been thrown
apart from our relatives and friends, exiled from our native land, I have lost the building companies
I owned as a building developer and my wife has lost her job as a dentist.
First they took bread away from me, then they took away freedom, and finally they took away
After spending eleven years waiting and trusting the institutions, today I have to admit that
circumstances do not allow my family to live in Italy any longer, owing to the situation of desertion
and the absence of the organizations that should have provided us protection constantly and
watchfully in what was supposed to be a safe location.
In conclusion, I find myself to be, together with my family, an easy target for the mafia’s retaliation,
in the current alarming situation in which the local mafia (the 'ndrangheta) is fighting back furiously
Therefore I formally ask Prime Minister Mr Romano Prodi, Minister of the Interior Mr Giuliano
Amato and Vice Minister of the Interior Mr Marco Minniti, who is also the President of the Central
Committee pursuant to Article 10 of the Law 82/91, to settle my year-long issue quickly, before the
general election, by ensuring the right to work and the present and future security and safety for
me and my family.
At the same time I formally ask any Country in the European Union or any other Country to adopt
my family, i.e. my wife and my two children, so that such country may take care of them, ensuring
them the necessary safety.
As to me, I am not seeking asylum! I choose to go on living in my country, risking my life, so as to
be able to continue to denounce and report, both as a citizen and as a legal witness, the
powerlessness of the institutions, whose words are never translated into concrete actions, and to
go on telling the truth about the struggle against the mafia in Italy: he or she who won’t come to
terms with the mafia ways must be bumped off, one way or the other.
Therefore today I am leaving the safe location where I have been living and heading to
Calabria, where I will face my fate, keeping at least the dignity that I was able to defend from the
attacks of the ‘ndrangheta and, more recently, of the institutions.
Then I will go to Rome, to demonstrate in front of the buildings of the Ministries and the Regional
Administrative Court of Lazio, where my appeal against the unjust revocation of the protection
program, that is tantamount to a death penalty, has been disgracefully pending for more than three
I will go around Italy. I am confident that the many citizens, associations, groups and Meetups, as
well as the sound parts of the institutions and of the politics that I have met during these years, will
stand by me, since they share my choice and they also recognize the values of lawfulness and
justice as theirs own.
The former Antimafia Commission of the Italian Parliament had already analyzed and examined
“the case of the businessman Giuseppe Masciari” in depth, during the past (the fourteenth)
legislature; such Commission had acknowledged the grounds of my issue (please refer to the
following documents: Approval of the Report of the Witness Committee of 9 March 2005 –
Shorthand Report of the 69th meeting of 14 June 2005 – Approval of the Minority Report of 18
January 2006, p. 72 "Witnesses against the mafia: a humiliated resource").
The present Antimafia Commission of the 15th legislature of the Italian Parliament, in its meeting of
Tuesday 19 February 2008, approved the Yearly Report about the 'ndrangheta (rapporteur Mr
Forgione M.P.) and the Report about the Witnesses against the Mafia (rapporteuse Ms. Napoli
M.P.), in which the " serious failures in the efficiency of the protection program, often resulting from
incapacity, neglect and irresponsibility" are clearly set forth; therefore "the State must make up for
the ground lost to the citizens who have shown that they have an exemplary civic mind". The
Antimafia Commission has thus acknowledged the respect of the rights of the witnesses against
the mafia, who are a resource to be rewarded, and not to be humiliated. In the report about the
`ndrangheta the Commission has recognized the danger represented by such criminal organization
The institutions, the politicians, Confindustria (the Association of Italian Industries) are collectors of
good intentions, which are never followed by concrete facts. I don’t need to be patted on my
shoulder, but to be given safety, security, and the possibility to work; my wife, my children and I
need to be granted a safe future.
If people who have chosen to stand for Justice accumulate only hardships, thus becoming a
tangible example of the failure of a rapid response of the State, this will not be just Pino Masciari’s
defeat, but Italy’s defeat and the ’ndrangheta’s victory. The ‘ndrangheta has continued and will
continue to do business multiplying its profits: in fact the ‘ndrangheta’s income in Calabria
amounts to 35,000,000,000 Euros, a lot of dirty money, where I have not been given back the right
to go back to be a businessman as I was. Moreover, a resolution of the Ministry of the Interior
dated 28 July 2004 " does not allow to authorize the witness Giuseppe Masciari and his family to
return to their home town, owing to the existence of serious and impending risks ".
This is a defeat for the Italian State and an extremely discouraging message for other people who
will be faced with the decision whether to report or to give in when threatened by the mafia.
Yet I unwaveringly confirm and state until the end that I do not regret in the least my behaviour,
because I believe that reporting crime is a duty for every citizen belonging to a State that can
regard itself as subject to the rule of law.
31 March 2008 Giuseppe (Pino) Masciari
Davide + 39-348-8079996