Pino, better known as ‘Pino’ Masciari is an entrepreneur from Calabria in the south of Italy who is daring to stand up to ‘ndrangheta mafia.
In the past Masciari ran is own construction business, and found himself being asked right left and centre for ‘favours’ and ‘contributions’ by local politicians and mafia members. He was asked to employ the right people, buy people cars, give them apartments, and provide labour and materials to mafia bosses.
Apparently manipulated bureaucracy attempted to strangle the life out of his business dealings, which were made more and more difficult as a result of his refusal to succumb to mafia demands. In the end, the combined forces of mafia and bent politicians forced Masciari to close down his building company. He had had enough.
Standing Up For Decent Citizens of Italy
Sickened by the collaboration between politicians and the mafia, and no doubt the collapse of his business, Pino Masciari decided to turn state’s witness in an attempt to bring attention to the ridiculously high levels of corruption and mafia activity which existed in the Italian region of Calabria.
Masciari and his family entered Italy’s witness protection program in 1997 as it was adjudged that his life, and that is his family, was under threat. Yet while Masciari was under so-called state protection, during the court hearings of 1997, he was treated as though he was the criminal. Transferred in cars which were not armoured, Mascari was booked into hotels in his own name, and left to sit in the company of those accused of corruption and mafia association. The intention seemed to be to intimidate Mascari as much as possible, yet he did not give up.
Abandoned by the State
Despite having done is bit for Italy, and having appeared as a primary witness in trials which brought ruthless ‘ndrangheta mafia members and shamelessly corrupt Italian politicians to justice, the police protection afforded to Mascari and his brave family was withdrawn in 2004 on the basis that trials were over. Something which was not true. The trials did not officially end until 2006.
Masciari has recently started a hunger strike to bring Italy’s attention to his plight, and I received an email today from one of his supporters. I’ve decided to publish this in a, small, attempt to spread the word about this despicable situation.
The Masciari story gives the impression that it is better to be corrupt and belong to a criminal organisation than it is to be honest in Italy. Not good.
Come on Mr Minister Maroni, you’ve been seizing mafia assets all over Italy, and quite a number of mafia types have been arrested. Do something about this, and the Italian people will think that the Berlusconi government really does care about Italy.