Rosario Livatino: the anti-mafia magistrate who will be blessed today – Sicily

Ceremony in Agrigento for the ‘boy judge’ killed in ’90

Rosario Livatino, who today will be proclaimed Blessed by the Church during a ceremony that will take place in the Cathedral of Agrigento, the mafia knew her well. The magistrate killed on 21 September 1990 by four Stidda killers met her every morning as he left the house. In fact, a few steps from his home in viale Regina Margherita, in the center of Canicattì, lived also the boss of the town, Calogero Di Caro, arrested again on February 2nd together with Antonio Gallea, sentenced to life imprisonment just as the instigator of the murder of the magistrate. And Livatino, already engaged in a delicate anti-Mafia investigation despite his young age, knew who that gentleman who greeted him in a deferential way was.
In the early 1980s he joined the Agrigento Public Prosecutor’s Office as a substitute. A pool of close-knit magistrates, led by the prosecutor Elio Spallitta, which also included Salvatore Cardinale and Roberto Saieva, who had begun to investigate the Agrigento clans. Like the Caruana and Cuntrera families, you left Siculiana, a small town in the province, with your cardboard suitcase, for Venezuela and Canada and in a few years became the most important brokers in international drug trafficking. Investigations that led Livatino to collaborate, together with the Gip Fabio Salamone, with Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
A shy and reserved magistrate, who every morning before going to the Palace of Justice in Agrigento, gathered in prayer in the nearby church of San Giuseppe. A faith also witnessed by another “secret”. It took investigators months to decode the acronym “STD”, which was reported on the magistrate’s notes, documents and notebooks and initially mistaken for a secret code. In the end it was discovered that it was a constant reliance that Livatino made to God: the three letters stood for “Sub Tutela Dei” (under the protection of the Lord “), so much so that the Mafiosi scornfully defined him as the” holy man “. Also for this reason the Vatican authorities have recognized that Livatino’s martyrdom occurred “out of hatred of the faith”.
A faith combined with great professional rigor and a defense of the role and independence of the magistrate. Speaking in 1984 at a conference on the role of the judge, he said: “It would be highly appropriate for judges to renounce to participate in electoral competitions as a candidate or, if they believe that the seat in Parliament far exceeds the prestige, power and importance of office of the judge, made an irrevocable choice, burning all the vessels behind them, with the definitive resignation from the judicial order “. Precisely in that year the writer, then a young reporter, got to know the magistrate for work reasons. In the editorial office came the news of a man blown up with an explosive charge in a farmhouse in the countryside of Agrigento. Livatino, who was the substitute on duty, was questioning the widow of the victim in the carabinieri barracks who turned out to be a high-ranking Mafia boss, Lillo Lauria, killed on the orders of Totò Riina’s Corleonesi. Journalists pressed investigators for news of the attack. The magistrate replied that he could only meet one representative of the press. Even on that occasion Livatino did not deny his reputation as a reserved magistrate and little inclined to the spotlight: “I can only say that my presence in this barracks testifies that a crime has been committed, I’m sorry I can’t provide any more information”. An attitude light years away from the often distorted relationship between magistrates and journalists that was already developing in those years. Not to mention recent events such as the Palamara system or the storm on the minutes of the lawyer Amara who hit the CSM. Who knows what that “boy judge” who will be blessed tomorrow. (HANDLE).