‘Ndrangheta and politics, the “electoral maneuvers” of the boss’ son-in-law in support of Falcomatà

‘Ndrangheta and politics, the “electoral maneuvers” of the boss’ son-in-law in support of Falcomatà
‘Ndrangheta and politics, the “electoral maneuvers” of the boss’ son-in-law in support of Falcomatà

REGGIO CALABRIA «I vote for Falcomatà because if Falcomatà goes up, a friend of mine goes up». Daniel Barillà, born in 1985 and considered the “long hand” of the Araniti gang and ended up under house arrest yesterday following the “Ducale” blitz of the Reggio Calabria anti-mafia district, says this in a telephone intercept. As emerged during the investigative phase, in fact, Barillà and the Araniti ‘Ndrangheta gang would have activated their “usual” channels to favor the re-election of Falcomatà as mayor of Reggio Calabria, who in the meantime ended up in the run-off. The latter, according to the prosecution’s theory, “gladly welcomed the electoral strategies of the Aranites’ protégé, overcoming the initial reluctance that had characterized their relationship up to that point”, we read in the order.

In the order, the investigating judge, Vincenzo Quaranta, explains that he did not want to accept the DDA’s request for the arrest of mayor Falcomatà «because there are doubts that the then candidate and current mayor of the Democratic Party was aware of the “mafia reasons” that would moved the collection of votes by Daniel Barillà”. If the investigating judge, in fact, confirms the “agreement” (the crime contested by the DDA against the mayor of Reggio Calabria) it is still «insufficient to deduce, with the circumstantial gravity required for the application of a precautionary measure, the awareness on the part of Falcomatà of mafia reasons, based on Barillà’s ability to gather consensus in the territory”.

It’s September 21st when Barillà contacted Falcomatà by telephone, they exchanged a few jokes about the outcome and the future of the vote, and they talk about possible “roads” to follow to “win easily against Minicuci”. And so, when the ballot was made official on 23 September 2020, Daniel Barillà began the electoral campaign for Falcomatà, contacting the “loyalists”, including Ignazio Borrutto (among those under investigation), reassuring him of the electoral victory. But it was September 25, 2020 when the investigators captured the conversation between the outgoing mayor and Barillà himself, in which the former contacted the latter, expressly asking for his help. «Danielino, what do we want to do? Shall we play or work? Let’s work Daniel.” It’s still: «I need a hand, a big, big hand. If we won in the first round in Catona, we must win in the second too», explains the mayor to Barillà who insists: «(…) And in any case, let’s see each other, whenever you want, we’ll see each other… we have to see each other, you know how long, however, a quarter of an hour, twenty minutes… let’s have two meetings and off we go and then we don’t have to see each other again…”.

As stated in the ordinance, therefore, the strategy dictated by Barillà, in summary, considering “dinners and dinners and aperitifs” useless, he planned to “have individual meetings” in the order of “ten appointments” and a final meeting with “my entire group”, indications that “will actually be followed to the letter by Falcomatà”, we still read in the order. The investigators document a frenetic exchange of messages and phone calls, and also the intention to bring Falcomatà «to have a couple of meetings between Catona and Gallico». It is September 27th when they go to «the House of Solidarity», in the Catona district and, during the surveillance service, the PC sees the outgoing mayor of Reggio arrive. Among those present, as we read again, there was also Francesco Scopelliti known as “Checco”, a person who, according to the investigators, Falcomatà himself, in planning the electoral campaign done with Barillà, «had indicated as a key element to win over Salice », we read in the ordinance. After Catona, the group heads towards the scheduled appointment at the “Collina del sole” social cooperative and, finally, in the hamlet of Diminniti.

As reconstructed by the investigators, the electoral maneuvers of Barillà and the Sambatello group in favor of Falcomatà, «intensified in the final stages prior to the date of the ballot, also obtaining consensus from historical exponents of the Araniti clan, such as Giuseppe D’Agostino, with the declared aim of claiming the importance of their contribution as much as possible, especially in the Gallico area”. Electoral tour which, again according to the investigators, ends with the triumphant meeting of the group directed by Barillà with the candidate Giuseppe, considered by the former to be the right and due tribute for the work carried out on his behalf. It was October 3, 2020 when, in the afternoon, Daniel Barillà stopped in the center of Sambatello in his car, “stopping to chat with Giuseppe D’Agostino, who he asked who he would vote for in the runoff”, we read. After having indicated Falcomatà himself as his preference, Barillà replied: «(…) no yes, well… in fact I think that perhaps he even comes… he comes here to visit you… he comes and finds you too». ([email protected])

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