Brazil arrests mafioso on the run since 1980s

A crime boss convicted of more than 20 murders and sentenced to life in prison in his native Italy was arrested in Brazil on Tuesday after nearly 30 years on the run, police said.

Brazil arrests mafioso on the run since 1980s
The alleged mobster told police he had fled Italy for fear of being murdered. Police photo: Shutterstock

Pasquale Scotti, 56, a leader of the Camorra, had been living under an assumed name in Recife, in northeastern Brazil, hiding his true identity even from his family.

He was arrested while driving his two daughters – 13 and 15 years old – to school.

He was married to a Brazilian woman and had lived in the same neighborhood for 28 years, presenting himself to the world as a businessman.

He told police he had fled Italy for fear of being murdered, the G1 news site reported.

The federal police said they were awaiting a request for Scotti's extradition to Italy.

In a statement, the police said Scotti was sentenced to life in prison in 1991 “for illegal possession of arms, resisting arrest, extortion and more than 20 homicides.”

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Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.