March 21st, 2019: Day of Memory and Commitment. Biographies of international mafia victims

           

In this spirit,  «Vivi » (Alive) was created (vivi.libera.it), a multimedia archive, open and accessible to all, where we can learn about the lives and dreams of hundreds of innocent victims. « Alive », because this is how we want to remember them. « Vivi » is an in-progress project, that will grow with time thanks to each enriching story and memory shared with us. ⟫

For more than twenty-two years now, thanks to the generous testimonies of the families, Libera has been collecting the stories of mafias’ innocent victims. These stories are not only individual or familial: they are the stories of our territories that, altogether, narrate a piece of our country’s history. Listening and acknowledging these stories, supporting the families in their effort to transform pain into commitment, seeking truth and justice for all mafias innocent victims is Libera’s responsibility. Libera International, since its beginning, has been collecting stories of world mafias’ innocent victims to build altogether a public and shared memory worldwide…

  • List of international innocent victims of mafias

1. Marielle Franco – 2018

(27 July 1979 – 14 March 2018), Brazil: Marielle Franco, 38 years old, a Rio de Janeiro city council member and activist who spoke out against police violence in the city’s slums, was shot to death. She was a member of a leftist, socialist party who criticized police officers accused of using aggression in the city’s favelas. Her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, was also killed when two unknown attackers fired an estimated nine shots into their car, silencing one of Brazil’s emerging voices for the underprivileged. The suspects were identified as Ronnie Lessa, a retired military police officer, and Élcio Vieira de Queiroz, a former police officer. They were arrested in March 12, 2019.

Source: The Guardian

2. Josué Giraldo Cardona – 1996

October 13, 1996; Colombia. Josué was President of the Meta Civic Committee of Human Rights in Colombia. The committee had been subjected to threats, harassment and persecution and in January of 1996 the threats against the Committee intensified, which motivated Josué to abandon the country. However, in October 13, 1996, Josué was shot by an unknown person in front of his home in the city of Villavicencio, and he lost his life while he played with his daughters, Sara and Natalia.

Source: Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

3. Victor Vargas Sinay – 2013

Guatemala,  Victor was 10 years old and the third of a young family with six children. His mother was Armenia Sinay Sicajua, who was about 30 years old when she died. They both died due to the same explosion of the artificial fires they were making. There was no electrical current in their house and were working with candle next to them. She died instantly, but he screamed with pain for a few hours. He remained in coma for a week. Victor and Armenia are both victims of the mafias that run this world. To remember Victor is to denounce a mafia that continuously kills the hope of the world and to send a message of hope that always rises.

4. Gersain Cardona Martinez – 2009

March 21, 2009, disappeared in Piedras Negras, Mexico: Disappeared exactly 10 years ago, on March 21 2009, in the locality of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, México, along with 11 other people who were dedicated to the street vending of paint barrels. Since then, the family has not heard from him. The wife, also due to this situation, died of a heart attack some time later, while she devoted herself to finding her husband.

Source: Zocalo

5. Davide Casellato – 2005

Slovakia. He was killed in Slovakia with a gunshot in broad daylight, over fifteen years ago. The killer was a woman, never identified. A murder for which, then, the mobile squad of the Udine Police Headquarters had proceeded, until it had been rebounded by the raised rubber wall in Bratislava. Now the sources of the Bratislava prosecutors say that the case of Casellato has been reopened .

Source: Messaggero Veneto

6. Rhys Milford Jones – 2007

22 August 2007 (aged 11); Liverpool, England: Rhys Jones was shot by mistake while aiming at rival gang members across a pub car park, Liverpool crown court head at the start of the trial into the schoolboy’s murder. He was the innocent victim of a long-running feud between rival gangs operating in and around the area of the Fir Tree public house.

Source: TheGuardian

7. Engin Gunes – 2018

06-08-18, Foggia, Italy: On Saturday August 6, four migrant laborers from Africa collided with a truck and were killed. Separately, at two least people were killed also on Monday when a tanker truck caught fire on a major highway in Bologna, in northern Italy.

The accident was likely caused after the driver was overcome by fatigue after working since dawn. Like the four laborers on Saturday, these 12 had gone to pick tomatoes early morning. Police have been hard pressed to identify the bodies. So far, they’ve only been able to identify 7 of the 12. For the others, it seems as though even in death, destiny is trying to deny them their dignity. Not everyone had documents. The only thing certain is that the victims had just finished their shift in the fields. Foggia’s state attorney has opened an investigation to reconstruct the accident.

Source: La Stampa

8. Eunice – 2018

06-08-18, Foggia, Italy: On Saturday August 6, four migrant laborers from Africa collided with a truck and were killed. Separately, at two least people were killed also on Monday when a tanker truck caught fire on a major highway in Bologna, in northern Italy.

The accident was likely caused after the driver was overcome by fatigue after working since dawn. Like the four laborers on Saturday, these 12 had gone to pick tomatoes early morning. Police have been hard pressed to identify the bodies. So far, they’ve only been able to identify 7 of the 12. For the others, it seems as though even in death, destiny is trying to deny them their dignity. Not everyone had documents. The only thing certain is that the victims had just finished their shift in the fields. Foggia’s state attorney has opened an investigation to reconstruct the accident.

Source: La Stampa

9. Kamelia Boncheva – 2012

Bulgaria: the wife of Angel Bonchev, the President of Bulgarian soccer club Litex, was kidnapped in July 2008 while paying part of a ransom for the release of her husband. Boncheva came face-to-face with her husband’s kidnappers after being reassured by police that the abductors would be arrested. According to other unofficial reports, Boncheva had with her around Lev 400,000-500,000 (€ 200,000-250,000) of the total Lev 3 million (€ 1.5 million) ransom the abductors had demanded in ransom. The abductors seized Bonchev’s wife and the money because they spotted one a policeman who was approaching Boncheva after they lost contact with her. However, she was released after being held for around twenty days.

Source: Balkan Insight

10. Viktoria Marinova – 2018

October 6, 2018, Ruse, Bulgaria: The body of Marinova, 30, was found by a passerby, after she had gone running along the Danube in Ruse, Bulgaria’s fifth biggest city. She presented a programme on TVN, a local channel. The man, named as 21-year-old Bulgarian citizen Severin Krasimirov, was detained by German police near Hamburg on Tuesday, at the request of Bulgarian authorities and was accused of the rape and murder of the journalist.

Source: The Guardian

11. Camilo Carlos Antonio Tobar – 2012

April 27, 2012, Quito, Ecuador:

Source: El Telegrafo

12. Abdellatif Mathlouthi – 2012

17-01-1979, city of Ras Jebel in the Bizerte Governorate, Tunisia: From Ardept, they send us the names of two young Tunisians missing after September 7, 2012 – date of their departure to cross the Mediterranean. Together with them, we also want to remember all the victims dispersed in the Mediterranean, and who are now returning, starting from the Tunisian coasts.

13. Mohamed Bassem Jeridi – 2012

06-08-1989, city of Ras Jebel in the Bizerte Governorate, Tunisia: From Ardept, they send us the names of two young Tunisians missing after September 7, 2012 – date of their departure to cross the Mediterranean. Together with them, we also want to remember all the victims dispersed in the Mediterranean, and who are now returning, starting from the Tunisian coasts.

14. Antonia Locatelli – 1992 (included in 2018 list)

10-3-92, Rwanda: Antonia Locatelli was a direct witness of the slaughters and of the active role of « Radio Rwanda » in the civil war. She contacted the Belgium Embassy and sent detailed information alongside a photo coverage to  «RF1 » and the « BBC ». The next day, at her appeal on March the 10th 1992, she was killed in front of her house, by Iterahamwe, a paramilitary milice created by the Akazu Clan, active in the region under the name of Democratic Forces of Liberation of Rwanda, that were ruling in Burundi. On her grave is written « The defender of the defenseless »

15. Luc Nkulula – 2018

RD Congo: A night between the 9th and the 10th June in 2018, a fire destroyed the home of Luc Nkulula, 32 years old. The man failed to escape and died in the flames while trying to rescue his laptop and some documents. Leading activist of “Lucha”, an acronym that stands for “Lutte pour le changement” (“Fight for change”) a movement born in Goma in 2012 and now active in twenty cities for those who have made the commitment for human rights, which was Luc’s reason for living when he was just over twenty.

16. Dan Jeremeel Fernàndez – 2008

Northern Mexican state of Coahuila, December 19, 2008: olanda Moran was supposed to meet her son, Dan Jeremeel Fernandez Moran, at the bus station in their hometown of Torreon, in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, on December 19, 2008. The suspect, Ubaldo Gomez Fuentes, was a lieutenant in the Mexican Army, assigned to an anti-drug intelligence unit in Torreon. He confessed to being part of a kidnapping gang – made up of soldiers and civilians – that abducted Dan Jeremeel.

Source: MexicoDailyNews

17. Luis Alberto Cardona Mejia – 1989 (included in 2018 list)

4-3-89, Santa Rosa de Cabal, Colombia: Luis Alberto Cardona Mejía, president of the Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, took the bus to go to the University of Santa Rosa de Cabal on the 4th of March 1989, to teach in his Department of Economy and Human Rights. He was cowardly murdered, as many others, in one objective : to block the progression of the party « Union Patriotica », putting an end to the hope the political project of this party has represented : to give a full democracy to Colombia, with guarantee of the respect of human dignity and above all, the construction of an Integral Peace through Social Justice.

18. Amparo del Carmen Tordecilla Trujillo – 1989

Colombia. She disappeared on April 25, 1989 in Bogotà. Officers of the colombian army hijacked Amparo and thereafter making her disappear, for her activism in the  Ejército Popular de Liberación (EPL) group. ( Colombia ).

Source: Amnesty International