From History to Mystery: The Parliamentary Inquiries into the Kidnapping and Murder of Aldo Moro, 1979–2001
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On March 16, 1978, Aldo Moro was kidnapped by the Red Brigades, who held him captive in a “people’s prison” in Via Montalcino for fifty-four days and murdered him on May 9. Three decades later, this apparently straightforward description of the tragedy had become remarkably controversial. Many key details were now disputed: who had planned and participated in the kidnapping, where Moro had been held captive, whether anyone apart from the kidnappers had had contact with him, whether any of the possibly compromising documents he might have written in the “people’s prison” had been removed and destroyed, who had made the final decision to murder rather than release him. Radical doubts were not voiced only by irreducible conspiracy theorists. In 1998 the Italian President, Scalfaro, declared his belief that the real organizers of the kidnapping had yet to be identified, and in 1999 Moro’s son Giovanni claimed that two decades of investigation had served only to reinforce the view that the truth lay further away than ever.1 For events pored over by police, judges and lawyers, politicians, academics, and journalists for a quarter of a century—during which most of the protagonists have retired or died; their political parties, along with the Red Brigades themselves, have vanished; and the awareness of the event among younger Italians has become minimal—the escalation rather than abatement of controversy about even the facts of his fate seems deeply paradoxical.
KeywordsPolitical Party Real Organizer Parliamentary Committee International Involvement Armed Struggle
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