Who is Niccolò?

Giustizia per Niccolò?

Who is Niccolò and why are they demanding that justice be done for him?

This is what I asked myself without receiving an answer. Why am I seeing this kind of messages on the fences, hanging outside the balconies or attached on the gates.


Why not, “Giustizia per Victoria!”  which, to me, would seem rather comforting. Just kidding, cheer up.

I find out that Niccolò is dead.

He was killed in Spain and he was a young man born right here in this part of town. From my hood, I explain to myself.

What was Niccolò Ciatti doing in Lloret de Mar, Spain, in a disco at that time of night and why would someone kill him? Why are the Italians  mourning his death more than any other death? Why is this case special?

Well, after getting more information I understand. The case is delicate because:

-the Italians are glued to their families. Yes, we all are, but they are like bees, going together everywhere, even more so when under attack. A fat part of them, at least. When someone is dead (a natural state of all mortals) the remaining ones are crying tears of sorrow for the rest of their lives. Sometimes this sorrow (understandable for a while) degenerates into a malignant attachment which is eating life like a cancer.

I, for example, did not hear anything from my second level relatives for years. When I was physically in their proximity they were too busy with living and I was too small, a mouth to feed. After I left home the relationships became even more foggy. When I hear now in Italy the way people talk about their aunts and uncles, grandparents…I am impressed. They talk about real people, whom they meet and talk to, not concepts. I guess this is one of the lessons I could learn from Italy.

-Noccolò’s violent death stroke an essential fiber of the humanity still alive. The people who are asking for the assassins to be punished – by supporting the family, by hanging the posters everywhere, by donating money, by staying together as a group on Facebook – still feel that something is wrong when people kill each other.

Which is a good thing in our world as it is today.

People were taken aback by the intrusion of death, so close to their homes. Death peeking through their windows. Death craving more young flesh.This gave them a sense of urgency, a sense of what is forgotten so very often-living is just one side of the coin, death is the other one.

People see this case as a matter of dignity, the dignity of Italy as a whole. Dignity which is being ignored and stepped upon at the moment.

-Why so? The men who punched Niccolò and killed him aren’t caught, arrested? It turns out that this is a “special” case. There were three Chechen men attacking Niccolò. Two of them were left free, one of them might be free after the investigations. He is under the detention of the Spanish justice now. Niccolò’s father is trying in different ways to intervene and make possible the extradition of the men but these kind of things are slow. He is growing impatient and angry with the Italian justice system.

-the situation gets even more delicate if we listen to the theory that Niccolò was the victim of the Chechen mafia which, apparently, is controlling the tourist sector in that part of the world. The three men might be part of this criminal organisation. This fact is mentioned by an Italian journalist, writer, and mafia expert- Roberto Saviano.

If you want to understand the Italian reality and the Italian culture, you have to take into account the existence of mafia, not only pasta, pizza and football. To take it into account and to acknowledge the fact that the decisions people are talking, most of the times, are influenced by many factors and reasons.

Since I am no mafia expert I will stop talking about it and do what I do best -listen.

I remember that my mother was getting very angry with the news whenever they were saying” if found guilty…” so and so will be locked, or will have to pay this and that. She thought that those who are involved in a “bad” thing should be punished immediately, why wait? What investigation is needed if the deed is done? I can only imagine what would it be like for her if she would have been in such a situation as Niccolò’ s family.

Niccolò’s father is brave and I hope that he will find peace during his remaining lifetime because justice can not be really done by anyone here among us, not the Italian nor the Spanish justice system. Not even if the whole mafia system is taken down tomorrow.

Niccolò’s father, as anyone of us when going through life, is called to forgiveness.

The three Chechen men have lived tumultuous lives, overflowing with anger and pain. They are part of our society as well, they are our children as well. They are dead as well, even if physically living. They need help as well. In their case,  help might be precisely the punishment for killing. The reasons are deeper than we might think.

It is a high call now. I know.

But this is part of the meaning of us as human beings. We have the difficult task of forgiving precisely those who hurt us the most, and so, heal the world, the human consciousness.

It will take millions of years. I know.

Until we learn to do that there will be many more Niccolò-es killed. It might strike each of us. Your mother, your father, your aunts and uncles, your children.

You might become Niccolò one day.

Until we learn to see the world as a whole, the others as a reflection and part of ourselves wanting love and peace, we will continue killing each other.

I believe that the message “Giustizia per Niccolò” should be read as “Justice for humanity”, “Justice for truth”.





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