Mar 05

#AllForJan – Dear Slovak Friends …

This news from my family website is dedicated to Slovak friends. Since the autumn of 1967, when I was a visiting student at the Medical School of Martin, Slovakia is in my heart. Not only Slovakia, but also Cekia. At the time, I was 22, Czechoslovakia was a single nation, and as such I learned to know and love it. I had many friends, and many of them I found over the years, as part of the scientific community of which I belong. I wrote, in my diary of those distant days, how absurd it was that I and they were arrayed, as a result of the political choices of the respective Countries, on opposite fronts, while our common studies, the science we began to learn, would have pretended that we were on the same side, that of the weakest people, of humanity who suffers.

Since January 1969 I learned to love another friend, never known, but whom I loved for his feelings as a free man. It was Jan Palach, three years younger than me and many dreams.

Today I learn to love another Jan.

Jan Kuciak, journalist, killed last week with his girlfriend Martina Kusnirova, for his investigations on EU funds granted to Italians linked to the mafia, especially the ‘Ndrangheta.

My life has led me to know, deepen and fight against the mafia, and for this I feel the duty to write to my Slovak friends. To warn them against the mafia culture that today has invaded all of Europe and the world. The Italian mafias in Slovakia, as in many other European and non-European Countries, are SILENT MAFIAS.

They do not make extortions, kidnappings or traditional illegal trafficking. Their purpose is to infiltrate the local economy, clean up and recycle dirty money (this coming from illicit trafficking), to achieve lucrative business through frauds in public procurement.

The Public Power, political, investigative and economic apparatuses often know about the presence of the mafia and sometimes they are in touch or collaborate with it, and they are careful not to denounce them because they believe that these collaborations, at least apparently, bring a benefit to the economy local.

Pecunia not olet!  Not so, my dear Slovak friends. Be aware of it!

There is a combined marriage that is celebrated between a frail economy, daughter of a young democracy, of the crisis, of the rules imposed by the Europe of Banks, and another economic force, the criminal one, which has so much cash and the only need to invest it. Complementary needs that can become functional to each other. Be careful, watch and impose good governance on your Country.

Reports from Slovakia speak of a request for a substantial reshuffle of the government or new elections, to resolve the crisis of trust in which your beloved country has fallen. Believe me, this is the way to follow.

A great popular challenge. Hard certainly, of course. But the youth of your democracy, perhaps has more chances than Italy, where corruption and bad governance are rooted since long time.

In any case it is worth fighting, otherwise what is the use of being alive? (famous phrase by Giuseppe Fava, theatrical pièce La Violenza, 1969).

Drahí priatelia a bratia, I conclude these lines by inviting you to publicly support the #AllForJan commitment, and the special editorial board of Ringier Axel Springer, editor of the Aktuality.sk news website for which Jan Kuciak worked.

His Director, Mark Dekan, wrote on Twitter: «Jan Kuciak is dead but his last words have not yet been spoken. We will continue Jan’s investigative work. Jan Kuciak is dead, but the truth is not. We will find it and let the world know. If you want to contribute then redistribute. #AllForJan.»

Baladev Saraz, in perfect good faith, answering Mark Dekan wrote: «Please keep doing what he was doing !!! He is real HERO for all of us !!! »



My wife Elena, daughter of Giuseppe Fava (journalist killed by the mafia in 1984) and disappeared in December 2015, when someone told her that her father was a true hero, she replied that it was not true! Her father was just a journalist doing his job straight away, with straight back, without bending anyone or anything.

Defining heroes, journalists like Giuseppe Fava, Daphne Caruana Galicia from Malta, or Jan Kuciak from Bratislava, means building a proper alibi for our sloth! It means building this false thought: «They were heroes, we are not heroes, so we can not do anything to counteract bad habit.»

Believe me, it’s not like that! We, all together, can do a lot!