Luciana Alpi: a life of pain and struggle for the truth

The tribute of Ossigeno to the mother of Ilaria, the journalist killed in Mogadishu in 1994 together with Milan Hrovatin – a strong and determined woman

Luciana Riccardi, the extraordinary mother of Ilaria Alpi passed away on Tuesday 12th June 2018 without having obtained justice and truth about the death of her daughter; without knowing the truth surrounding a death which 24 years later remains a mystery to be cleared up. From that terrible 20th March 1994 the day on which Ilaria was killed along with her cameraman Milan Hrovatin up until the last moment, Luciana continued to fight tirelessly in order that the Rome Prosecutor did not archive the dossier of those investigations enveloped in mystery, those entwined interests and mis-directions which more than once have entailed starting from scratch. Luciana has fought together with her husband Giorgio, whilst he was alive, and then carried on alone. Many times she showed distrust, also publicly, of the machinery of justice. But each time she overcame her discouragement and resumed fighting, spurring on others.

“I have no longer any hope but I must go on for my daughter. She has lost her life and I am still here” she had confessed publicly in May 2017 at the conference, “Information – a right that can be violated?” organised in the Italian Senate by Ossigeno per l’Informazione.

“For me she was Signora Luciana. I got to know her precisely during the organisation of that conference. I had gone to her home to invite her and convince her to participate at the event. I remember the emotion I felt. They had told me that she was a strong woman. They were right. The person I got to know that day, the person that I then met on other occasions was a relaxed woman, refined but decisive and combative. She was also a mother affected by an immense pain for the tragic loss of her only daughter but committed to finding the strength to fulfil the onus of seeking the truth about the background events and those responsible for that bloody execution and obtaining justice.

Her exemplary battle was compelling and became the battle of many others, not only journalist colleagues of Ilaria but also many others beyond the world of information who over the years have lent their support. And now many mourn with us her death. Many are committed like us to continue her strenuous battle to shed light on the deaths of Ilaria and Miran Hrovatin. Dear Luciana, your struggle has not been in vain.

The last time I spoke with her was one month ago. She was suffering from the diseases with which she had lived for years. Her days were characterised by the numerous medical checks she had to undergo. She practically apologised for not being in top form to participate in our initiatives. But, as on other occasions, she demonstrated her close support for the civic battle of Ossigeno.

We will miss Signora Luciana. We will miss her grit, her determination. We will not forget her example. Her memory adds to the motives which give sense to our work and to our daily battle for the truth, and for reaffirming that violence against journalists does not go unpunished.”