For investigation on a murder scene, they told her: “Go away or you’ll end up the same way!”. After an arson attack: “Go away or we’ll smash your head off!”
At the end of November 2017, in a matter of days, the journalist Francesca Chilloni, a contributor to the daily newspapers Reggiosera (online) and La Voce di Reggio, received serious threats. The first time on the 24th, while she was working on the site of a homicide. The second on the 28th, while documenting an arson attack. On both episodes the Anti-Mafia District Directorate is investigating. The same journalist revealed the episodes. She did so on November 28, 2017 through her Facebook profile, receiving many certificates of esteem and solidarity, including that of the Regional Press Association.
Ossigeno too expresses solidarity with Francesca Chilloni wishing her “to find the necessary support to uphold her reasons, to defend herself against threats, to find the strength to denounce those who claim to censor with violence the unwelcome news”, said the director of Ossigeno, Alberto Spampinato.
Francesca Chilloni deals with judicial news and ‘ndrangheta since 1996. Regarding the two episodes, she underlined that in both circumstances she was alone. She explained that she does not feel like presenting a formal complaint, as she is a precarious worker who, among other things, would face any legal battles alone. “I reply to the threats – she told Ossigeno – by continuing to write as before. I thought these episodes were part of the uncertainties of the trade, of which to speak at most between colleagues. I realized I had underestimated the phenomenon. I did not believe I could be the news. Thanks also to the many expressions of solidarity, I understood that we journalists are under fire, that there is an involution and barbarization in progress”.
On November 24th she was in Reggiolo (in the province of Reggio Emilia), where a man of Calabrian origins, Francesco Citro, was killed, and whose car had been burned three hours before the murder. In the second case, on November 28, she went to Cadelbosco di Sopra (also in the province of Reggio Emilia) to reconstruct the case of the arson attack against the car of Rosetta Muto, wife of Salvatore Mercadante, sentenced definitively to 5 years and 8 months for usury and attempted extortion. The brother of Mercadante, Luigi, suffered the same fate and was also among the defendants in the “Aemilia” trial, in which he was acquitted. She was gathering information and testimonies.
In both circumstances she was the only journalist present and was reached by some people who threatened her. The first time they told her that if she did not leave right away she would have met the same end as the man killed. The second time they told her that they would smash her head with sticks.