It happened on May 10th in the middle of the night. The reporter is a contributor to Agi and Giornale di Sicilia. He has followed anti-Mafia operations and trials. Solidarity was expressed by the trade union and the Order of Journalists.
A serious intimidating act in Syracusa aimed at the journalist Gaetano Scariolo, crime and legal affairs reporter and correspondent of the Agi press agency and collaborator of the Giornale di Sicilia. Shortly after midnight on the 9th May 2019, unknown persons set fire to his car, a Ford Fiesta parked in the street near his home.
For the investigators the motive for the act would be the journalistic activity of Scariolo who has followed, in particular, the recent anti-Mafia operations and the trials of those accused of Mafia, corruption and malfeasance.
Several expressions of solidarity came from colleagues, from the Order of Journalists, trade unions, institutions and various associations, including by sit-ins and social campaigns. The press association of Syracusa has launched the hash tag #incendiamolecoscienze on the web to stimulate citizens’ support for journalists.
Someone had spread a flammable liquid on the car’s bonnet and started the fire that destroyed the front of the car. Forensic officers came to the scene of the fire to take samples . Recordings of some surveillance cameras in the surrounding area have also been obtained.
“In checking with the investigators – Scariolo noted – it emerged that probably in the preceding days I was followed in order to identify my car, since I usually move around with a scooter”. And he added: “Setting something alight is now a sort of “modus operandi “in Syracusa, used for whatever reason, from disagreements with the neighbour, to crimes of passion, to one’s work as in this case”. “The fact that intimidation is linked to journalistic activity – Scariola told Ossigeno – is proof of the important role played by local information, and more generally Sicilian, still attentive to certain issues. I have dealt, and continue to do so, with legal reporting in Syracusa and, therefore, with crime, including the Palamara case and Mafia affairs in the province. All this – he concludes – reinforces the conviction that print media, despite the crisis, continues to be the watchdog at the service of society “.
Antonino Cicero (wt)