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In Colombia Mario was killed: proof of the hidden truth

Mario Paciolla's death was not a suicide, but a murder disguised as suicide. The marks found on the UN Italian agent's body, who died last July 15 in Colombia in San Vicente del Caguan, suggest that a staging has been performed. Crucial evidence of the crime have been made to disappear from the crime scene by the UN forces. The house was washed with bleach a few hours before the forensic police finished carrying out the surveys. Mario had packed his suitcase and was ready to leave for Italy. He wanted to flee from Colombia because he was afraid and he decided to return to his Naples as soon as possible. He had also bought some gifts for his family and friends, before they saw him return to his hometown buried in a coffin. The parents said to the Italian newspaper "La Repubblica": "Mario did not commit suicide: he was killed". The first evidence seem to confirm this hypothesis. It is no coincidence that the file, opened by the Rome prosecutor's office, ended up on the table of the Ros police, which are specialized in international murder crimes.


The rush to leave

Mario Paciolla was 33 years old. After a degree in Political Science in the "Orientale" University of Naples, he had been traveling the world for years: Jordan, India, Argentina, then Colombia for two years by participating to a UN mission, whose purpose was the reintegration of former FARC guerrillas into Columbian society. According to the reconstruction, Mario had been having problems at work in the last few weeks. He was scared. He said to his mother a few days before his death:"Do you remember when I had a fight at school with a teacher for an injustice and then I flunked? Well, the same thing happened again when dealing with my UN superiors". His mission was due to end on August 20, in a few weeks. But he was impatient to return before that time. From 11 to 14 July Mario kept in daily contact with his parents, which was deemed to be quite odd, as they usually used to make video calls once every two or three weeks. He told them he had had problems with his organization and wanted to return as soon as possible. On the 14th he managed to buy the plane ticket to Naples. Mario had already packed his suitcase, inside of which there were also some gifts for friends and relatives. On the morning of the 15th, his parents sent him a last message with travel recommendations. Mario never read it.

The crime scene

From the evening of the 14th Mario disappeared in a black hole. The last Whatsapp connection dates back to 22.45, Colombian time. The next morning, as agreed, his UN colleagues went to his house to pick him up and take him to Florentia, from where he would leave to go to Bogota and then Paris. Mario did not answer the intercom. Not even at the phone, UN officials say. They decided then to enter Mario's house thanks to a copy of the keys provided by Mario's landlord, who was living in the same building. They found Mario hanged. The first to see the scene was UN mission's Security Officer, Christian Thompson, with whom Mario had chatted until ten in the evening the previous day. An unusual circumstance, because Thompson was not his direct superior but only the person in charge of security. At the crime scene there was blood. Thompson called the police 30 minutes after entering the house. "When we arrived - say some of the policemen - the door was half open, so the scene may have been contaminated." The policemen also offer other details: Thompson says that computers and cell phones belonged to the UN and therefore could not be taken away. And although, cops say, he was told not to touch anything, he took away some crucial items from the crime scene over the next few days. Which, he will later say, have been disposed of in landfills and therefore no longer available. On July 17, Thompson always returns to Mario's house with two women who cleaned the whole house with bleach and returned the keys to the owner. The next day the police arrived to carry out an inspection. But by then, there was nothing left. It is not clear if this procedure is part of the UN protocols. After that - as the investigative journalist Claudia Julieta Duque reported in her article for the Columbian newspaper "El Espectador" - four policemen were investigated for not being vigilant.

The autopsy

According to Colombian documents, Mario died in the night between 14 and 15 July at 2am. Hanged. First he would try to cut his wrists, as shown by the marks on his arms and the blood found on the crime scene. The prosecutor of Rome
however, ordered a second autopsy, entrusting it to Professor Vittorio Fineschi, the same coroner who followed the cases of Stefano Cucchi and Giulio Regeni. At the moment there is maximum confidentiality and the results will come in the coming weeks. But something can already be said: the cuts on the wrists were superficial, such that they could not cause death, much less a bloodshed such as that found in the house. They seem to have been created on purpose, as if to show a suicide attempt. The marks on the neck, which would have caused death, do not appear to be relevant to the point that they could have caused Mario's death. These elements make not only Paciolla family - but also the lawyer Alessandra Ballerini, who is following the case together with colleagues Emanuela Motta and German Romero Sanchez - think what the facts, the omissions, the misleadings are continuing to suggest every day: Mario did not kill himself: it was a murder disguised as a suicide.


The parents:“Our son was afraid. The secret of his death lies in the relations with people at his workplace and in the activities he was doing while working for UN"

«Mario was a boy who loved life. It was sacred for him. This is why we have never believed in the suicide hypothesis". Anna and Pino Paciolla are Mario's parents. They swear they won't give up until the truth will be found. And they already know one truth; Mario has been murdered.

Why are you so convinced?
«Our son had a great will to live. A straight-backed man who would never compromise. He had never shown periods of pessimism, in fact he was an absolutely optimistic person. Even in the last few days, when he told us he was very worried, he kept making plans for the future".

What are you asking now?
“They have to explain to us why Mario was killed. We are confident that the answers are to be found in his workplace. My son was in complete lockdown for four months. He had no contacts with anybody in the area except for his colleagues and UN superiors".


Have you felt supported by UN in finding the truth about what happened to Mario?
“No. They have been reticent with us from the start. They informed us of Mario's death in a quickly way, saying that he had committed suicide and asking us if we wanted the body back. All has been said in ten seconds, ten seconds which have turned our lives upside down. There are many things we still do not understand: we would like to know why, five or perhaps six hours after the death of an Italian citizen, the Italian ambassador and consul still did not know anything. Why didn't they warn them right away? 

What did you talk about with Mario in the last phone calls?
"He told us that he had had a discussion with his superiors and that he had gotten into trouble. We asked him if he had any fears for his life. He reassured us, as always. He was also worried in the following days, but we thought it was a professional problem. We could have never imagined that someone was thinking about killing him. It is clear that, at this point in time, no one will give us our son back. But our only battle now is to dispel all the doubts about his death. They will have to tell us who killed him and why."

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