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Mafia. In Catania pop singers threaten journalists of “Meridionews”

Luisa Santangelo had highlighted their ties to the well-known bosses Santapaola and Turi Cappello. Wave of insults on Facebook. The reporters denounced the offenses and publicized the episode

“You have offended my family”. “You are not worthy to name it”. Along with other insults and threats. The authors were two neo-melodic singers: Niko Pandetta and Andrea Zeta. Their outburst was aimed at the journalists of the Sicilian online magazine Meridionews. The trigger: to quote in a report on the success of neo-melodic Neapolitan music in Catania and on the inclusion of criminal themes in the lyrics (look) of some songs, and their kinship with mafia exponents. The author of the report and the editor in chief reacted by pressing charges for the offensive and intimidating nature of the reactions and making the episode known through Ossigeno per l’Informazione, who thanked them and expressed their solidarity.

The video report that angered the two singers was made by journalist Luisa Santangelo, a contributor to the online publication and published on 3 January. Luisa Santangelo describes the phenomenon as follows: “A world made of street shows, which the city of concert cafes ignores, and which is not only just a passion that unites thousands of people from Catania, but indeed a relevant business: the parties in the squares are paired with private appointments, for which thousands of euros are paid. Sums that also depend on the popularity of the artists: on YouTube the videos collect millions and millions of views. In some cases exploiting themes that wink to organized crime. Or that exalt it”.

In the video, the journalist says that this activity takes place at the intersection of “business, crime and passion”. He interviews some neo-melodic singers, a manager and a sound engineer who complained about the introduction of these themes in the songs in order to reach a wider audience, to the detriment of a lower quality of music. In the service the singers Pandetta and Zeta are mentioned by the reporter for their kinship with exponents of the mafia. “In his videos – Santangelo says speaking about Pandetta – the tattoo often appears with the name of his uncle, the historical capomafia at 41 bis, Turi Cappello. Pandetta is also the protagonist of a video where the murder of a repentant appears. Another excellent relative, Andrea Zeta, son of the bloody boss of the Santapaola clan, Maurizio Zuccaro, is also among them. Andrea, however, speaks only of love “.

These words have triggered the reaction of the two singers who, on social networks, have flooded threats and insults against the author of the report and the journalists of Meridionews. Between the evening of January 3, 2018 and the morning of the 4th, suggesting that they were together, Pandetta and Zeta sent threatening messages via private mail to the Facebook profile of the newspaper. Also, on the evening of January 3, in a live broadcast on the Facebook profile of Pandetta, someone has insinuated that the journalist’s father had a criminal record and the singer commented by threatening to smash his head.

The journalist, the following day, filed a complaint with the Catania Postal Police. In the text, Santangelo specifies that what has been said about his father “does not correspond to the truth in its whole formulation, both with regard to the profession carried out, and with regard to the presumed criminal precedents”. On the same day, the chief editor of the online newspaper, Claudia Campese, denounced the threats and insults to the postal police. “The only reason we want to tell this story is to make it clear that unfortunately a certain consideration persists towards the free press, made up of prejudices brewed in a climate of intolerance”, commented Campese.

Pandetta and Zeta have invited their fans to share the video in which Santangelo is visible in order to obtain the blocking of the content of the Meridionews page from Facebook. In addition, the journalist underlines, also the protagonists of the reportage and other neomelodic singers, who at first had shown appreciation for the service, have deleted the video from their walls and have apologized to Pandetta and Zeta.

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