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Aldo Moro

Moro, during his detention by BR
Aldo Moro (September 23, 1916 - May 9, 1978) was the two-time Prime Minister of Italy. One of the most important leaders of Democrazia Cristiana (DC, in english the Christian Democrats), Moro was considered an intellectual and an incredibly patient mediator, especially in the internal life of his party. He was kidnapped and killed by terrorists from the Red Brigades.

Table of contents
1 Early career
2 Historical compromise
3 Murdered by the Red Brigades

Early career

His political career had started during the late times of fascism, in the G.U.F. university groups. Soon after the fall of the regime he joined the F.U.C.I. (Federation of Catholic University Students) which later completely merged with the DC.

Historical compromise

During the 1970s, he was one of the political leaders who gave the deepest attention to Enrico Berlinguer's project of a so-called Compromesso Storico (historical compromise). The leader of PCI (Italian Communist Party) had proposed a solidarity between Communists and Christian Democrats in a moment of serious economical, social and political crisis in Italy, and Moro, then the president of DC, was one of those who had helped in finding a way to finally form a government of "national solidarity".

As leader of the parliamentary coalition he served as Prime Minister from 1963 to 1968, and again from 1974 to 1976.

Murdered by the Red Brigades

On March 16, 1978, the day Moro's third government should have gone in front of Parliament to obtain the fiducia (parliamentary approval), he was kidnapped by the left-radical Red Brigades who massacred his escort, and after 55 days detention murdered him as well.

During this period, Moro wrote several letters to the principal leaders of DC and to Pope Paul VI (who later personally celebrated his solemn Funeral Mass). It has been conjectured that Moro sent cryptic messages to his family and his colleagues in these letters. Doubts have been advanced about the effective complete publication of these letters; Carabinieri's general Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa (later killed by mafia) found copies of the letters in a house that terrorists had in Milan, and for some reason this retrieval was not publicly known until many years later. A transcription of these letters can be downloaded from here (in italian, .pdf format).

The Red Brigades proposed to exchange Moro's life for the freedom of some imprisoned terrorists. During the detention, it has been said that many knew where he was detained (an apartment in Rome), and even Romano Prodi (current president of the European Commission) was involved in a strange story of indications on a possible place of detention.

Moro's body was left by terrorists at a site 100 metres from the head offices of both DC and PCI, as a last symbolic challenge to police and institutions, which were keeping all the nation, and Rome in particular, under a strict and severe surveillance.

His capture and the manoeuvres that surrounded causes and methods of his elimination still are not clearly identifiable, despite several trials and dozens of separate investigations, as well as general internal and international attention. Most of what surrounds Moro's death is a mystery.

Some suggested that Moro's murder could have been orchestrated by the Italian Masonic lodge, P2, and that the Red Brigades had been deeply infiltrated by US intelligence (CIA). Much of this theory is predicated on the hypothesis that the hard work that Moro had done to admit members of the Italian Communist Party into a coalition cabinet, was deeply disturbing those interests. Many believe that in reality the Red Brigades effectively were instrumentally at the orders of some hidden powers (their actions should prove that they did not fight for the pretended communist cause), but no concrete proof of this hypothesis has ever been found.