Who Killed Aldo Moro? His Kidnapping And Murder Is Explained

Questions about who killed Aldo Moro continue to be asked even today and we give context to the death of this brave Italian leader who died for his country.

Who Killed Aldo Moro - Homage

Aldo Moro Homage

Famous Italians In History

It is important that brave Italians who fought the good fight are remembered with their memories being kept alive through a range of media sources. I wanted to continue this series (Heroes Of Sicily And The Mafia Villains They Fought) by highlighting another of my favorite figures from modern Italian history who fought tirelessly for Italy and paid the ultimate price with the cost being his life. These Italian heroes can act as an inspiration to others looking to challenge injustices when they see it in their lives.

Aldo Moro was born in 1916 in Maglie in the province of Lecce in the heel of the boot that is Italy. He was among the founders of the Christian Democrats and he became its secretary in 1959. He was a minister several times and as prime minister he led several center-left governments in Italy. In 1978 Moro was kidnapped and killed by the Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse), who were a far-left Marxist–Leninist armed organization.

Aldo Moro History

Aldo Romeo Luigi Moro was an Italian statesman and a prominent member of the Christian Democracy (DC). He served as prime minister of Italy from December 1963 to June 1968 and then from November 1974 to July 1976. He also served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, he was appointed Minister of Justice and of Public Education and he served as Secretary of the Christian Democracy.

Moro was one of Italy’s longest-serving and most popular post-war prime ministers, implementing many social and economic reforms which modernized Italy. Due to his agreements with the communist party leaders, Moro is widely considered one of the fathers of the modern Italian center-left political movement and one of the greatest leaders in the history of the Italian Republic.

Who Killed Aldo Moro - The Street

Street Where Aldo Moro was Assassinated

Who Killed Aldo Moro?

On March 16, 1978, the new government led by Giulio Andreotti was about to be presented in Parliament for a confidence vote. That same morning, the car carrying Aldo Moro from his home to the Chamber of Deputies was blocked in on via Mario Fani in Rome by a group from the Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse), which was a far-left terrorist organization. In a matter of only a few minutes, the terrorists killed the two carabinieri in Moro’s car and the three policemen traveling in the support car, then they kidnapped the president of the Christian Democrats.

The Aldo Moro Assassination By The Brigate Rosse

After 55 days of imprisonment, Moro was subjected to a sham political trial by the so-called “People’s Tribunal”, created by the Red Brigade themselves, and he was then killed on May 9. His body was found that same day in the trunk of a red Renault 4 parked in Rome on via Michelangelo Caetani, about 150 meters from the national headquarters of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and the national headquarters of the Christian Democrat Party (DC).

Who Killed Aldo Moro - Dedication

Aldo Moro Dedication

Why Was Aldo Moro Kidnapped

The reasons for the kidnapping have been extensively studied, theorized and written about. The Red Brigades chose to kidnap and assassinate Aldo Moro because of his role as the go-between for the DC and PCI. These were the two main political parties in Italy at that time and were both active participants in the Fourth Andreotti Cabinet. This was the first time since 1947 that Italian Communists had a government position as part of this coalition.

The Brigate Rosse

The Red Brigades believed that the success of the kidnapping would stop the Communists’ rise to become integrated into Italian state institutions and as such being part of the machine they viewed as corrupt and oppressive. Without the CPI being part of the government, the Red Brigades could continue with their revolutionary war against capitalism. In the first communication by the Red Brigades, they claimed that the DC: “… had been suppressing the Italian people for years”.

The Years Of Lead

It is important to understand the societal backdrop to these events to better appreciate the risks to all of the people involved. The period in Italy between the late 1960s and the late 1980s is known as the Years of Lead (Anni di Piombo) due to the social and political turmoil demonstrated by the far-right and far-left acts of terrorism. A far-left group, the Red Brigades, eventually became the most notorious terrorists from this period. Not to be outdone, the bombing of the Bologna railway station in 1980, which killed 85 people, was committed by the far-right, neo-fascist terrorist group known as the Revolutionary Armed Nuclei (Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari)

During this period there were many acts of terrorism committed, including:

  • Murders of policemen, politicians and political figures
  • Bombings of public spaces
  • Some attempted coups
  • Kidnapping and killing of judges
  • Arson attacks

The Years of Lead understandably led to an increase in the immigration rate of Italians to the United States. Once the Years of Lead ended and the wave of violence subsided in Italy, the rate of immigration to the United States decreased.

Who Killed Aldo Moro - Site

Aldo Moro Assassination Site

Memorial To Aldo Moro

I was unexpectedly walking down some backstreets from Teatro Massimo on my way to Rome’s Jewish Quarter and I stopped to take a look at a plaque mounted on a wall on via Michelangelo Caetani. This marker indicates the spot that Aldo Moro was found following his assassination. This small memorial, probably unnoticed by most, is an important reminder of Italy’s history. It would be easy to walk by it without even a quick glance, but stopping and taking a look at the less obvious hidden gems of Rome adds so much to the experience of visiting and living in Rome.

If you happen to be out in the northwest section of Rome, there is another memorial, which has been vandalized multiple times, that marks the location on via Mario Fani where Aldo Moro was abducted after exiting his house. In 2018, the memorial was defaced with a spray painted B and R to signify the Red Brigades.

Nicola Zingaretti, who was in 2018 the president of the Lazio region where Rome lies, said of the graffiti:

“The writing on the plaque in via Fani in memory of Aldo Moro and the agents of his escort is a cowardly and shameful gesture. Disgusting. Solidarity with the families of the victims, no step backwards in the face of violence.”

How Famous Italians In History Shaped Today

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