Aldo Moro

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Aldo Moro

Aldo Moro (Maglie, Lecce Province, September 23, 1916 - May 9, 1978) was twice Prime Minister of Italy. He was one of Italy's longest-serving post war Prime Ministers, holding power for a combined total of more than six years.

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 militants from the Red Brigades.

Early career

His political career had started during the late times of fascism, in the G.U.F. university groups. He joined and in 1941 became president of the F.U.C.I. (Federation of Catholic University Students). After World War II, Moro was elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1946, and helped drafting the Italian constitution. He was then re-elected as a member of the house of representatives in 1948, where he served as a member until his violent death.

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.

Kidnapping and Death

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Moro, photographed during his detention by the BR

On March 16, 1978 Moro was kidnapped in via Fani (Rome) by the left-radical Red Brigades, led by Mario Moretti, after murdering all of the 5 escort agents ordered to protect Moro. After 55 days of detention, Moro was murdered in or near Rome on May 9. His body was found that day in a parked car.

Moro was kidnapped on his way to a session of the house of representatives where a discussion was supposed to take place regarding the vote of confidence to a new government led by Giulio Andreotti for the first time with the support of the communist party. It was the first implementation of Moro's strategic vision defined by the Compromesso storico.

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

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). In his letters, Moro advocated that the state's primary objective should be of saving people's lives, and that the government should strive to comply with his kidnappers' requests. Most of the leaders of the Christian Democrats argued that the letters did not express truthfully Moro's intentions, and refused to attempt any negotiation, in stark contrast with Moro's family's requests. In his appeal to the terrorists, Pope Paul VI asked them to release Moro "without conditions".

Moro's body was left by terrorists in the trunk of a car in Via Caetani, a site between head offices of both DC and PCI, as a last symbolic challenge to the police, who were keeping the entire nation, and Rome in particular, under strict and severe surveillance.

Moro's capture and the 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. Much of what surrounds Moro's death is a mystery. It has been conjectured that Moro used these letters to send cryptic messages to his family and colleagues. Doubts have been advanced about the completeness 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.

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 to those interests. Many believe that in reality the Red Brigades were instruments of hidden powers, but no concrete proof of this hypothesis has ever been found. However, Moro's widow later recounted his meeting with Henry Kissinger and an unidentified American intelligence official, who warned him to abandon the strategy of bringing the Communist Party into his cabinet, telling him "You must abandon your policy of bringing all the political forces in your country into direct collaboration...or you will pay dearly for it." Moro was so shaken by the threat that he became ill and threatened to quit politics. [1] (

Preceded by:
Giovanni Leone
Prime Minister of Italy
Succeeded by:
Giovanni Leone
Preceded by:
Mariano Rumor
Prime Minister of Italy
Succeeded by:
Giulio Andreotti

Template:End boxca:Aldo Moro de:Aldo Moro fr:Aldo Moro id:Aldo Moro it:Aldo Moro he:אלדו מורו sv:Aldo Moro


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