Forgive Me, Big Daddy, For I Have Sinned (the Caso Marazzo)
I’ve certainly got no objection to kicking a guy when he’s down, especially when he’s yet another slimy Italian politician doing his level best to keep up with the crop of crooks, tin-pot dictators, hypocrites, and stooges that are currently in charge of Italy’s government, but Piero Marazzo, the ex-governor of the Lazio Region, makes things too easy.
In a series of events worthy of a bad Grisham novel, all of this eventually came to be reported in the press, whereupon Marazzo very quickly resigned from his job.
Many, many details remain unexplained, however. In the days and weeks since the “scandal” broke, Marazzo issued a series of statements in which he revealed, as La Repubblica put it with admirable bite, “truth on the installment plan.”
The Reader’s Digest version:
1) I was being blackmailed.
2) I was being blackmailed, but I’m not guilty of any of the things people are saying!
3) The video of me having sex with a prostitute doesn’t even exist, and I’m being manipulated.
4) No, wait, OK. Yeah, actually, it does exist.
5) I’ve made mistakes in my private life.
6) I’ve made mistakes in my private life, but I never used drugs!
7) All right already, a few lines of coke now and then, OK, I admit it.
8) Leave me alone! My life is a nightmare! The media has destroyed my entire world!
9) I’m going on a spiritual retreat. No one should try to contact me.
10) I realize I need to ask for forgiveness, so I’ve decided to apologize … to the Pope.
And that about brings us up to the present, when Marazzo’s letter to Pope Ratzinger arrived on the desk of Vatican Secretary of State and Papal Chamberlain, Tarcisio Bertone. Somehow (I can’t imagine how, but perhaps you’ll have an idea) the existence of the letter was leaked to the press (though the specific contents are not yet known and, the Vatican says, never will be—for which, Heavenly Father, please make us truly thankful).
The letter was presumably written during Marazzo’s several-week spiritual retreat at the Benedictine Abbey in Cassino (Province of Frosinone) where he has been dedicating himself to “light farm work, prayer, and meditation, constantly attended by the discreet presence of the Abbot, Piero Vittorelli.” (Vittorelli, by the way, told La Repubblica on November 21 that Marazzo had “been engaged in the extremely delicate process by which a person emerges reborn.”)
In fact, two central figures in the case have been murdered: the man who supplied Marazzo with coke and apparently shot the incriminating video, and a transsexual prostitute (a Brazilian native known only as Brenda) with whom Marazzo was filmed “in a compromising attitude.” The investigation into the murders is “ongoing,” which is police-talk for “no leads in sight.”
Naturally, the relentless media spotlight on the neighborhoods where Brenda lived and worked (and where a group of other transpeople and prostitutes continues to live and work) meant that everybody quickly figured out where to find them—including the hooligans and petty terrorists of the Lazio’s extensive black-shirt “community.” For the last month, beatings and attacks on trannies have occurred there on the average of one per day.
Marazzo, for his part, continues to refer to himself as a good Catholic and a dedicated husband and father and to insist that his only concern, now that his political life is over (let’s not take bets on that yet), is keeping his family together. So far, however, Marazzo has yet to release one public word of regret regarding the death of Brenda; the fate of several other trannies, caught up in the investigation, who were sent off to be deported for illegal immigration as soon as police were done interrogating them; or the climate of terror that has spread among transpeople in Rome.
Just talking for a moment about those whose entire worlds have been destroyed….
Following the murder of Brenda on Novembre 20, meanwhile, a second witness to the Marazzo episode, another prostitute identified only as Natalì, has been placed under police protection. Last night’s poll to the public (Call right now! Our lines are open! It only costs one euro to vote!) on a popular current-events show: “Do you think it’s fair to expect taxpayers to provide police protection for a transsexual prostitute?”
I won’t bother to tell you the result.
Posted on 27 November 2009, in Italy, Italian, Italians (in that order), You Can Always Count on a Little Homophobia and tagged Pope Benedict XVI-Ratzinger, Transsexual. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.