The Life and Controversies of Barbara Balzerani: From Red Brigades Militant to Public Provocations

Barbara Balzerani, morta l'ex terrorista delle Br protagonista del sequestro di Aldo Moro
She died, after a long illness, the former Red Brigades member Barbara...

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She died, after a long illness, the former Red Brigades member Barbara Balzerani. She was 75 years old. Joining the extreme fringe of left-wing terrorism at just twenty-six, she soon participated in the kidnapping of Aldo Moro along with her then-partner, Mario Moretti, operating from the base in Via Gradoli. Balzerani took part in numerous Red Brigades' murders, including that of Girolamo Minervini, and the ambush in Via Fani. In 1981, she participated in the kidnapping of NATO General James Lee Dozier. Balzerani was among the last Red Brigades members to be arrested: she was captured on June 19, 1985, along with Gianni Pelosi. For this, she was nicknamed the 'red primrose'. She neither repented nor dissociated herself but was critical of the armed struggle period: in 1993, she expressed regret for those affected by terrorism and in 2003 criticized the activities of the so-called New Red Brigades. In 2006, she was granted parole: she returned to freedom, having served her sentence, in 2011. On the anniversary of the Via Fani massacre in 2018, Barbara Balzerani, who was a leader of the Roman column of the Red Brigades and part of the commando that organized the kidnapping of Aldo Moro, was invited to present her book "I've Always Known It", on the very evening those deaths were commemorated forty years after the attack. And she, from the podium of the Cpa social center in South Florence, with a poster saying long live Lenin behind her, chose provocation. "There is a figure, the victim," she declared, "that has become a profession, this strange figure for which the victim has the monopoly of speech. I'm not saying they don't have the right to have their say, far from it. But it's not only you who have the right, it's not that you alone can make history". A few weeks earlier, in fact, the terrorist, who has never officially repented or dissociated from the Red Brigades, had written a post on Facebook, which she then deleted, reading: "Who will host me abroad for the 40th anniversary festivities?". The reference to the anniversary of the massacre was clear, and a few days later came the reply from Maria Fida Moro, the daughter of the slain statesman. In a Youtube video, she said: "The fortieth anniversary is a pain, I say it who did not provoke it and who suffered it and who has the title to say it. Because the fortieth anniversary brings me pain. But Ms. Balzerani cannot say it because she is among those who provoked it".
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