Papua New Guinea, comrade D’Attanasio: “Health worsens and risks his life”

“I hope he returns to Italy. He has cancer and needs to be operated on and undergo chemotherapy, there is no time to lose”

“We hope that Carlo will return as soon as possible, staying there would be equivalent to a death sentence. He has to undergo chemotherapy, undergo a very delicate operation. He is getting worse and they have to operate on him, but it is right that he is assisted in Italy and that he returns as soon as possible”. This was told to Adnkronos by Juanita Costantini, the partner of Carlo D’Attanasio, the 54-year-old sailor who has now been detained for 30 months in prison in Papua New Guinea, in Oceania, on charges of having been part of a gang of traffickers which would have imported 611 kg of cocaine.

A controversial case is that of the former entrepreneur from Pescara, who has always declared himself innocent and unrelated to the accusations. In early March, D’Attanasio was diagnosed with a 10-centimetre colon tumor mass, with lesions, which should be urgently removed, as stated in the report of the clinical examination he underwent “with a significant delay which could prove fatal”, the accusation made by the mother of D’Attanasio’s son. Today the Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani signed the request for the man’s repatriation, “and this gives us hope that the matter will finally be resolved”, confides Costantini.

Also because D’Attanasio’s health conditions would be critical. “The colonoscopy – the man’s partner, mother of the 6-year-old child from the relationship with the entrepreneur, told Adnkronos – was supposed to be performed a year and a half ago, but Carlo was only subjected to the examination in recent days. Unfortunately, the outcome is terrible: he has a 10 cm tumor that needs to be removed immediately, but where he is detained there are no means to subject him to this type of surgery. I fear for the life of my son’s father, I hope he will be brought back to Italy as soon as possible because otherwise this story risks ending very badly. The doctor expressly told him that if he doesn’t have an operation soon, his days are numbered. There is no more time to lose”, the alarm cry of the woman.

D’Attanasio had left to sail around the world solo in the summer of 2019. In March 2020 he landed in Papua New Guinea and decided to stop for a break that lasted for 5 months, when , about to leave to carry out his enterprise, a small airplane crashed on the island immediately after take-off. Inside the aircraft, the police found 611 kg of cocaine, probably destined for Australia.

After a handful of days, three Papua Guineans and D’Attanasio were arrested, indicated as the man who had brought the shipment of drugs to the island 5 months earlier. The charge against him is international drug trafficking. After a few months, however, the accusations begin to waver, the local press itself begins to doubt the guilt of the Italian. Yet the situation remains on stand-by, the process subjected to continuous postponements while D’Attanasio, forced into a small dilapidated cell with other prisoners, without toilet facilities, has begun to suffer from constant illnesses, excruciating pain.

Hence the request to be subjected to diagnostic tests, with all the necessary delays. At the beginning of March, after a year and a half of waiting, the colonoscopy confirmed the suspicions: the man is not well, he has a 10 cm tumor which must be removed immediately. “He must return to Italy as soon as possible and be treated, with no more time to waste – says Juanita, also from Pescara, with her voice cracked by desperation – with each passing day the hope that my son will be able to hug his father again becomes more feeble. It’s a slow agony, a nightmare that has been going on for 30 months now. Yet Carlo is an Italian citizen, he deserves to be helped, he cannot be left to die there, it would be an injustice unworthy of a country like ours. The repatriation request gives us hope, we continue to be here, waiting for Carlo to return, waiting for Carlo to be treated…”.