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François Santini (1960-2001) Corsican freedom fighter

Colourful François Santoni was one of the main figures in the Corsican independence movement A Cuncolta Naziunalista. He was murdered with a machine gun earlier this month. His killer has not been found yet.

The murder was almost exactly one year after Santoni's friend and fellow nationalist Jean-Michel Rossi had been killed. Together they wrote the book Pour solde de tout compte (To finish all deals) comparing the nationalist movement to the violent Italian mafia. Journalist and co-writer Guy Benhamou claimed that after Rossi's death it was just a question of time before they would come for his friend: "Santoni was in the way. He said things that complicated the negotiations between the nationalists and the Paris government". Santoni had repeatedly suggested that the Corsican representatives were guilty of Rossi's murder and did not hesitate to replicate his associations of them with the mafia.

At the age of 16, Santoni had joined the FNLC, Corsica's liberation front. This was the armed division of A Cuncolta Naziunalista, of which he later became secretary-general. He was put behind bars in 1998 when he was found guilty of an assault on a police station. In jail he swore off violence and accused his former friends of evilness. The Iguana (as he was called because of his bald, shaved head and his icy appearance) was then called an agitator who became jealous after tumbling into an isolated position.

Sources include de Volkskrant and De Telegraaf.

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