Licio Gelli

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Licio Gelli (born April 21, 1919) is an Italian financier, chiefly known for his role in the Banco Ambrosiano scandal. He was revealed in 1981 as being the Venerable Master of the clandestine Masonic lodge Propaganda Due (P2). He was born in Pistoia, Tuscany.


A Fascist volunteer

During the 1930s, Licio Gelli volunteered for the "Black Shirts" expeditionary forces sent by Mussolini to Spain in support to Francisco Franco[1], and subsequently became a liaison officer between the Italian blackshirts government and the Third Reich, with contacts including Hermann Göring. He participated in the Italian Social Republic with Giorgio Almirante, founder of the neofascist Italian Social Movement (MSI).[2][3].

After a sales job with the Italian mattress factory Permaflex, Gelli founded his own textile and importing company.[1][3]

After World War II

Gelli collaborated with American and British intelligence agencies after World War II. Gelli also joined the neofascist MSI, which gave him parliamentary immunity. In 1970, he planned to arrest the President during the failed Golpe Borghese.[citation needed] As grand master of the Propaganda Due (P2) masonic lodge, Gelli had ties with very high level personalities in Italy and abroad, in particular in Argentina. The Argentine Chancellor Alberto Vignes drafted with Juan Perón, who had returned from exile in 1973, a decree granting Gelli the Gran Cruz de la Orden del Libertador in August 1974, as well as the honorary office of economic counselor in the embassy of Argentina in Italy.[4] According to a letter sent by Gelli to César de la Vega, a P2 member and Argentine ambassador to the UNESCO, Gelli commissioned P2 member Federico Carlos Barttfeld to be transferred from the consulate of Hamburg to the Argentine embassy in Rome.[4] Licio Gelli was also named minister plenipotentiary for cultural affairs in the Argentine embassy in Italy, thus providing him with diplomatic immunity.[4] He had four diplomatic passports issued by Argentina, and has been charged in Argentina with falsification of official documents.[4]

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