U.S. to Pay $1.12 Million to Family of Italian Aid Worker Killed in Drone Strike


The Obama administration has agreed to pay €1m to the family of an Italian aid worker who was killed in a US drone strike in 2015.

The agreement marks the first known deal of its kind between the US government and and the family of a victim of a drone strike, following the president’s admission last year that Giovanni Lo Porto and an American named Warren Weinstein had accidentally been killed in a secret counter-terrorism mission.

Lo Porto, 37, and Weinstein, 73, were being held hostage by al-Qaida at the time of their deaths and Lo Porto’s family had been led to believe a month before the strike that he was close to being released.

The payment was first reported by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Daniele Lo Porto, Giovanni’s brother, confirmed the accuracy of the story to the Guardian. Neither the US embassy in Romeor the Italian government would immediately comment.

The agreement between the US government and the Lo Porto family was signed on 8 July, according to documents obtained by La Repubblica that were shared with the Guardian. The payment – €1,185,000 in total – was considered a “donation in the memory of Giovanni Lo Porto”.

The agreement was signed by a diplomat named Garrett Stephen Wayne, in his role as financial management centre director of the US embassy in Rome. The agreement clarified that Lo Porto was killed in Pakistan. The White House acknowledged at the time of the announcement that he was killed in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The payment was made to Lo Porto’s mother, Giusy, who lives in Palermo, and his father, Vito.

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SOURCE: The Guardian, Stephanie Kirchgaessner