La Cicciolina, sans exposed breasts.
The following was written by Charles DeLucca, our itinerant journalist, who occasionally files reports with Cosa Nostra News based on his observations and thoughts regarding organized crime, Italian-style, in all its various guises and locals.
Most of the time, when I mention I am of Italian nationality, people ask me about every single issue relating to Italy. From Berlusconi to La Cicciolina (a Hungarian-born Italian porn star, politician and singer, famous for delivering political speeches with her breasts exposed).
They also ask my about the dynamics of organized crime. Certain topics are off limits because it’s really, really difficult to explain the truth about certain groups.
For instance, most of what we know about the American Cosa Nostra is from the movies, TV and pentitis (plural for “those who repent”; rats, turncoats, in other words).
Nobody knew much about la Camorra until Robert Saviano published Gomorrah in 2006. Then a film and television series followed, of course. (Here’s a clip, enjoy.)
What can you say about La ´Ndrangheta?
It is complicated. As any person in Calabria would say: “La ´Ndrangheta é una realta’ sconosciuta e pericolosa.” (“The Ndrangheta is unknown and dangerous.”)
My personal experience with the Calabrians is short. One time while in Rome, I visited a good Calabrian restaurant called La Rampa (it’s on the corner of Piazza di Spagna). This restaurant has a specific and unique characteristic: you can only pay in cash, and the waiters speak only in Calabrian dialect. Of course, when they heard my Neapolitan accent, I was asked to leave.
Some Zetas bosses were arrested last year. They were found
with a few weapons on them.
Can you believe that?
While I was in Argentina, I was amazed to hear that various n’drinas (pockets of calabrian guys) opérate in Buenos Aires. I was trying to establish a beachhead for my people, and I realized the market was taken.
In Argentina, the strongest Calabrian clan is the Ansaldi and the Piromalli. In 2011, a Calabrian boss by the name of Pietro Labate was arrested. He was the boss in charge of drug trafficking from the Italian port of Gioia Tauro. Interesting story. Italian pólice found a group of phone numbers all with Méxican area codes. Yes, in 2011 the Calabrians started to work with the paramilitary Cartel of Los Zetas.
We have the idea that Calabrians are more secretive that any other Italian organized crime group. They don’t even like the idea of sharing the same oxygen with Sicilians or Neapolitans. They hardly make any attempt to speak Italian, only their very own dialect. If Italian American thought that zips in the 70’s and 80’s were arrogant, well.... Calabrians keep their nose up. Even among paisans. But at the same time, they are pragmatic.
|Pablo Escobar, said to be the one Cartel lord who earned|
the respect of the Mafias.
As Saviano argues in his new book “Zero Zero Zero” (published last year), L´Ndrangheta supplies drugs to markets in New York, Paris, Madrid, Rome and any other place in Europe because they have exclusive suppliers, the Mexican Cartels. Mexican Cartels buy the drug from Colombian producers; once in Panama they have the power, connections and money to buy every single country from Central American up to México....and from there, the materials go to Europe. What about “designer drugs,” you say? Most chemicals used in those drugs made in California and Chicago are made by the Sinaloa Cartel, and they are also working with the Calabrians.
Today, we are truly living in a “global” world. The time to be pragmatic is now.
|Alleged Ndrangheta member, arrested for cheating at cards?|
In today’s world, what does it take to survive in “the life?” First, secrecy is required. And second, brutality, but not the crazy kind. Simply put: Calabrians have the capacity to be brutal but they know when to stop.
In general terms, the one who blinks first, loses.
There are no more slices for the taking, because the Calabrians have taken the entire cake for themselves.