Camorristi: On the Highway to Hell, Via Naples


In an effort to help this blog expand its horizons, Charles DeLucca will be writing an ongoing series of articles about his observances and thoughts regarding organized crime, Italian-style, in all its various guises and locals.

My name is Charles DeLucca and I’m a semi-retired member of the Neapolitan Camorra. Born and raised in Naples, I have spent more than 20 years living and breathing for the structure of clans that make up the so-called Camorra. I was a member of the ruthless Casalesi Clan.

The Camorra is a general term to designate a group of multiple criminal clans in Naples, from rural clans of 10 people to urban organizations with more than 200 members. From toxic nuclear disposal, to Italian luxury goods, fashion stores, bootleg Italian merchandise, drugs and prostitution, the Camorra is the modern Hydra,the mythical multi-headed serpent from out of Ancient Greek myth.

When it comes to the drugs you consume, or the illegal DVDs you purchase from a Nigerian in the the original Armani suit or Gucci sunglasses you wear... we are there. Most of the Italian merchandise that carries the famous “Medusa” logo -- expensive fashion products sold all over the world -- is actually made illegally by the Camorra.

Legalized prostitution in Amsterdam? Yeah, that too. African prostitution in Spain? Yup, that too is ours. During the Argentinean-UK war, the clans (Di Lauro and Casalesi) sold weapons to the Argentinian Army; they also sold them to the ETA (Basque separatist group). Ah, we also dealt directly with the Colombian Paramilitary.

"Specifically, I’m really interested in understanding the phenomena of the American Cosa Nostra from the perspective of a Naples native."

European Justice Officers estimate that the Camorra has killed about 3,000 people in its “eternal” bloody wars from the late ’80s and ’90s (yes, I was there).

Gotti was reportedly tight with a Camorra boss. 

The Camorra is not only in Milano and Rome – it is also in Germany and Spain . It has worked closely with the violent Mexican Cartel of the Sinaloa region. The Camorra is also present in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

So when a Camorra “boss” snaps his fingers people drop dead in two or three different countries....that is power. Real power.
Antonio Bardellino, first boss of the 
Casalesi clan.

Now semi-retired, and in the “new world,” I have dedicated my time to the study of different types of criminal organizations that originate from Italy. But specifically, I’m really interested in understanding the phenomena of the American Cosa Nostra from the perspective of a Naples native.

For example, on The Sopranos [the fictional HBO series], Furio Giunta arrives in America and appears to be part of a “Sicilian-type” organization. That would never happen in real life, right? Because Furio was "made" in Naples, so he is a Camorrista. What the fuck is he doing with a Sicilian-American Family?

Another example. John Gotti Sr. was of Neapolitan origin and had close ties to the Camorra boss Antonio Bardellino. They were partners in drug trafficking. But, what would have happened if John Gotti Sr.had decided to import “Neapolitan Camorristi” (just as Carmine Galante brought the “zips”)? Would he have been able to fight the Genovese Family? Probably.

The Albanians gave the Gambinos a hard time. Your remember right? The mafia from Albania, a crude and violent organization based in (of course... Albania) -- a country in Southeastern Europe, bordered by Montenegro to the northwest and Kosovo to the northeast. Well, these pazzi di merda decided to run into Gambino and Luchese territory. There is the story about two mafiosi americani who went to a sitdown at Cafe Dion (the hangout of the Albanians) and came out naked. Yes, naked. The New York "Families" did nothing. Now, if the Albanians had insulted the Camorristi that way, we would actually bomb the cafe -- as well as some of the homes of the Albanians -- with people inside. Why not? You think is too much?

Well, our clans and their honor come before everything... friends, family, morality, country, God...

 You want to know more about us? Stop watching the Sopranos. That´s for kids. Get the movie ´Gomorrah´ by Martin Scorcese and Matteo Garrone.

Let me pose another question. Just to open debate.

What would happen if the powerful Casalesi clan decided to move into NYC?

It is one thing to have the “cazzi” to use a gun, but quite another to be able to operate an M-16 or a mini-Uzi. Now, imagine a gang of 25 Furio Giunta-types “baptizing in bullets” every single social club in New York. Sound like fiction? Well, at one point, it was suggested -- under the argument that Italian-Americans only know how to handle meatball sandwiches.

What about the violence in Montreal ? Are there any Camorristi present in that current war?

From fiction to reality, my purpose is to translate a true, Neapolitan criminal experience to a public that devours stories about crime. And for those who admire Italians, and the word “Mafia” -- the Camorra is the best. The Camorra kills with precision, kills everything that goes against the clan. Camorra has the fewest number of “pentiti”.

It is a system that infects everything, and it rules with an iron fist.

Our first boss was Antonio Bardellino, Gotti´s friend. The clan is named after the town of Casale di Principe. Don Antonio Bardellino formed the clan in the early 80s. When Gotti Sr. was boss, our clan was shipping drugs from Naples to NYC.

From then on, five “Godfathers” have ruled the clan, a single organization with a presence in Latin America, Canada, Italia and Germany. Maybe we are not as old as the Cosa Nostra Families, but we are as dangerous as the Cosa Nostra, the Hell-Angels, the Rizutto Family, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Mexican-Mafia gangs all combined...

Would I be killed because of what I write here? Maybe. But this is the life I chose. (But I’m not admitting to any of the above...)

In the meantime, welcome.


  1. I never heard that story about the Albanians sending out goodfellas into the street naked... do you have more information on that -- like who it was from LCN and why it happened? I find it hard to believe.

  2. Well, the story is part of the tale by Joaquín García, Cuban-American undercover FBI agent a.k.a ´Jack Falcone´. He went deep in to the Gambino´s and this story in particular is mentioned in the book as something that even Falcone´s Capo, Greg De Palma complains about.

    Naked or in underwear, is no good.

  3. I read the book and I know some of the players, the 2 guys were Greek mob associates who were stripped not made men and they went to the Gambinos for help and the acting boss at the time was Arnold Squiterri and he went with his men and took care of it. Some of the Albanian gangters with some Italian guys in their crew were going in to bars in the bronx and queens and starting trouble and wrecking the joints. Then the bar owners would go to the Italian mob for help and then bingo they have a new partner. What I'm saying is that the Albanians were sent by the Italians to scare the bar or club owners and then they would take the mob guys in for protection just like they did when they used to send in the purple gang in the 70's and 80's to take over bars and do the same thing

    1. Even if the 2 associates were, associates, it was an act of provocation. Now, coming from where I come from, my senses tells me that the albanese and italo-americani were working together. And you have explained that also.

      You mention that the Gambinos met the Albanians in a gas station in Jersey with 30 armed men and backed them off. What would had happened if the Albanians would no retreat quietly? And in fact, things get ugly?

      There is a time when power is measure not by luck or political connections but, by periodic ´demonstrations of force and violence´. If you can fare di buissiness and at the same time, fight-win a war, then you are true form of Mafia. When you see something you want and you take it from the original owner, and by the same token, never loose what you have already taken.... then you know you are true power. I don´t know if American LCN has recently suffer any serious challenge. But I can be mistaken. I´m an outsider.

      Some time ago, Nigerians move in to the Scampia drug business (Napoli) This same Nigerians are the ones who traffic ´blood diamonds´ and weapons for African dictators. This are not fake rolex zulu.

      Anyway, we did not had a conversation with the mellanezze but, we fix the issue.

    2. I like your style brother, Italians and Italian Americans must stick together. Its just different in the US now with all the fed heat and survellence. The Columbo war in the 90's left alot of good men dead in the streets and brought a ton of heat on American LCN but no matter what the goverment says or does they will never stop us.

    3. Thanks for your coment.

      I believe that Italian-Americans should actually, ´become more Italian´ when it commes to the Life. But even on cultural issues, I, my self, sometimes do not understand fully the ´italian-american´ thing. But I don´t want to judge a country or offend nobody.

      I only want to say that it is a weakness when an organization cannot think, move and act ´as a whole´. ´To think about a whole´ and not just about me. I would not be a bad idea to send your guys kind of a ´semester abroad´. To pick up on the old rules, the old codes, the sense of been part of something bigger than you.

      Whether napolitano, siciliano, calabrese.... ciò che conta è far parte di tutto il sistema. Se no, perché éssere un uomo d'onore o un camorrista?

      War in every context, LCN, Camorra, Mafia Siciliana.... always takes out good people.

      The key is to to come back stronger after the war. At least in Naples, every ´war´ has a ´darwinian´ sense. The final war of course, against the State. It seems like in America that´s out of the question.

  4. Sounds like how Cosa Nostra first got in business -- getting store owners to pay protection (when all along everyone knew that the guys they were paying off were the very guys they'd need protection against in the event that they didn't pay them off).

    1. exactly, btw nice name, u must be a south Philly guy huh

    2. Thanks -- but you're probably thinking of "Scarfo."

    3. lmao, yes I did

  5. " The clans sold weapons to ETA (Basque separatist group) during the English-Argentinean war..."

    I don't get the connection between the ETA and the Falklands War. Were they middlemen arms traffickers or something?

    1. Actually, that is ´typing´ mistake. The clans (Di Lauro and Casalesi) sold weapong both: to the Argentinian Army and to ETA. The point is this: When the Argentina-UK war ended, most the weapons that the argentinians were buying ended up in Northern Spain. Lot´s, lots, lots of AK-47


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