Italy's Kinder, Gentler Mafia in Expansion Mode

Mafia violence is on the wane.
The Italian mafia is on the march, infiltrating new sectors of the country's economy, according to a new report.

Newspaper articles have been seeking to offset this news with word that the Mafia has been keeping a lid on violence -- as if taking a page from its American brethren, which no longer sanctions murder.

The report, by the government’s anti-mafia directorate (the Dia), adds that while Sicily’s Cosa Nostra faces a troublesome ongoing restructuring and the Naples-based Camorra is getting major attention from law enforcement, the Calabrian Ndrangheta has consolidated its position as the most powerful criminal organization in all of Italy, if not the world.

Spreading "like a cancer" through Italy's richest regions, the mafia is expanding beyond its traditional economic sectors and into more “innovative” ones, such as health, restoration, gardening and alternative energy.

Riccardo Guido, a consultant at Italy's Parliamentary Anti-mafia Commission, told The Local:

"These activities are the most worrying at the moment, because the mafia are becoming part of the normal economy. They’re no longer the “mean” mafia, but present themselves as investors."

At the same time, the mafia has scaled back on violence. The bombing campaigns that tore Sicily apart in the early 1990s "are unlikely to be repeated," he further told The Local.

Meanwhile, corruption of Italy's government institutions has reached a “systemic level."
Corruption damages local government institutions, which are often in denial about the problem, the report says.  These authorities find it hard to get central government money and face "daily changes to competition rules,” the Dia said.

The report focuses on the last six months of 2013.

The Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta continues to have strong ability to “exploit the pockets of dishonesty in the administrative apparatus,” cementing the group’s influence. Guido said the 'Ndrangheta is "definitely" the most powerful mafia in Italy, if not the world, due to it control over the cocaine trafficking market.  
Sicily’s Cosa Nostra mafia has been less successful and is currently going through a restructuring, having “lost solidarity, freedom of action and power of influence” on the island. 
Italian authorities have made some headway in the Naples area, the homeland of the Camorra. There the mafia has “suffered from the pressure of investigations”, which are ongoing, the Dia said. 


  1. Looks like the real power may be in montreal......i liked your story about buying membership in the mafia, I think it was prevalent in the 90's which created a mass defection of turncoats. I do not think it happens today......guys like stanfa making ex cops, junior gotti presiding over making ceremonies without a gun, knife, or picture of a saint to burn.....All this created members who didn't believe in the life and defected. My opinion is the guys in power put an end to most of this.....especially in new york.

    Interested in your opinion....

    Keep up the great work


  2. Junior Gotti presided over a ceremony without the gun and knife? Are you sure? IF true it's quite ironic considering his father had the Decavalcantes remake several members when he found out they didn't use a gun or a knife cause they were afraid the cops might burst in and hit them with a weapons charge.

  3. Generally Cosa Nostra never confronted the state head on rather they infiltrated and subverted it, the diseased and paranoid mind of Toto Riina was the cause of the war on the state. I'm 99% percent sure that none of the Italian Mafia's will ever be stupid up enough to challenge the state head on ever again.

  4. Steve, I've been studying this stuff for a story I am working on. Tommaso Buscetta was the key turncoat -- I have a lot to say about "the Beasts," not Toto Riina's nickname. really, but the nickname for all the Corleonesi, who launched a bloody war against the bosses in Palermo. Then as soon as they took out guys like Falcone and Borsellino (payback for the maxi trial), Buscetta went on record saying Cosa Nostra is finished....when everyone thought the mafia was at its strongest, he correctly gauged it was in fact a turning point that would mean the end of Cosa Nostra...anyway. ,much much more on this coming soon.......

  5. I think I got the junior gotti info from little Joe d'angelo's testimony. If I remember they used a piece of toilet tissue with "saint" written on it, then he was treated to a burger in a diner.

    I did read about not using a gun in fear of a raid.

  6. Buscetta started talking to Giovanni Falcone after his suicide attempt in 1983.

  7. Ed, I don't think it will be the end for Sicily's cosa nostra. They have a large recruiting base of young italian men coming from poor families. They are already entrenched inside the sicilian economy. It's just law enforcement pressure is there only issue.

  8. Of course it's not the end. They are re-grouping all the time (Nuova Cupola), which is why Stidda has pretty much been absorbed into Cosa Nostra today and they work together to strengthen the cupola.

  9. The question is always who does it have in its pocket in the government. In Italy the Mafia was/is part of the government. Imagine if after the Commission Case, Giuliani was murdered and within a year everyone arrested from the trial was released on appeal... Imagine if somehow the law protecting witnesses was overturned...Guys like Casso and Scarfo released... it's a crazy, unpredictable story that's almost comical were it not so tragic. A Sicilian citizen was quoted saying that he doesn't trust a single politician, even those of the antimafia. Asked why, he said "Because they're alive. If they were really antimafia they'd be dead."

    Falcone and Borsellino were done in by corrupt members of the magistrate. Did you see the story on Borsellino being wiretapped?? You think the mob did that on its own?

    The American Mafia is benign, an entirely different animal than the Italian Mafias.

    Also Falcone knew there'd be attempts on his life. He was made vulnerable by the magistrate he belonged to.

    But Borsellino, who was very very close to Falcone, knew he was a dead man and didn't run.

    Then everything they accomplished was tossed aside by Silvio Burlesconi who protected the Mafia from day one. I had no idea how corrupt his government was.

  10. Very true ed, thanks. I wonder if Italians hold the same contempt for corruption when it is regarding the Catholic Church? I also wonder why the inzerello's who returned after the war, did not get harmed in any way?

  11. Is the cupola the italian version of lucky Luciano's commission?they decide who gets made, who gets killed etc?

  12. The Inzerillo's were told by Riina they'd be allowed to return if they stayed out of Palermo.

  13. lol Well Riina agreed to pardon them (yes with mediation from Cali, Nicchi, and others), as long as they never return to Palermo. But in 2003 they started going back and went back to their houses and life as usual regardless of what Riina had said, with no repercussions. Now today...makes no difference anymore with the big bosses in jail under 41.

  14. Other families --the Genovese and Bonannos --- were supposedly stripping guys. I think very rarely is an incident isolated, usually it's a procedure or some kind of stop-gap measure shared, I'd think. Kind of a best practices thing, some sign that a larger pattern or presence is usually at work...

  15. Individual bosses decide who gets made into their families and also who they kill. The cupola mediates disputes between families, multi family business ventures and overall Cosa Nostra policy.

  16. Look forward to it head


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