Friday, October 5, 2007

La Santa- the 'ndrangheta

As reported in today's Corriere della Sera, there is a new work of investigative journalism out on the 'ndrangheta (also called La Santa, the saint) by Ruben H. Oliva and Enrico Fierro.

I quote (my translation):

"The Saint is the most frightening Mafia, the richest, most powerful, most violent and most protected one. Also the oldest: blood, honor, family and sophisticated codes with which to exchange orders. The Mafia whose bosses from isolated San Luca in Aspromonte, where the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Polsi is found, have conquered the entire world. The least fought, the most underrated, the bloodiest and most ruthless Mafia. The one in which there are no turncoats because the members are all connected by kinship ties. The Mafia in which little religious icons are seared into the hands and the Cross is carved by knife into the back. The one that punishes most strikingly, with chopped off heads and disinterred coffins that are set on fire... the one that throws an entire society into a panic, that destroys government by the State, that takes over from the state and ridicules it, that does business throughout the world, to the point of being involved with the doings of Russia's Gazprom."

Reliable statistics now show that the 'ndrangheta accounts for 3.5% of Italy's GNP. Scary stuff, and a further indication that neither Italy nor Europe is seriously confronting its real problems.

The book/DVD is called La Santa: viaggio nella 'ndrangheta sconosciuta, published by Rizzoli. A must read.
In the photo, a town in Aspromonte.