The Camorra Never Sleeps: "The Camorra is not an organization like the Mafia that can be separated from society, disciplined in court, or even quite defined. It is an amorphous grouping in Naples and its hinterlands of more than 100 autonomous clans and perhaps 10,000 immediate associates, along with a much larger population of dependents, clients, and friends. It is an understanding, a way of justice, a means of creating wealth and spreading it around. It has been a part of life in Naples for centuries—far longer than the fragile construct called Italy has even existed. At its strongest it has grown in recent years into a complete parallel world and, in many people’s minds, an alternative to the Italian government, whatever that term may mean." [more inside]
Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
Italians cheer as police move African immigrants out of a small town in Calabria, following clashes in which immigrant farmworkers were shot at, severely beaten and run over. Rosarno is said to be a hotbed of the 'Ndrangheta, which controls the labour market of illegalized seasonal day labourers living in inhuman and desperate conditions. While the Pope urges Italy to respect migrants, leftist newspaper 'il manifesto' put this on the front page.
Italy produced and sold at least 70 million litres of cheap wine containing acid, manure and fertiliser, Italian weekly L'Espresso said on Friday largely blaming organised crime in the south. [more inside]
"In a rebellion shaking the Sicilian Mafia to its centuries-old roots, businesses are joining forces in refusing to submit to demands for protection money called 'pizzo.' And they're getting away with it, threatening to sap an already weakened crime syndicate of one of its steadiest sources of revenue." The rebellion is fueled by a Web site "where businessmen are finding safety in numbers to say no to the mob." Called Addiopizzo (Goodbye Pizzo) "it brings together businesses in the Sicilian capital that are resisting extortion." The campaign was launched in 2004 by a group of youths thinking of opening a pub. "They started off by plastering Palermo with anti-pizzo fliers, reading 'AN ENTIRE PEOPLE WHO PAYS THE PIZZO IS A PEOPLE WITHOUT DIGNITY,' and eventually brought their campaign online where it struck a profound chord with Sicilians fed up with Mafia bullying."*
"The ‘Ndrangheta cannot be beheaded.” Organized crime is Italy's biggest industry. Most people are more familiar with the Sicilian Mafia or maybe even the Neopolitan Camorra, but it's the Calabrian 'Ndranghta (very in-depth article) that has police around the world worried now, especially after they were blamed for a six-person murder in Germany this summer. [more inside]