The mafia’s formidable grip on Italy has been starkly illustrated by a new report claiming 13 million Italians live in areas where the mob exerts influence over everyday life.
Commissioned by Italy’s parliamentary anti-mafia commission, the report by research institute Censis used crime statistics to find the number of urban and rural districts where clans are active in the Italian south.
The Italians living in the 610 districts identified, even if law abiding and not members of clans, “are in some way conditioned by a presence that draws its strength from the ability to exert a capillary control in the area”, the report stated.
The four main mobs in Italy, Sicily’s Cosa Nostra, the Naples Camorra, the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta and the Puglian Sacra Corona, enjoy an estimated annual turnover of €130 billion. Investigators believe Italy’s clans are now investing more of their profits from extortion and drug dealing outside the Italian south, including in building work at the site for Milan’s Expo in 2015. The Camorra and the ’Ndrangheta are suspected of carving up investments in Rome, with the former focusing on suburban shopping centres and the latter on luxury property and restaurants in the heart of the capital. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2009