The first major trial of the ‘Ndrangheta, for the number of defendants, was given the name of “Rebirth Scott”, which leads not only to a new life for Calabria, but also to honor a special agent of the American anti-drug, the Dea, Sieben William Scott, who passed away in 2013 after being engaged in a long investigative activity between Italy and the United States. And so from 13 January in the plain of Lamezia Terme, where a large bunker room of over three thousand square meters was built, 325 defendants accused of mafia association, extortion, possession of weapons, drug trafficking, robbery, usury, damage, competition will go to the bar outside in mafia association and attempted murders.
At the center of the debate that takes place before the judges of the court of Vibo Valentia, there is the powerful clan of the Mancuso of Limbadi which dominates with its men over a vast territory of Calabria and which in the past had no qualms about killing the women of the family who had tried to collaborate with justice.
They were “committed suicide” thanks to the complicity of unfaithful servants of the state and colluding white-collar workers, as well as family members of the clan who had no doubts in proceeding to kill them. And in this maxi process the prosecutor of Catanzaro, directed by Nicola Gratteri, in addition to the ‘Ndranghetists, they gathered on the dock also white-collar workers, professionals, politicians and Freemasons.
There is therefore the world of gangs connected to politicians and entrepreneurship that goes on trial in the very land where the ‘ndrine still feel strong. And now the state is trying the backlash, the concrete gesture of trying them all together, in – hopefully – rapid times. Justice is heating up the engines, and so will the approximately 600 lawyers who have been called to defend the defendants.
The prosecution in this trial will try to demonstrate many bad things about the ‘Ndrangheta, including the fact that if drugs represent the core business of the globalized gangs, the clans continue to operate a penetrating control in many economic activities in the region, exerting heavy conditioning. in all sectors of the legal economy, from construction to commerce, from catering to transport, from the import export of food products to tourism.
She is an increasingly entrepreneurial ‘Ndrangheta, who does not limit herself to extortion and usury or extorting entrepreneurs and traders in a parasitic logic but has established herself with the direct management of economic activities. And there is the ability to pollute not only the private economic system but above all the public administration. Thanks to the network of consolidated relationships with exponents of politics, institutions and professions, the gangs – both through nominees and with entrepreneurs and professionals of reference – have managed to win important public contracts, impose their companies and their labor in sub- procurement. A modus operandi that often did not need to resort to violence but that found in the convergence of interests with large sectors of the local and regional ruling class a lever to maintain power and consensus and guarantee the impunity of the clans.
In the judicial district of Catanzaro, which also includes the provinces of Cosenza, Crotone and Vibo Valentia, the ‘ndrine move with the same cynicism and aggression, and where the Grande Aracri di Cutro and Mancuso di Limbadi families excel with important projections in northern Italy and abroad. And the business model has established itself, with the gangs expanding their range of action in the field of renewable energy, water purification and assistance to migrants. The world of professions is decisive for ensuring the rooting and expansion of criminal activities.
It is no exaggeration to say that there is no profession that has remained impervious to mafia penetration: accountants, notaries, engineers, doctors, lawyers have placed themselves at the service of the gangs in the most diverse contexts, including the delicate function of administering seized and confiscated assets to the gangs and unfortunately neither the judiciary nor the police have remained immune.
Now the word passes to the judges and the Calabrians can hope for a rebirth.
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