Mafia lives in Rome

  • Italiano

A slap in the face of intelligence. Yes, all this tearing apart one’s clothes because of the funeral of the Casamonica boss verges on appearing ridiculous. Let us admit it. Now, after the Mafia Capitale investigation, everyone is making a huge fuss about the organized crime that has infected the Eternal City. Politicians, intellectuals, and even journalists seem to awake now from long dream. Mafia infiltration is an old story in Rome. For at least 30 years, since the criminal organisation called Banda della Magliana was making business with Camorra, ‘Ndrangheta, and Mafia in order to consolidate its dominion over the city.

This was the period when the different mafias realized that Rome was a city to be  conquered. A place for business and for consolidating international alliances (in the Roman piazza Navona were arrested by the police and by American Dea bosses of Colombian cartels, and it happened in the mid-nineties). But, above all, the capital was a place for investments. Michele Zazza and Pippo Calò were the forerunners of this business and we are talking about years ago, even about the previous century. Gradually, the investigations of the police and, especially, of the Guardia di Finanza (financial police) have brought to light the business net that was being built in the capital by the organized crime.

Billion-worth affairs first liras then in euros. An enormous cycle of money laundering born from illegal trafficking. Sequesters and operations of the Antimafia have abounded in the newspapers and on TV for years. Now everyone loudly denounces the scandal.

Even members of the Antimafia, those who too many times have sipped on a cup of coffee in the bar at the corner of Colonna Antonina street, in front of the Palazzo Chigi, a few steps away from Montecitorio. The bar was closed and sealed ten times over the last twenty years because – according to the judges – it was managed by the ndrangheta. Yet, it has always reopened. Cafe de Paris, a few restaurants behind the Pantheon, the palaces in piazza di Spagna, the Camilluccia, and the supermarkets. An endless list constantly updated by the Dia of businesses that are sequestered, confiscated, then mysteriously reinstated as if nothing had  happened.

Then comes this scandal about the Casamonica clan. The investigations carried out by the police forces are countless, yet those gentlemen continue to control the part of the city between the districts of Romanina and Anagnina. Luxury villas, shops and business affairs that – according to  the investigations – range from drug dealing to extortion and usury. Well, they are still there. The first time I heard about the Casamonica as an underworld family was running the year 1983. I wonder: how have the processes that followed so many investigations finished? How is it possible that so many years later nothing has changed?

One thing is certain: today everyone points their finger at Rome, but during all those years when citizen associations, police, and magistrates launched the alarm of high level mafia presence where were they? Perhaps sitting on the sofa and watching criminal TV shows.

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