Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Political Economy: "The Camorra still control broad swathes of Neapolitan life"

There was a time when any forward looking mobster was dealing in wind energy production credits and carbon trading but now it seems they are back to the old standbys, prostitution, extortion and drugs.*
From Reaction Magazine, July 18:
The Italian city of Naples has long been the stronghold of its own brand of mafia known as the Camorra. But according to some, its dominance has now been overtaken by the presence of “baby gangs”.

There is a growing perception that the Camorra has somehow given way to a new kind of criminal activity carried out by urban groups of bored adolescents. Trigger happy, but also knife carriers, with no rules of engagement or strongly held values, these “baby gangs” roam the city looking for trouble or trying to catch the eye of established Camorra members.

They are gratuitously violent, actively seeking confrontation, and live wholly in the present moment with no thought for the future. But have these groups really usurped the traditional mafia presence in Naples? Or is this recent media narrative inspired by an increase in casual youth violence combined with novels, documentaries and films such as Roberto Saviano’s The Piranhas?

A closer look at the situation makes it clear that the apparent fading of the Camorra does not ring true. Sexy and eye catching for the media it may be, but it is a confusing, dangerous and reckless view for the rest of us – a distraction while the traditional Camorra continues doing business and controlling the territory.

Because the truth is that the Camorra is very much alive and kicking. Just last month, local and national special police forces arrested a total of 126 alleged members of a Camorra federation which has supposedly been controlling the city and its criminal activities since the late 1990s.

The judiciary’s arrest warrants focused on activities between 2011 and 2016, seizing real estate and goods with a net worth of €130m. Assets included 80 cars, 81 motorbikes, restaurants, bars, supermarkets, shops, car parks, garages, diamonds, and luxury watches. It was an operation which highlights once again the pervasive – but too easily forgotten – power of the Neapolitan Camorra.
We also sometimes forget how territorial Italian mafias are. For while they maintain a strong and lucrative interest in the international drugs market and launder money abroad regularly, a heavy local presence remains key to their income and recruitment strategy.

Extorting businesses and loan sharking in their “communities” should not be underestimated as a solid money making activity, where it allows the various clans to take almost complete economic hold of a district. The clans are able to dominate the economic activities and the daily lives of many citizens without anyone having the courage to denounce them....MORE
Some of our older stuff:
"Having the Sopranos on board: Corporate governance and organised crime in Italy"
"Mafia cash in on lucrative EU wind farm handouts - especially in Sicily"
Long time readers know that I am just fascinated by this stuff, see links below....

The Sicilian Mafia and the International Lemon Cartel
Italian mobsters buck downturn
So a Sicilian mafioso walks into HSBC…
Mafia crime is 7% of GDP in Italy, group reports
Police in Italy Seize Mafia-linked assets worth $1.9 billion "Mob was Going Green"
Hayek and the Mexican Mafia
Italian mobsters buck downturn
Talkin' Trash and Makin' Cash: Crime and Illegal Landfills in Scotland

Alphaville Strays onto Our Turf: "Property rights and the economic origins of the Sicilian mafia"

Renewables: Police Confiscate €1.3 Billion ($1.7 Billion) From Italian 'God of Wind'

Okay, maybe Capo di tutt'i capi Murphy and his consiglieri weren't technically on our turf, having established some claim of their own:

Gangster economics
The non-Yakuza bounce
Goodfella game theory
So a Sicilian mafioso walks into HSBC…
Yakuza makes traders offers they can’t refuse