It was on August 15, 2007, that civilized Germany woke up suddenly and found the ‘ndrangheta on the bedside table. The Duisburg massacre left six bodies on the ground that day. In the industrialized western city of Germany, in the Ruhr region just over the Dutch border, seventy gunshots were fired in the latest episode of the so-called “San Luca feud”.
The Pelle-Vottari and Nirta-Strangio families have fueled an internal war for twenty years. A fight that started for a childishly mistake in 1991 when the wrong store windows were the target of a rotten eggs throw, an unbereable insult for any ‘ndrangheta family. Since then, long streams of blood were shed in Italy and in Europe.
After a four-year long investigation, the final act took place yesterday in the city of Locri, Italy, where the local Court of Appeal sentenced eight out of nine members of both families to life imprisonment, and described the Nirta-Strangio family as responsible for the massacre.
That mid-summer night revealed to Germany a worryingly reality, as it did to the entire European Union too. Since then, the fight against organized crime is no longer a priority of some EU member states only, but a crucial point in the European Union agenda as a whole instead. About time, I’d say.
It is not only Italian mafias who threaten and fuel impressive slides of European and global economy. The balkans, Russia, Albania, China, Nigeria too are just a few places of origin of criminal syndicates who no longer know geographical borders, neither do mind about cultural, etnic or religious differences. The mob unites, for once. People and professions, as it is no more a matter of well-armed criminals, easily identifiable by nationalities, who transfer tons of drugs from one continent to the other.
What they need now are lawyers, entrepeneurs, businessmen, bankers and, of course, politicians. A wide range of professionals who are familiar with our financial and trading system and can function as “middle-men” capable of investing stellar amounts of money, accumulated through illegal acvities by their “employers”, into clean economy. The outcome of such inextricable web is a European Union profoundly affected by illicit assets.
The Duisburg massacre has caused an accelleration to the comunitarian need to fight organized crime. The time has come to aim at what makes the mob so incredibly powerful: their assets and their financial capacity, to regain possession and return them to the community.
Surprisingly, Italy on this matter counts on a long list of juridical and legislative good practices that need to be exported.