What do you get when a deconstructionist joins the mafia ?

An offer you can't understand.

Friday, February 22, 2008

'ndrangheta news

Italy tackling rise of 'ndrangheta crime syndicate

Updated Thu. Feb. 21 2008 5:17 PM ET

The Associated Press

ROME -- A parliamentary report on a notorious Italian crime syndicate says it spreads its tentacles like al-Qaida and offers evidence that the group has eclipsed the Sicilian Mafia in power and international reach.

The report is the first comprehensive study by parliament's anti-Mafia commission on the 'ndrangheta, which came into the spotlight last summer with the killing of six Italians outside a pizzeria in Germany.

"Today the 'ndrangheta ... is the most modern organization, the most powerful one as far as cocaine trafficking goes,'' according to the 239-page report released Wednesday.

It is "the one able to obtain and offer deadly weapons of war and destruction.''

According to the report, the 'ndrangheta has reached a "basically exclusive'' control over cocaine imports from Colombia, forcing all other criminal organizations, including Sicily's Cosa Nostra, to deal with it if they want the drug.

The report also says the 'ndrangheta has developed "like al-Qaida, with a similar tentacular structure,'' and without a centralized leadership.

Over the decades, the group, originally based in the southern Calabria region, has spread to central and northern Italy, in much of Europe as well as in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Morocco, Canada, the U.S. and Australia, the report said.

"In the same way as great fast-food-chains, it offers -- all over the world, in places very different from one another -- the identical, recognizable, reliable brand and the same criminal product,'' it said.

What sets the 'ndrangheta apart from other crime syndicates is its structure, which is strictly based on close family ties.

This makes the 'ndrangheta less vulnerable to the risk of turncoats, whose testimony has hurt the Mafia.

Feuds between powerful families have proven deadly.

The past summer's slayings of six Italians in Germany were seen as a family vendetta and the latest chapter of a feud between rival clans.

Last week, the boss of what investigators described as a ferocious 'ndrangheta family, Pasquale Condello, was arrested in the regional capital, Reggio Calabria.

He had been on the run for 20 years and was on the police list of Italy's most dangerous fugitives.