Winchester killing, Italian prosecutors have long suspected it was an ’ Ndrangheta hit, and the case is to be reopened in November. In 2011, Italian police unsuccessfully sought the extradition of Tony Vallelonga, a Calabrian property developer and former mayor of Perth’s City of Stirling, after he was secretly recorded in consultations with the boss of Siderno during a 2009 visit to Calabria.
One of Mafia Republic’s many strengths is its comparative focus: whereas Sicilian and Calabrian mobsters ‘‘ climbed the social ladder until they merged with the state, Neapolitan camorristi bullied their way out of the prisons, brothels and slums [but] never quite left the alleys behind. Unable to call on the kind of political protection that the Mafias of Sicily and Calabria could boast, the Camorra was vulnerable.’’ In fact, this Neapolitan poor cousin of Cosa Nostra collapsed before World War I, only to re-emerge with unprecedented violence in the post-war period.
For Dickie, mafia domination represents ‘‘ the antithesis of the values of freedom and democracy that underpin Europe’s post-war prosperity’’. Yet despite recent successes in the anti-mafia struggle, he seems to find little reason for optimism: Too much of Italy is dysfunctional, the state apparatus is mired in ineptitude, patronage and corruption. A large slice of the economy is cash in hand, and therefore invisible to the law. Whole areas of the visible economy are hobbled by inefficiency and sleaze. Italian society seems incurably addicted to the same vices, nor is there much prospect that Italians will elect a government honest, determined and authoritative enough to implement the reforms the country needs. For as long as Italy remains in this condition, then enduring victory over Cosa Nostra, the Camorra and the ’ Ndrangheta will be out of reach.
The aftermath of the 1993 mafia bombing of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence