Published February 7, 2013 by Tony


I think you all know that the term Camorra applies to an organized crime activities, in Italy, with particular influence in the Campania region, and also at the international level,  which began to develop in the Neapolitan area around the seventeenth century.
There are various hypotheses on the etymology of the word Camorra, although from the 80s onwards, here in Naples it is known by the term “o’ system” (the system). We find some references to this word already in the seventeenth century, to indicate illegal activities linked to gambling in the Kingdom of Naples. The word may derive from the ancient biblical city of Gomorrah, to indicate “vice”, “dishonesty” and so “crime”.  Or it may derive from a coarse garment called “gamurra“, used by ancient Neapolitan scoundrels and similar to Spanish “chamarra“.
The various police operations made with the aim of eradicating this criminal organization, to this day, brought no big changes, but we have to take into account that over the years this organization has increasingly branched, infiltrating in every area of public life and government policy, and expanding in Europe and the world. The various Camorra groups are very active both in economic activities (infiltration into public procurement, illegal immigration, prostitution, money laundering, usury, drug trafficking and smuggling of cigarettes), and both in terms of alliances and conflicts. In fact, when a clan is put into question for the control of a given area by another clan, assassinations and ambushes of mold intimidating become very frequent (feuds).
The Camorra is still considered one of the greatest scourges of Italy, at the same time cause and effect of most of the socio-economic problems of the south Italy. Its power, also due to the support of a political nature, allows control of the many important economic activity, especially in the province of Naples. Today, the Camorra has thousands of affiliates divided into more than 200 families (clan) active in the Campania region, with operations also in other cities of Italy and Europe. The total turnover of the Neapolitan Camorra families is estimated to be around 12 and a half billion a year, although this figure does not take into account two important sectors of the Camorra economy:
the production and distribution of fake objects (clothes, CD-DVD, technology products), with sales channels and locations on all continents;
the illegal disposal of waste, both industrial and urban activities, very lucrative.

On 25 July 2011 the United States of America launched a new plan for combating international crime (strategy to combat transnational organized crime) and were identified four major transnational organizations more dangerous, placing Camorra to second place after the Brother Circle Russians, before Japanese Yacuza and Mexican Los Zetas, with a turnover of 25 billion dollars. The main Camorra activities, according to the U.S. government, are falsification and drug trafficking. To get an idea of the economic dangers of the Camorra just think that other organizations that have a historical presence in America, as “Cosa Nostra” and ‘Ndrangheta, were not even mentioned.

For us, to say it in Neapolitan, the Camorra is  “na’ maledizione” (a curse).
Sure, it’s important to fight and destroy Camorra, even if we “common” people are more interested in petty crime that other things as could be the traffic in arms, but the birth-life-death in a reality that for centuries has not been (deliberately?) changed, will not improve with occasional actions of police or by other special laws.
For us who live here, this problem may occur every day, with thefts, muggings and harassment. The way how organized crime is complex, with reference to other organizations too, needs a serious and radical intervention strategy that should involve different nations even. This is not easy if not impossible!
Here in Naples, as probably in other countries, the situation is not easy as many poor individuals and lower classes families live, participating and increasing, albeit indirectly, to the illegal activities of the Camorra. There are families who “survive”  selling on the street contraband cigarettes or counterfeit items, as well as others selling third hand drugs. It is obvious that these people do not look favorably on the police, sympathizing with  Camorra clans. Unfortunately, poverty and unemployment favor the underworld. A guy who has no job and no future, is attracted by the big and easy earning that organized crime can propose to him, and the boy also knows that to buy credit must show courage. A murder or a period of imprisonment become like  a credit card that will allow him even to career if he joins a clan.
It is a problematic cultural, social and environmental issue.
The term “cancer” is the most appropriate way of defining the disease of which we are victims by centuries.
The future of next generations is what I’m thinking of, because we now have already metastasis and there is no way out in a short term!

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