Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

What's the deal with Turkey?

Read more

LIFESTYLES

New road trip

Read more

LIFESTYLES

High-tech in France

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Global warming: A drowning planet

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Christian Kastrop, Director of Policy Studies, OECD

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy's political comeback: Did he ever leave?

Read more

ENCORE!

Weekly Music Show: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's new album

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Revolt in New Caledonia and rebuilding homes in Libya

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

UK coalition split on 'English votes for English laws'

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 8.40 pm Paris time.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

Latest update : 2013-05-21

Tracking the Italian mafia's powerful 'Ndrangheta'

In recent years, the 'Ndrangheta has become the largest and most feared of the four criminal organizations in Italy, alongside the Camorra in the Naples area, Cosa Nostra in Sicily and Sacra Corona Unita in Apulia. Specializing in drug trafficking, the 'Ndrangheta has globalized in recent years. Our reporter investigates in Calabria, the organization's heartland.

The 'Ndrangheta controls the majority of international cocaine traffic, with an estimated 80 percent monopoly on European imports of the white powder. The organisation pulls in 44 billion euros a year; that's almost three percent of Italy's GDP, which means the 'Ndrangheta has as much financial clout as a small European country, or a huge multinational corporation.

Although it controls complex money-laundering circuits, the 'Ndrangheta derives its power from an archaic operation. The mafia is based in the country's poorest region: Calabria, far from the economic centres Rome and Milan.

In this region almost all companies have to pay the “pizzo”, the mafia's tax. Paying this price grants them relative tranquility. Every month, godfathers who are often hidden in small mountain villages buy several tons of cocaine from traffickers operating thousands miles away, in South America.

By Tristan Dessert

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2014-09-19 Algeria

From Sarajevo to Guantanamo, the journey of the Algerian Six

The day after the 9/11 attacks, six Algerian nationals were arrested in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They were accused of being terrorists and plotting fresh attacks against the United...

Read more

2014-09-12 referendum

Scotland: On the path to independence?

On September 18, Scotland votes in a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. A "Yes" at the ballot box would mean the end of a union that’s lasted over 300 years and...

Read more

2014-09-05 Iraq

Kurdish fighters on the front line against IS militants

Even as Western powers struggle to put together a coalition to tackle the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS or ISIS), Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq have been battling for...

Read more

2013-05-03 Pakistan

Pakistan: Imran Khan, from the cricket field to politics

When Pakistanis go to the polls to choose a new prime minister on May 11th, one candidate could seriously shake up the race. Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who led the...

Read more

2014-08-08 WWI centenary

WWI: The Somme, Land of Remembrance

Every year in France, more than 200,000 visitors walk across the battlefields of the Somme. They come from Great Britain, Canada or even from Australia and New Zealand with one...

Read more