’Ndrangheta and Politics in the North of Italy.
The Case of Leinì Town
This essay considers the modes by which Mafia groups (the ’Ndrangheta in particular) are able to exercise their influence on a local society without resorting to their intimidation power or extorting their victims. It explores the case of Leinì, a small town in the north of Italy, where the municipal council has been dissolved due to mafiosi penetration. In this territory, controlled by criminal groups, mafiosi cannot be viewed as mere extortionists. The study case shows that while some people may be victims of extortion, many others may be quite cinical customers of mafia’s services (like former mayor of Leinì, Nevio Coral). When mafia organizations are socially rooted and long-established, they have the capability to manage many social relationships and networks. In this situation corrupt politicians or entrepreneurs can buy mafia «protection» entering into mutually profitable relationships with mafiosi. Leinì is a paradigmatic case of these symbiotic relationships. In this town political and criminal actors operate as reciprocal protectors. The essay clearly shows that in Leinì links between the ’ndrangheta and no-criminal actors, rather than a colonization of municipalities, set up a political-criminal governance.
Keywords: Mafia, protection, governance, Leinì
Parole chiave: mafia, protezione, governance, Leinì