Between grey zone and Middle-earth: Anatomy of Mafia Capitale
A study of «Mafia capitale» – a mafia-type criminal organization operating in Rome, whose existence was revealed in by a judicial inquiry in November 2014 – is presented in this article, taking as main source judicial acts. The metaphor of «middle-earth» – taken from «The Lord of the Rings» – is evocatively quoted in a tapped conversation by one of the criminal bosses to describe its role as connecting tissue of cooperative interactions in a «grey zone». including political, institutional, economic and criminal actors. The activity of Mafia capitale as a «governance structure» in a network of relatively stable informal and illegal interactions is examined looking at the main resources it used and supplied to other subjects. The criminal group in fact mainly provided protection in the fulfilment of illicit deals using as an input, besides the threat of violence, ì reputational assets and social capital, while the market for corruption was the crucial arena where it realized its business, affecting also the operation of the political market. Finally, it is shown how some peculiar characteristics of Mafia capitale as an autochthonous criminal group can be taken as organizational and functional adaptations to external constraints of the institutional environment.
Keywords: Corruption; Protection; Mafia; Grey zone. The stakes