Bread and Drugs: The camorra in the Provinces
in Legal and Illegal markets
In studies of the Camorra, the simultaneous presence of the legal and the illegal has been analyzed especially in relation to the construction industry, the conquest of which, made possible by the accumulation of capital deriving from drug traffic, would represent an important step in the passage from a predatory to an entrepreneurial character. This leads to an interpretation of the economy of the Camorra where illegal activities (drug trafficking) give way to the legal reinvestment of capital. Thus the food industry is considered secondary. However it is in the food industry that clans from Neapolitan provinces (Naples and Caserta, particularly) have their origins, and where they continue to maintain a stable presence. The article treats this interpretive scheme, analyzing the case of a clan (the Polverinos), from the north of Naples, formed within the Nuvoletta clan that has controlled Marano since the 1970’s, thanks to agreements with the Corleone clan and thanks to the military defence of Cutolo. At present the Polverinos control a wide area that goes from the hill districts of Naples out to the northern areas where it monopolizes bread making and meat products, while controlling the importation of hashish into Southern Italy. This study aims to analyze the family origins of the clan and reconstruct its internal organization, paying close attention to the organization of drug trafficking, and its relations to the other clans. The importance of the commercial matrix of the family thus emerges, falling into line with its strategy of territorial control and the construction of horizontal and confederative ties upon which it has staked its fortune.