La Provincia

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The Provincia (the Province), is a collegial body of the 'Ndrangheta, a Mafia-type organisation in Calabria. It is also known as camera di controllo (board of control) or camera di canalizzazione (canalization board). It is composed of leading 'Ndrangheta members to decide on important questions concerning the organization and settling disputes.[1][2]

History[edit]

Although the 'Ndrangheta organisation did know centralized structures – such as the crimine – that weakly coordinated activities of the various 'ndrine, it was not until the end of the Second 'Ndrangheta war that raged from 1985 to 1991 that the Provincia or Camera, a more powerful and centralized body, was established.[1][2][3] The bloody six-year war between the Condello-Imerti-Serraino-Rosmini clans and the De Stefano-Tegano-Libri-Latella clans left more than 600 deaths.

The Sicilian Mafia contributed to the end of the conflict and probably suggested the subsequent set up of a superordinate body, similar to the Sicilian Mafia Commission, to avoid further infighting. The body, also referred to as the Commission in reference to its Sicilian counterpart, is composed of three lower bodies, known as mandamenti. One for the clans on the Ionic side (the Aspromonte mountains and Locride) of Calabria, a second for the Tyrrhenian side (the plains of Gioia Tauro) and one central mandamento for the city of Reggio Calabria.[1]

Function[edit]

According to the pentito Pasquale Barreca the Provincia had "the authority of a true hierarchical superordinate power." Its primary function is the settlement of inter-family disputes. Any controversy between the various clans has to be submitted to the Commission before violence can be used. Smaller conflicts within the same 'Ndrangheta group are still left to the jurisdiction of the local family boss. If a decision of the Commission is ignored, all the locali – all the 'ndrine in a specific town or territory – are expected to line up against the one who violated the decision.[1]

However, so far the Commission has not succeeded in ending all violent conflicts, such as the one between the Cordì and the Cataldo clans in Locri. Nevertheless, since the end of the Second 'Ndrangheta war a sharp decrease in homicides in Reggio Calabria province suggests that the peacekeeping role played by the Provincia is functioning to some extent.[1]

Members of the Commission[edit]

The membership of the first Provincia or Commission varies according to different testimonies of 'Ndrangheta turncoats (pentiti). The following names are mentioned:[3]

Operation Crimine[edit]

In July 2010, in a massive police operation dubbed "Il crimine", the head of the crimine, Domenico Oppedisano was arrested. In the course of the investigation the capo crimine also appeared to be the nominal head of the Provincia. Oppedisano represented the Tyrrhenian mandamento, while his No. 2, the Capo società Antonino Latella represented the Centre (the city of Reggio Calabria) and Bruno Gioffré, the Mastro generale, the Ionic side.[4][5]

The existence of the Provincia was confirmed when in March 2010, the police managed to place a bug in the home of Giuseppe Pelle, an emerging boss and son of Antonio Pelle, also known as Ntoni Gambazza. In just over a month hundreds of meetings were recorded between mafiosi, politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals, businessmen and middlemen of any kind, and even people with links to intelligence services.[6] They also confirmed that Rocco Morabito and Giuseppe Pelle had succeeded their fathers and were in charge of managing the affairs of the 'Ndrangheta clans on the Ionic side of Calabria before they were arrested in April 2010 as a result of Operation Reale (Royal).[7]

The pentito Roberto Moio said in April 2011 that Rocco Filippone from Melicucco headed the Tyrrhenian side, Antonio Barbaro from Platì the Ionic side, and Pasquale Condello represented Reggio Calabria.[8]

To govern the 'Ndrangheta locali outside Calabria a so-called Camera di controllo is constituted. The investigation confirmed the existence of a Camera di controllo in Lombardy and Liguria.[9]

Outside Italy[edit]

A Camera di Controllo also exists in Canada, according to "confidential information" of the police "which they believe to be reliable."[10] It consists of six or seven Toronto-area men, who co-ordinate activities and resolves disputes among Calabrian gangsters in Southern Ontario. One of the members was Giuseppe Coluccio, before he was arrested and extradited to Italy.[11] Other members are Vincenzo DeMaria,[10] as well as a member of the Figliomeni clan.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Paoli, Mafia Brotherhoods, pp. 61-62
  2. ^ a b (Italian) Gratteri & Nicaso, Fratelli di Sangue, pp. 65-68
  3. ^ a b (Italian) Sentenza procedimento penale Olimpia, Tribunale di Reggio Calabria, January 19, 1999
  4. ^ (Italian) Preso il "Vangelo", capo assoluto scelto dalle cosche della 'ndrangheta, La Stampa, July 14, 2010
  5. ^ Police Swoop to Round Up 'Ndrangheta, Corriere della Sera, July 14, 2010
  6. ^ (Italian) "Sono bastate tre cimici per dare un duro colpo alla 'ndrangheta", La Reppublica, September 30, 2011
  7. ^ (Italian) La ‘ndrangheta muta pelle, regole e gerarchie, Gazzetta del Sud, May 23, 2010
  8. ^ (Italian) I nuovi assetti della ‘ndrangheta reggina, Gazetta del Sud, April 18, 2011
  9. ^ (Italian) Maxi blitz contro la 'ndrangheta, La Repubblica, July 13, 2010
  10. ^ a b Reputed Mafia boss wants police allegations barred from hearing, National Post, September 16, 2009
  11. ^ Life of luxury on hold, National Post, August 16, 2008
  12. ^ Man ordered deported over alleged mob ties, National Post, April 9, 2010