Scampia feud

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The Scampia feud (in Italian: La faida di Scampia) was a feud between the Camorra gangs in the Neapolitan quartiere of Scampia which broke out in 2004 and 2005. The fight was between the Di Lauro clan, from Secondigliano, and the so-called "secessionists" (Italian "scissionisti"), a breakaway faction in the northern suburbs of Naples that tried to assert its control over drugs and prostitution rackets in the area.[1]

Paolo Di Lauro, head of the Camorra clan that runs the northern suburbs, was in charge of a tightly managed drug empire that imported cocaine and heroin and distributed it through an army of dealers. Di Lauro granted neighborhood ringleaders a certain amount of autonomy in exchange for the monopoly and cuts of the proceeds. He went into hiding in 2002 as authorities closed in. He left the business to Vincenzo Di Lauro, one of his ten sons. After the arrest of Vincenzo in 2004, Cosimo Di Lauro took charge.[2][3]

Cosimo Di Lauro wanted to centralize the drug-dealing operation that had been run as a franchise in which dealers paid the Di Lauros a fee for doing business and were allowed to buy the drugs from any available source.[3] The young Di Lauro removed older gangsters and replaced them with young criminals new to the business. In revolt, a faction now known as the "secessionists" challenged the Di Lauros in October 2004. One of the local dealers, Raffaele Amato, disputed the new rules, fled to Spain and organized a revolt against his former bosses. In Scampia, they are known as the Spaniards. Di Lauro responded by ordering the killing of two rebel associates, Fulvio Montanino and Claudio Salerno on October 28, 2004. During their funeral three days later, police arrested two men armed with machine guns who were planning to fire on the funeral procession.[3][4] The two bands fought each other with a brutality that stunned even hardened Carabinieri.[5][not in citations given]

In November 2004, 22 year old Gelsomina Verde was abducted and brutally beaten, probably in an effort to get her to disclose the whereabouts of her former boyfriend, Gennaro Notturno, a Scissionisti clan member. The two had broken up weeks prior to her abduction. She was shot three times in the neck and her body put in a car that was set on fire.[6][7]

Her death caused widespread public revulsion and led to a major crackdown by the authorities.[1] The governor of the Campania region (of which Naples is the capital) Antonio Bassolino said: "This challenge must be met and the state must pay attention." Two days later, Home Secretary Giuseppe Pisanu dispatched 325 extra police to a city that already had a higher ratio of police to people than any other in the country. On December 7, 2004, an operation involving 1,500 police netted 52 suspected gangsters including Ciro Di Lauro.[1][6]

His brother Cosimo Di Lauro was arrested in January 2005 and the head of one of the rival gangs, Raffaele Amato, a month later.[5][8] On September 16, 2005, police arrested Paolo Di Lauro in a modest apartment in Secondigliano, on the city's poor northern outskirts.[9][10][11] He was sentenced to 30 years for drug trafficking.[12] Two weeks later Paolo Di Lauro publicly kissed Vincenzo Pariante – one of the bosses of the "secessionists" – during a session in court. Investigators interpreted the gesture as a sign that the feud had ended. However, murders continued into 2008.[better source needed][13] Vincenzo Licciardi, the reputed head of the so-called Secondigliano Alliance was arrested in February 2008. He had been on Italy's most wanted list since 2004.[14]


  1. ^ a b c Naples police in huge mafia swoop, BBC News, December 7, 2004
  2. ^ Gang's Deadly Feud Plagues Naples, Los Angeles Times, February 17, 2005
  3. ^ a b c In Naples, a Mob Family Feud, The Washington Post, February 8, 2005
  4. ^ Weekends turn bloody in Naples mafia war, The Guardian, December 18, 2004
  5. ^ a b Italian Police Arrest Fugitive Crime Leader in Naples Gang War, The New York Times, September 17, 2005
  6. ^ a b ‘The blood is running': Mafia wars erupt again, The Independent, December 8, 2004
  7. ^ (Italian) Roberto Saviano sul delitto di Gelsomina Verde
  8. ^ 'Naples crime boss' held in Spain, BBC News, February 28, 2005
  9. ^ Criminal boss is captured in Italy, International Herald Tribune, September 17, 2005
  10. ^ (Italian) Arrestato boss Di Lauro "o milionario", La Repubblica, September 16, 2005
  11. ^ (Italian) Napoli: arrestato il boss Paolo Di Lauro, Corriere della Sera, September 18, 2005
  12. ^ (Italian) Giornata di sangue a Napoli: tre omicidi, Corriere della Sera, March 15, 2007
  13. ^ (Italian) Napoli, nuovo agguato di camorra, La Repubblica, March 21, 2007
  14. ^ Top Camorra boss nabbed in major blow to Naples crime gang, Italy magazine, February 8, 2008

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