Just finished reading Gomorra by Roberto Saviano, the book about the Neapolitan Mafia, or Camorra, that has already sold 2 million copies in 32 countries and was also turned into a successful film. Well, I actually read it during our holidays in July but still had one chapter to go. And that is one of the things I liked the least about the book. It’s too long. At one point, the names and nicknames of another set of Camorra crooks started dazzling in my head.
Apart from that, it’s an intriguing book about the organisation and workings of the Neapolitan Camorra. A picture is painted of a highly effective criminal organisation, amongst others because of its decentralised character. This was the Neapolitan innovation to the more centrally organized Cosa Nostra from Sicily and ‘Ndrangheta from Calabria. The Camorra is composed of a large number of family clans who are very autonomous. Together they control a large number of industries, from construction to fashion, from drugs to waste.
The driving force of their members is power, and power only. Everything that stands in the way of their power will be removed. And their members know that at one point they will die because of their activities and accept that as a fact of live.
“The system”, as they call it, is so pervasive in society that people can only escape it by moving to the north of Italy or abroad.
Not surprisingly, the Camorra have ordered the death of Saviano and he is living under police escort since the release of Gomorra in 2006. Plans were leaked recently that the Comorra want to effectuate their plans before next Christmas.
A few days ago a petition (Dutch only) was started to make the Italian government do everything in their powers to save Saviano. To date 130,000 people signed the petition.
You can join the Facebook group Gomorra here.