Destinations Magazine

Ruffians in Rome

By Stizzard
Ruffians in Rome

ON AUGUST 27th the coastal district of Rome, with a population of around 230,000, became the biggest administrative unit in Italy to be put under direct government control because of mobster subversion. The chairman of its council had been arrested in June, accused of chumminess with a band of alleged gangsters who will be put on trial in November. Prosecutors claim that they developed corrupt ties involving politicians and officials not only in Ostia, Rome’s recreational port and playground, but in other parts of the city too. The overall council for the metropolis only narrowly avoided being disbanded on grounds of infiltration by mafiosi.

For years Italians had assumed that although Sicily and much of the south were prey to the mafia, their beautiful capital was much less vulnerable: the last criminal syndicate to win notoriety in Rome was the so-called Banda della Magliana in the 1970s and 1980s. Recent events have shown that comforting vision to be wrong on two counts. Italy’s southern mafias have been quietly building stakes in the capital’s economy, and Rome has been revealed to host an autonomous underworld more…

The Economist: Europe

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