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The meaning of «'ndrangheta»

The 'Ndrangheta (/(ən)dræŋˈɡɛtə/,[4] Italian: [nˈdraŋɡeta], Calabrian: [(ɳ)ˈɖɽaɲɟɪta])[a] is a prominent Italian Mafia-type[5] organized crime syndicate based in the region of Calabria dating back to the late 18th century. It is considered to be among the most powerful and dangerous organized crime groups in the world.[6] A US diplomat estimated that the organization's narcotics trafficking, extortion and money laundering activities accounted for at least three per cent of Italy's GDP in 2010.[7] Since the 1950s, the organization has spread toward Northern Italy and worldwide. In 2013 they purportedly made €53 billion according to a study from Demoskopika Research Institute.[8]

The 'Ndrangheta was already known during the reign of the Bourbons of Naples. In the spring of 1792, there was the first official report in history on the 'Ndrangheta, and a mission as "Royal Visitor" was entrusted to Giuseppe Maria Galanti; these travelled far and wide throughout most of Calabria, often also making use of reports (answers written on the basis of a sort of questionnaire to fixed questions, prepared by himself) of local notables deemed reliable and trusted. This resulted in a bleak picture, as well as on the economic situation in the region, especially on that of public order.[9] This work has been analyzed by various contemporary historians.[10][9][11][12] Luca Addante writes in the introduction to the re-edition of Galanti's report ("Giornale di viaggio in Calabria", Rubbettino Editore, 2008):[11] "the murders, thefts, the kidnappings were infinite; the ignorance of the clergy was scandalous; the village notables, obsessed with the idea of enriching themselves and then ennobling themselves, rapacious monopolizers of local administrations, who grew up in the shadow of a decadent nobility whose remains were being prepared." Galanti, in particular, reports in the Giornale the descriptions of disturbing crime phenomena, noting how the inefficient administration of justice, the corruption and the monopoly of the barons, was starting to produce cases, as in Maida, of "a small bunch of young, freeloaded young men who commit violence with the use of firearms. Justice is idle because without force and without a system. Malicious people become policemen (a sort of urban guard)." In the District of Gerace, "the raids of the criminals in the countryside are general. Almost all the militiamen are the most troublemakers in the province because the criminals and the debtors adopt this profession and are guaranteed by commanders in contempt of the laws. With this, the crimes, which grow every day".[13]

In 1861, the prefect of Reggio Calabria already noticed the presence of so-called camorristi, a term used at the time since there was no formal name for the phenomenon in Calabria (the Camorra was the older and better known criminal organization in Naples).[14][15] Since the 1880s, there is ample evidence of 'Ndrangheta-type groups in police reports and sentences by local courts. At the time they were often being referred to as the picciotteria, onorata società (honoured society) or camorra and mafia.[16]

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List of members of the 'Ndrangheta

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