Italy: Over 200 Sentenced for Mafia Ties

    Photo: Ivan Romano/Getty Images News via Getty Images (Oct. 20, 2023, Court of Naples)

    The Facts

    • An Italian court on Monday convicted more than 200 people, including a former lawmaker and a senior police commander, to a total of 2.2K years in prison at the end of the country's biggest organized crime trial in decades.

    • A panel of three judges took an hour and 40 minutes to read out the sentences against over 330 defendants accused of murder, arms trafficking, extortion, loan sharking, drug trafficking, and money laundering, among other crimes. Around 130 defendants were acquitted.


    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The verdicts in Italy's mafia trial mark a crucial moment in the pursuit of the 'Ndrangheta, which is largely made up of decentralized families with deep loyalties and no obvious leading clan. Prosecutors have jailed key members of the Sicilian mafia since the 1990s but haven't had much luck infiltrating the 'Ndrangheta till recently.

    Narrative B

    The 'Ndrangheta convictions are unlikely to kill the criminal network, given its deep roots in over 50 countries. Its elimination will require the reduction of a culture of fear throughout the region. It's a phenomenon that can only be changed with better schools and lower unemployment, which, in turn, will lead to the restoration of faith in the state. Prosecutions alone can't solve this issue.


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