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  • while the largest Mafia trial in over three decades is starting in Italy, the defendants include more than 350 suspects.

  • They are members of one of the world's most feared organized crime groups, the Ndrangheta.

  • They are accused of offenses dating back to the 19 nineties, including murder, drug trafficking, extortion and money laundering.

  • VW's Max Sander spoke to the lead prosecutors in the case and also a former mobster turned informant who fears for his life.

  • Now he has to move quickly.

  • The chief prosecutor of Catanzaro, Nicola Gratteri, has powerful enemies.

  • Italy's number one Mafia hunter is leading the fight against the notorious Colombian network Ndrangheta.

  • There are men of the ndrangheta within the public administration.

  • They attempt to manage it in whole or in part trying to succeed in dominating not only on the economic level but also on the administrative and political level.

  • Uh, minister, political great Terry has been fighting them for more than 30 years, and he has been preparing a strong message to send to the Colombian families and the public.

  • Over the next two years, more than 350 mafiosi and accomplices will take the stand in the biggest Mafia trial in decades here in especially built bunker courtroom set up to accommodate them.

  • Together with hundreds of lawyers and witnesses, the families reach and influence go far beyond Calabria.

  • Over the years, it's business model has evolved from fighting bloody wars in the streets to more sophisticated financial crime.

  • The ndrangheta now operates in the shadows, for example, by importing tons of cocaine from Latin America and quietly buying power and influence all over Europe.

  • This and they're twisted but strong sense of family are the main reasons why it's so hard to fight the family clans, Luigi Bonaventura tells us Now.

  • Working with prosecutors, he was raised to become a powerful.

  • Now, if you'll see you start with guns as a child, they make you shoot.

  • They carry guns and you're a kid and it's all a game to you, Thea.

  • Other kids have toy guns, but your guns air riel, you're not afraid of being beaten, but of disappointing those who are training you.

  • Buenaventura smuggled drugs, extorted people and even participated in murders.

  • But after the birth of his second child, he decided this life was no longer for him and turned against his own family when it became known, they ambushed me twice within 12 hours.

  • The first time I managed to escape.

  • The second time I was armed and returned fire, wounding three people.

  • They tried to kill me several times and set fire to my wife shop.

  • Since then, Bonaventura has helped authorities put hundreds of mafiosi behind bars.

  • He welcomes the efforts of prosecutors Lycra Terry, but he is not the only one worried will fight back.

  • They have understood that if they knock me down, all this great work and this great team will stop.

  • There are thousands and thousands of people who believe in me and therefore I am the last hope.

  • Eso this also gives me courage and helps way have to carry on whatever it takes.

  • If I pulled out today, I would feel like a coward.

  • While this trial won't free Calabria from the clutches of the Mafia, it is a real chance to bring attention to the cause of suffering for millions of people not just here in Italy.

  • And let's bring in correspondent Max Sander, who you also saw there and that report.

  • Max is standing by for us in limits theater, where the trial is taking place.

  • Max, what's expected, Right?

  • This is a historic day, not just for Calabria, but also for Italy.

  • Um, this is a very important trial that just, uh, is about to kick off.

  • Um, but to understand the magnitude of this process is it's important to understand how the ndrangheta operates.

  • Uh, their core business is too important.

  • Cocaine from Latin America to Europe.

  • They make a lot of money within the control of the majority of the cocaine trafficking and shelling and throughout throughout Europe.

  • And they use this money to invest, to buy power, to buy influence to by politicians and even for legitimate, legitimate businesses and a lot of white collar crimes.

  • At the aim of this process is not to take out the ndrangheta, but more so Thio shine a light on their business.

  • Shine a light, how they operate in the shadows.

  • We've just heard from a witness from the prosecutor in your report.

  • The trial is of course, dangerous for them.

  • How did they handle that, right?

  • It's incredibly dangerous for X mafiosi who cooperate with the authorities.

  • That's why there are so few, actually.

  • But even for the chief prosecutor we talked toe Nicola Gratteri.

  • Um he has he is from the region.

  • He is from collaborate.

  • He grew up with some of the mafiosi that he's putting putting away putting behind bars.

  • In the process of this this this this trial, um he tells us he played with soccer with him in the streets.

  • He knows their mentality.

  • And as a kid, at a very early age of when he would go to school, he walked past bodies, people shot dead by the Mafia.

  • So he decided an early point that he wanted to do something against it.

  • And he has been living, uh, at a great risk for a very long time.

  • He has been on a police protection for 30 years.

  • He told us yesterday that he sleeps in a bunker, eats in his office, He doesn't have a life, and he lives with constant death threats.

  • But he also says it's worth it, even having a target on his back.

  • Because if he can take back the country from the Mafia and give it back to law abiding citizens, then it's worth living like that.

  • Do citizens seem to agree that it is indeed worth it, Max.

  • People that you've been speaking with their, um What has been the reaction, given the influence off this group in Calabria and also perhaps the fear among some that they could retaliate?

  • Look, the reactions air Twofold.

  • Um, you have the anti mafia movement, people who are active against the corruption, who suffer from the corruption and people who are just simply afraid of the Mafia.

  • But on the other hand, you have a lot of benefactors.

  • Ah, lot of people who who benefit from government contracts, for example, business people who benefit from who get who get assignments from politicians who are in the pockets of the Mafia.

  • So the ndrangheta, they have tools to control public and to control the public opinion.

  • And this is also something that we've seen here that they are attempting to do So leading up to this trial today, Max Sander in Lomita term where the trial is getting underway.

while the largest Mafia trial in over three decades is starting in Italy, the defendants include more than 350 suspects.

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Italy starts trialing 350 alleged Mafia members | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/14
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