An Italian judge's radical plan

Helen Fitzwilliam outlines a protection programme to rescue women and children of the ’Ndrangheta, a mafia clan that kills those who dare to betray it

The World Today Published 12 February 2018 Updated 18 November 2020 7 minute READ

Helen Fitzwilliam

Journalist and filmmaker

In 2011, the daughter of a powerful mafia boss was found sprawled on the floor of her basement bathroom, blood and white foam spilling from her burnt mouth. It appeared that she had killed herself by drinking a bottle of acid. Maria Concetta Cacciola, aged 31 and the mother of three children, had wanted to escape from her family, leading members of the ’Ndrangheta, the close-knit crime syndicate that holds sway over Calabria, the region which occupies the toe of the Italian boot. It is the most feared, secretive and powerful of all the Italian mafias, and also the least known.

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