Friday, November 03, 2006

Not wanted here

Roberto Saviano published a book called Gomorra in May this year. It is a first-person account of the the Camorra at work in and around Naples. It's won prizes, sold 100,000 in Italy alone and has earned its author the sincere, though undesirable, attention of those he writes about. There's a well-practised process here.

The mafia normally shies away from prominent murders, preferring instead to operate in the Italian underworld. When the mob does choose well-known targets, careful preparation includes isolating their victim as much as possible.

The process seems to be well advanced in Saviano's case. In one restaurant, he was told "you are not wanted here." According to a report in the Belfast Telegraph, a shopkeeper whispered furtively, "Must you really keep on buying your bread in this shop?" A local newspaper has been critical of him in its coverage.
And far from keeping quiet for a while, at a recent 4-day 'festival' against the Camorra he stood on stage and shouted,
Iovine, Schiavone, Zagaria - you are worth nothing. Your power stands upon our fear. You must leave this land.
Not calculated to win the friendship of the powerful. Or, it seems, of Rosa Russo Iervolino, the Mayor of Naples, who, when presenting Saviano with the Siani Prize (named after a journalist shot 21 years by the Camorra), did so defining him as
a symbol of that Naples he denounces.
He now has an escort. Just as did Falcone and Borsellino.

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