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The Mafia’s Secret Bunkers

The Mafia’s Secret Bunkers

Wed May 1, 9-10pm, BBC2

By Gabriel Tate
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And what bunkers they are. Entire complexes concealed behind oven doors. Cubby holes built underneath replicas of Tony Montana’s lair in ‘Scarface’. And the biggest secret of all – the identities and activities of the mobsters in question – kept by entire communities of cowed or colluding locals.

Mafia expert John Dickie’s intriguing documentary uncovers the extent to which organised crime still influences Italian life, examining the coke-trafficking ’Ndrangheta of Calabria. Corruption seems endemic and the climate is thick with fear – although the fightback is also beginning in earnest among police and judiciary. Most encouraging, however, is the grassroots campaign led by Sicilian market traders fed up with extortion.

It takes real guts to publicly call out the Mafia as bullies, but the truth of it is borne out by the apparent success of the initiative, with over 800 shopkeepers now signed up and the criminals silent. How the ’Ndrangheta got its curious name is left tantalisingly unexplored, but otherwise this shines a light into some dark corners to telling effect.
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