‘Ndrangheta in Reggio, the historic Borghetto-Latella gangs and the new balance in the city: 25 arrests. Blitz also in Messina and Cosenza THE NAMES


By John

Twenty-five people were arrested – one required to sign – this morning by the Financial Police as part of anoperation called «Garden»coordinated by the DDA of Reggio Calabria, which it concerned the Borghetto and Latella gangs operating in the Modena and Ciccarello districts. The raid began at dawn in the provinces of Reggio Calabria, Agrigento, Cosenza, Messina, Milan and Rome. Also arranged preventive seizure of assets worth approximately 500 thousand euros. Seals on a boat, some properties, an agricultural company, several pieces of land and a car.

The financiers executed a precautionary custody order signed by the investigating judge at the request of the prosecutor Giovanni Bombardieri and the deputy Walter Ignazitto. The crimes alleged against the suspects in various capacities are mafia association, extortion, illegal possession and carrying of firearms, dealing and trafficking of narcotic substances and usury. 24 were sent to prison while one was placed under house arrest.

The names

In jail:
Borghetto Cosimo (Sant’Eufemia d’Aspromonte, 11.02.1954);
Borghetto Eugenio known as “Gino” (Reggio, 01.20.1968);
Bevilacqua Francesco (Reggio, 06.05.1993);
Cacopardo Giovanni (Messina, 01.30.1972);
Catanzariti Armando (Reggio, 12.08.1970);
Condemi Giuseppe (Reggio, 08.24.2001);
Ferrente Francesco (Reggio, 09.10.1975);
Filocamo Maurizio (Reggio, 15.03.1978);
Guasby Bard (Morocco, 11.20.1999);
Iaria Carmelo Rocco (Melito Porto Salvo, 02.11.1974);
Idotta Antonino (Reggio, 09.30.1972);
Latella Angelo (Reggio, 05.09.1990);
Latella Paolo (Reggio, 11.07.1970);
Malaspina Vincenzo (Reggio, 04.11.1972);
Melchionna Felice (Reggio, 02.04.1969);
Mento Giovambattista (Reggio, 17.12.1983);
Passalacqua Santino (Catanzaro, 13.02.2000);
Pennestrì Fabio (Reggio, 04.26.1982);
Perla Matteo known as “Giorgio” (Reggio, 03.08.1962);
Polimeno Nicola Danilo (Reggio, 23.10.1968);
Saraceno Francesco (Reggio, 09.08.1983);
Tripodi Aldo (Reggio, 01.01.1964);
Iaria Bruno (Melito Porto Salvo, 06.09.1977);
Family members Antonino (Messina, 20.12.1976).

Under house arrest:
Berlingeri Alessio (Melito Porto Salvo, 15.09.2000).

Signature requirement:
Catanzaro Kevin (Reggio, 06.16.2001).

The Borghetto-Latella and the second ‘Ndrangheta war

The criminal activities of two of the most powerful gangs in Reggio Calabria are under scrutiny: the Borghetto and the Latella, historically linked in the second ‘ndrangheta war that bloodied Reggio Calabria from 1985 to 1991, with the ‘cartel’ De Stefano, Libri, Tegano, in contrast to the Serraino-Imerti-Condello.

Cosimo and Eugenio Borghetto: “The crown of our head”

As proof of the criminal depth of the dismantled clan, we record the phrase with which a prominent exponent belonging to another family of the ‘Ndrangheta in Reggio refers to the Borghetto-Latella family as “the crown of our head”. The head of the gang, Cosimo Borghetto, would have risen to all intents and purposes at the top of the Reggio district, playing a top role in the mafia hierarchies, as a dispenser of gifts and organizational roles as well as a planner, together with his brother Eugenio, of the distribution of illegal proceeds between his association and the other ‘ndrine of the city.

The new map of influences in the city

Furthermore, the investigation would have highlighted a sort of reorganization of the criminal balances and interests defined at the end of 1991, with a new map of territorial influences, in particular for the subjects under investigation today, in the ‘Modena-Ciccarello’ neighborhoods and the hamlets of the Valanidi Valley, south of the historic center of Reggio Calabria.

The emerging role of Ciccarello’s Roma

Part of the investigation concerns the relationships between the ‘ndrangheta and the Roma community of Ciccarello which, according to the investigators, is no longer laborers at the service of the clans but is transforming into a real gang. The Roma of the Modena-Ciccarello and Arghillà neighborhoods would have found ‘a place at the table’ in the organization of drug dealing, arms trafficking, extortion and usury, a criminal ‘division of labour’ which it has also been affecting other areas of Calabria for some time, such as the Piana di Gioia Tauro, the Sibaritide, the Lametino. “These are no longer criminal laborers – say investigative sources with reference to the Roma – but an autonomous organization that can count on dozens and dozens of people, especially very young people, which has now become a dangerous reality.”

The arsenal, the intimidation, the violence

The mafia power exercised by the clans over the territories, also guaranteed by the availability of real military arsenals (dozens of weapons, including war weapons, including machine guns, rifles and pistols, fully functional and with relative ammunition as well as an explosive device with deadly power) and by continuous intimidating and violent acts, it would also have consolidated itself through massive extortion activity, monopolizing vast commercial and entrepreneurial pockets, as well as numerous squares in the Reggio area with expansions even outside the city.