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The Mafia's Secret Bunkers (1 May)

23 April 2013

Professor John Dickie

BBC2 'THIS WORLD'
MAY 1, 9PM

Based on unprecedented front-line access to Italy's specialist antimafia magistracy and all branches of the police, The Mafia's Secret Bunkers reports on the fight against the 'ndrangheta.

The 'ndrangheta is a freemasonry of criminals--a mafia; it is based in Calabria, the poor region at the 'toe' of the Italian 'boot'. Although it is well over a century old, the 'ndrangheta has remained below the radar of public awareness, and its inner workings mysterious even to the investigators charged with fighting it. Yet it is recognised to be the wealthiest and most powerful criminal organisation in Europe, with many branches established in Northern Italy, Northern Europe, North America, and even Australia.

Now a dramatic new phase in the 'ndrangheta's long history has opened. The Calabrian mafia's top secret coordinating committee, known as the Crime or the Great Crime, has been discovered. A mass round up has taken place. History-making trials are under way. In response, the 'ndrangheta's bosses have built fortified underground hideouts--bunkers-- so that they can avoid justice and keep command of their empires.

In the Mafia's Secret Bunkers, presenter Professor John Dickie of UCL follows the hunt for the 'ndrangheta's bunkers, which are often highly sophisticated, surprisingly extensive, and a remarkable symbol of organised crime's authority in the region. The programme is a co-production between History Channel Italia and the BBC. John Dickie's status as a leading authority on Italian organised crime was crucial in guaranteeing the access on which the programme is based.

John Dickie's new book, Mafia Republic, will be published on 8 May.

Image: © Poppy Berry