Camorristi: On the Highway to Hell, Via Naples

By | February 26, 2013

In an effort to help this blog expand beyond its horizons, Charles DeLucca will be writing an ongoing series of articles about his observances and thoughts regarding organized crime, Italian-style, in all its various guises and locals.

Camorra member hides his identity while taken under arrest.

My name is Charles DeLucca and I’m a semi-retired member of the Neapolitan Camorra. Born and raised in Naples, I have spent more than 20 years living and breathing for the structure of clans that make up the so-called Camorra. I was a member of the ruthless Casalesi Clan.

Camorra at war: a not uncommon sight.

The Camorra is a general term to designate a group of multiple criminal clans in Naples, from rural clans of 10 people to urban organizations with more than 200 members. From toxic nuclear disposal, to Italian luxury goods, fashion stores, bootleg Italian merchandise, drugs and prostitution, the Camorra is the modern Hydra,the mythical multi-headed serpent from out of Ancient Greek myth.

When it comes to the drugs you consume, or the illegal DVDs you purchase from a Nigerian in the street….to the original Armani suit or Gucci sunglasses you wear… we are there. Most of the Italian merchandise that carries the famous “Medusa” logo — expensive fashion products sold all over the world — is actually made illegally by the Camorra.

Legalized prostitution in Amsterdam? Yeah, that too. African prostitution in Spain ? Yup, that too is ours. The clans sold weapons to ETA (Basque separatist group) during the English-Argentinean war; the clans send the weapons to South America . Ah, we also dealt directly with the Colombian Paramilitary.

“Specifically, I’m really interested in understanding the phenomena of the American Cosa Nostra from the perspective of a Naples native.”

European Justice Officers estimate that the Camorra has killed about 3,000 people in its “eternal” bloody wars from the late ’80s and ’90s (yes, I was there).

Gotti was reportedly tight with a Camorra boss.

The Camorra is not only in Milano and Rome – it is also in Germany and Spain . It has worked closely with the violent Mexican Cartel of the Sinaloa region. The Camorra is also present in Buenos Aires,  Argentina.

So when a Camorra “boss” snaps his fingers people drop dead in two or three different countries….that is power. Real power.

Antonio Bardellino, first boss of the
Casalesi clan and friend to John Gotti,
to whom he supposedly shipped drugs.

Now semi-retired, and in the “new world,” I have dedicated my time to the study of different types of criminal organizations that originate from Italy. But specifically, I’m really interested in understanding the phenomena of the American Cosa Nostra from the perspective of a Naples native.

For example, on The Sopranos [the fictional HBO series], Furio Giunta arrives in America and appears to be part of a “Sicilian-type” organization. That would never happen in real life, right? Because Furio was “made” in Naples, so he is a Camorrista. What the fuck is he doing with a Sicilian-American Family?

Another example. John Gotti Sr. was of Neapolitan origin and had close ties to the Camorra boss Antonio Bardellino. They were partners in drug trafficking. But, what would have happened if John Gotti Sr.had decided to import “Neapolitan Camorristi” (just as Carmine Galante brought the “zips”)? Would he have been able to fight the Genovese Family? Probably.

The Albanians gave the Gambinos a hard time. Your remember right? The mafia from Albania, a crude and violent organization based in (of course… Albania) — a country in Southeastern Europe, bordered by Montenegro to the northwest and Kosovo to the northeast. Well, these pazzi di merda decided to run into Gambino and Luchese territory. There is the story about two mafiosi americani who went to a sitdown at Cafe Dion (the hangout of the Albanians) and came out naked. Yes, naked. The New York “Families” did nothing. Now, if the Albanians had insulted the Camorristi that way, we would actually bomb the cafe — as well as some of the homes of the Albanians — with people inside. Why not? You think is too much?

Well, our clans and their honor come before everything… friends, family, morality, country, God…  You want to know more about us? Stop watching the Sopranos. That´s for kids. Get the movie ´Gomorrah´ by Martin Scorcese and Matteo Garrone.

Let me pose another question. Just to open debate.

What would happen if the powerful Casalesi clan decided to move into NYC?

It is one thing to have the “cazzi” to use a gun, but quite another to be able to operate an M-16 or a mini-Uzi. Now, imagine a gang of 25 Furio Giunta-types “baptizing in bullets” every single social club in New York. Sound like fiction? Well, at one point, it was suggested — under the argument that Italian-Americans only know how to handle meatball sandwiches.

What about the violence in Montreal ? Are there any Camorristi present in that current war?

From fiction to reality, my purpose is to translate a true, Neapolitan criminal experience to a public that devours stories about crime. And for those who admire Italians, and the word “Mafia” — the Camorra is the best. The Camorra kills with precision, kills everything that goes against the clan. Camorra has the fewest number of “pentiti”.

It is a system that infects everything, and it rules with an iron fist.

Our first boss was Antonio Bardellino, Gotti´s friend. The clan is named after the town of Casale di Principe. Don Antonio Bardellino formed the clan in the early 80s. When Gotti Sr. was boss, our clan was shipping drugs from Naples to NYC.

From then on, five “Godfathers” have ruled the clan, a single organization with a presence in Latin America, Canada, Italia and Germany. Maybe we are not as old as the Cosa Nostra Families, but we are as dangerous as the Cosa Nostra, the Hell-Angels, the Rizutto Family, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Mexican-Mafia gangs all combined…

Would I be killed because of what I write here? Maybe. But this is the life I chose. (But I’m not admitting to any of the above…)

In the meantime, welcome.