SAN LUCA “THE HORNET’S NEST”
San Luca is municipality in the Province of Reggio Calabria in the Italian region “Calabria”.
San Luca is considered to be the stronghold of the ‘Ndrangheta, a Mafia-type criminal organisation based in Calabria. According to a former ‘ndranghetista, “almost all the male inhabitants belong to the ‘Ndrangheta, and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Polsi has long been the meeting place of the affiliates.” At least since the 1950s, the chiefs of the ‘Ndrangheta locali have met regularly near the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Polsi during the September Feast. In 1969 the police raided a meeting near the sanctuary and captured more than 70 ‘ndranghetisti, while others managed to escape.
The historical preeminence of the San Luca family is such that every new group or locale must obtain its authorization to operate and every group belonging to the ‘Ndrangheta “still has to deposit a small percentage of illicit proceeds to the principale of San Luca in recognition of the latter’s primordial supremacy.” San Luca, in the words of a study published in 2005 by Italy’s domestic intelligence service, is “the cradle of [the ‘Ndrangheta] and its epicentre”.
The San Luca feud, a war between the two ‘Ndrangheta clans Pelle-Vottari-Romeo and Strangio-Nirta from San Luca that had started in 1991 and resulted in several deaths carried into Germany in 2007; six men were shot to death in front of an Italian restaurant in Duisburg on 15 August 2007

In 2009 I spent one week in San Luca guest of one of the family.
This is a short essay of the project.

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