He has just arrived in Naples when he no longer has enough cells for the 41 bis. Nicola Gratteri, the terror of the 'Ndrangheta, has been putting the Camorra under attack for a few months. From Reggio Calabria to the Neapolitan capital, for what he considers a war against the mafias without borders, from the land of fires to the outskirts of Caracas. They say everything and more about him: abrupt ways, impetuousness, braggadocio and above all the terror of politics. He says what he thinks, he doesn't like savoir faire , and when he speaks he makes noise. His landing at the Neapolitan Prosecutor's Office did not come through grace received, but rather through merits achieved in the field: international drug trafficking gangs, white collar workers and strategic gangs in the public administration were defeated. He chased them, arrested them and very often had them convicted. Now, however, at the beginning of his new mandate, he has a problem as big as a prison: he doesn't know where to put "the 41 bis", those mafia leaders to be isolated without respite, to try to make them helpless in maximum security cells.

Take Gratteri

When the agencies beat Gratteri's take in Sardinia there is half of parliament, all cheering for their favorite. A bolt from the blue, apparently. We know, when the sworn enemy of the mafia godfathers speaks, it means that something is about to happen. More than an appeal, his is a denunciation, public and in no uncertain terms: "In Cagliari they built a prison for the 41 bis, but the section cannot open". And he also indicates the solution to no longer leave him closed: "We need more prison police officers." The Prosecutor of Naples does not speak by chance: «For twenty years I have heard that it takes seven years to build a prison. Only two prisons were built for 41 bis: Sassari and Cagliari, where in the latter the section cannot be opened." He obviously knows the Sardinian practice: «Unfortunately, with few prison police officers, the high security regime cannot be effectively applied». Nicola Gratteri knows everything, including the cursus honorum of those cells for mafia leaders.

Cayenne prison

A long history of perennial via crucis , since the failure of the company that was supposed to carry it out ruined the plan to transform even southern Sardinia into a cajenne for hardened bosses, prominent godfathers at the head of criminal organizations capable of taking root anywhere, including what, for convenience, has always been described as the impregnable island. The umpteenth arrival of mafiosi on Sardinian land has been rejected several times over the years, at least since 2014 when, due to public opinion, the attempt to send a new contingent to the Cagliari prison, after that of Sassari, was blown up of bosses, with the most high-sounding names of the Italian mafia network, from the Camorra to the 'Ndrangheta.

Bosses announced

An ups and downs that saw Ministers and heads of the Dap, the penitentiary administration department, making repeated promises about the opening of the 41 bis wing of Uta. All announcements destined to collapse with the passing of days, months and years. The latest in Sardinia is the Minister of Justice in the Draghi Government, Marta Cartabia. It was June 24, 2022. Not a visit to talk about reforms. His mission, later immortalized, was well limited: to make sure those boss-proof cells were ready. They already were then, despite the fact that Uta prison was hell, with impressive "psychiatric" numbers, with 276 acts of self-harm in just one year, including suicide attempts.

110 officers missing

A real explosive potential with an unprecedented figure: the staffing plan includes 421 agents, but there are just 311, that is, 110 are missing, with all that follows in terms of safety, starting from that of the officers themselves. agents forced to work with the fear of imminent aggression. Not a day goes by without punches, kicks and headbutts being recorded, as happened yesterday within the 15 sections of the prison city of Uta.

Drug leaders already arrived

In that desolate land, on the outskirts of the industrial area of Macchiareddu, as of 31 January there were 616 inmates, compared to a capacity of 561. There is one detail, however. In the most absolute silence, with a blitz unknown to most, 42 prisoners classified in the High Security 3 regime, i.e. mafia leaders who held top positions in organizations dedicated to international drug trafficking and not only. These are inmates coming from other Italian regions and who now lively populate the Uta prison complex.

Risk of infiltration

A presence that should not only have redefined the staff structure upwards, given the dangerousness of these prisoners, but should have taken into account the repeated alarms of mafia infiltration of the Sardinian judiciary at the highest levels. For years now, there has not been a single Attorney General of Sardinia who has not raised an explicit alarm on the serious risk of mafia infiltration linked to the great sideshow of organized crime which moves in the wake of its leader, thus expanding its sphere of action. There are close and collateral relatives, entire families, acolytes and attendants of the criminal organization who settle a stone's throw from the prison, precisely to keep the dialogue open with the leaders of the criminal organizations.

They will do anything

Judge Claudio Lo Curto, former acting Attorney General of Cagliari, one of the magistrates closest to Borsellino and Falcone, denounced it bluntly in 2017, shortly before his death: «With the 41 bis the relatives will arrive, even five or six , and then other people, who will always be different. They will arrive ten or fifteen days early and leave even ten days later. The time needed to monitor the terrain and make friends and contacts. They will make themselves known, they will launder money, they will grant loans at usurious rates, and perhaps, following the creditor's inability to pay, they will take over the company." «These mafia leaders – was Lo Curto's will – will need to find apartments a stone's throw from the prison. The objective will be twofold, to communicate with the leaders of the leaders and translate the messages into actions, including the occupation of new territories. Receiving bribes from the bosses behind bars, seeing with a single gesture, with an uncodifiable facial expression, messages that few or no one will be able to translate. In Sardinia - he explained - we will witness a phenomenon in many ways similar to that which emerged at the time of forced stays, with the sending of leading exponents of organized crime to untouched lands. Having sentences served far from the relevant territory is a huge mistake."

Sardinia landfill

Gratteri's exhortation, understandable from his point of view, is therefore yet another danger for Sardinia, with the possible arrival on the island of another 92 bosses worth 41 bis, or the godfathers of the most brutal gangs, condemned to the "never pain at the end". With this complaint from the Prosecutor of Naples there is now the risk that Sardinia will once again pay the consequences, called to "host" almost half of the Italian mafia bosses alone. A sort of mega criminal-mafia landfill, regardless of the fact that last week Gratteri himself seized assets worth 55 million euros from a company that operates between Campania and Sardinia in the field of waste and reclamation. Just one detail: the tax headquarters of those gentlemen is in a suburban neighborhood of Assemini. A stone's throw from Uta.

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