Over the past month, it has become popular opinion that organised crime groups (OCGs) across Europe may benefit from the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, Covid-19 has been heralded as an opportunity for OCGs in Italy, where the disease has prompted the Government to release 376 mafia affiliates from prison, and where mortality rates have increased 568 percent. There, Public Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri argues, people in need have turned to OCGs, who offered help first.
But is this so? After all, there are many OCGs in Italy, Covid-19 has affected the country unevenly, and the Government has sought to intervene financially. To answer this question, this article proposes a brief analysis, which focuses on one OCG, the ‘Ndrangheta, and concentrates on the impact of the pandemic in Calabria, the southernmost region of mainland Italy, its fons et origo.