THE GARGANO CLAN, IS BECOMING ITALY'S MOST BRUTAL MAFIA CLAN.
Foggia, Italy, The Gargano clan is quickly becoming the most brutal mafia clan in the history of Italian organized crime. Just since January of this year, six bombings. Societa Foggiani, also known as the fifth mafia, is making some pretty brutal statements. In the farming region of Apuila, you have five major groups. You have Cosa Nostra in Sicily, N'drangheta in Calabria, The Camorra in Campania, and Sacra Corona Unita in Apulia. The Gargano's (Societa Foggiana) are a clan split from the Sacra Corona. They are widely considered the most brutal organized crime group in all of Italy.
Originally the Societa Foggiana, where an internal division of Sacra Corona, until the mid to late 1980's. The group was founded after meeting between Raffaele Cutolo, who at the time was the head of the Nuova Organizzata. The meeting is alleged to have taken place in 1979, at the Hotel Florio, in the province of Foggia. During that time Cutolo was waging a deadly war against the Camorra. He was going at big time leaders like Michele Zaza, the Nuvoletta brothers, Antonio Bardellino, Carmine Alfieri, and Luigi Giuliano. At this meeting Cutolo agreed in principle, to form a branch of the NCO in Apulia, known as the Nuova Camorra Pugliese, which would become the predecessor to Societa Foggiana.
Due to war, and arrests of several rivals, it gave birth to the juggernaut that is the Societa Foggiani, which includes the Gargano's, Trisciuglio clain, Sinesi-Francavilla Clan, and the Moretti-Pellegrino-Lanza Clan. Inside Apulia currently the three major powerful groups have become the Gargano's, the Societa Foggiani, Cerignola Clan. 80% of murders in this region of Italy go unsolved.
Six bombings alone in the region since January. Those bombings are believed to have been spurred by protection rackets. You don't pay, your business explodes. One thing Italy has seen since the pandemic, is mobsters using cash to buy out businesses that are facing critical times financially. Those who will not bend, are either beaten, killed, or have their businesses bombed or set ablaze. Those who need money are being loaned money at an interest rate of 400% by the mafia. Those who said the mafia was dead, are wrong.
Clans in Italy have warred against one another for decades, specifically over the narcotics trade which is a billon dollar industry in Europe, and according to Italian authorities the Gargano's are the one group that terrifies the Italian government for their willingness to kill to drive home a point. While traditionally Italian groups have had their murderous tactics before, this group has a murder design unlike anything we have ever seen. We know about the barrel murders that go back to Italy and arrived on American shores at the behest of Louisiana Italians, then carried on by Guiseppe "Clutch Hand" Morello in New York. This group however, does things a little differently.
They have what they call "Ritual of Death." While other organized crime families have used the gun, or used dismemberment at their disposal, this group uses a shotgun, and blasts the head or face of the victim at point blank range. Three men, terrify Italian authorities and the citizens of the region. They are the alleged three heads of the Societa Foggiani. Rocco "The Pig" Moretti, Vincenzo "Capantica" Pellegrino, and Vito Bruno "The Hare" Lanza. The three run the Moretti-Pellegrino-Lanza clan, and took over most of the area and the rackets that Cutolo once ran.
With Lanza in prison, and the arrest and imprisonment of Cerignola clan boss Vincenzo "The Professor" La Piccirella who was jailed on drug hauling charges in 2013, it left a small vacuum in which the Gargano's have slid in. Since the 1970's there has been over 360 murders in the region, since 2017-2018 there was one murder a week. The one thing that holds this group together, is I'Omerta. They don't talk, they don't rat. They stay silent. According to the Guardian, 90% of all business in the region are being shaken down or controlled by the mafia. If you thought some businesses were exempt, you'd be wrong. They have even forced their hands into the funeral business, forcing funeral homes to pay $45.00 fee to use a coffin.
One thing Italian organized crime has done, is removed the initiation ceremony. What was once a revered tradition is no longer needed. While Cosa Nostra and other groups still have their roots in tact, albeit in the form of an initiation the Societa Foggiani have abandoned those old world traditions. This group, has absorbed farmland, and skyrocket the price of vegetables, so that they can launder drug proceeds. N'drangeta has become the most powerful mafia group in the world, with hubs and membership in over two dozen countries. For those that have said the mafia was dying out, or was a dying organization, I think this proves otherwise.