The people say ‘basta’ to mafia extortion

Maria Teresa Morano: the family was behind her father

Maria Teresa Morano: the family was behind her father’s protest

In a remote part of Calabria, a group of small businessmen dared to stand up to the mafia and refused to pay protection money. Maria Teresa Morano’s father was one of them. 

In 1992, the businessmen and shopkeepers of a small rural town, Cittanova in Calabria, received a series of unwelcome visits. They were each approached by a known mafioso, who took them from their place of work, alone, to a secluded spot, where armed men were waiting. There they were told they must pay protection money (known as ‘pizzo’).

If they refused they were beaten up, threatened at gunpoint, or told that their children would be harmed. Continue reading