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Interesting article on BBC news today

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'Ndrangheta: Exploring the mafia's underground world'

I don't think I've ever been so relieved to see sunlight. Since dead of night I had been crawling through tunnels strewn with rat excrement, personal effects and the paraphernalia of the cocaine business.

The dust and damp were choking. How long had I been underground? Four hours? Five? Eight? Then at last, filthy, tired, and disorientated, I surfaced into a gorgeous mountain landscape, and a breeze bearing the perfume of wild oregano.

I felt as if I had just escaped a brush with insanity, with evil.

The tunnels were in the town of Plati, on Aspromonte, the "harsh mountain" that dominates the landscape at the very toe-tip of Italy's boot.

Plati has been notorious for a century as a stronghold of the 'Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia.


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