Roberto Saviano: How The Italian Mafia Conquered Northern Europe

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26/09/2014 by Don Quijones

Few people have paid such a high price for success as the Italian novelist and investigative journalist Roberto Saviano. In 2008, at the tender age of 26, he published Gomorra, a brutal, amphetamine rush of a novel based on exhaustive research he had done on the Neopolitan mafia, la Camorra.

At first, the mafia was nonplussed about the publication; some of its members were even proud to have been featured in the book. But then Gomorra went viral, selling 10,000,000 copies in 50 different languages. As Saviano told the Spanish journalist Jordi Evolé in a recent interview for the Spanish documentary series Salvados, that’s when the problems began. All of a sudden, the press was talking about the Italian mafia, governments were investing more money to combat organised crime, and the wheels of justice were moving faster.

Saviano’s success had turned him overnight into an enemy and threat to one of the world’s most powerful crime organisations. Since then, he has had to live his life on the move, under the radar and the constant protection of platoons of bodyguards. As he puts it, “my old life has died.”

Here’s a 2012 interview Saviano did with a Dutch newschannel.

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