giovedì 24 luglio 2014

Guatemala Criminale. Dall’impero Maya a quello dei trasportistas.


La regione centrale del continente americano, la mitica Mesoamerica descritta da illustri etnografi, unarea dincredibile fascino,  e' oggi certamente uno dei luoghi meno sicuri al mondo, come rilevato freddamente dagli indici di mortalità per cause legate alla criminalità, secondo molteplici autorevoli studi tra cui il Transnational Organized Crime in Central America, prodotto da UNODOC del settembre 2012  www.unodc.org
Studiando lAmerica Latina, il Messico e il Triangulo del Norte, El Salvador, Honduras e Guatemala, 
http://www.icesi.edu.co sono ripiombato, tirato a forza dai contemporanei eventi storici di quei Paesi, nella Sicilia mafiosa del Novecento; ma, forse più degli altri,  è in effetti proprio il Guatemala ad esprimere le maggiori similitudini con lesperienza della criminalità mafiosa sicula. 
Nello scrivere sull'argomento, sicuramente la principale sfida che mi appresto a fronteggiare riguarda la difficoltà di concentrare in un pezzo, tali e tanti sono i fatti da considerare, quanto andrebbe riportato circa le origini e lattuale situazione della sicurezza in Guatemala. 
Partiamo dal fatto che il Guatemala è lunico Paese centro americano in cui è dispiegata una missione dellO.N.U., la CICIG International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala http://www.cicig.org, fortemente voluta dagli Stati Uniti dAmerica, evidentemente più per motivi dinteresse nazionale che umanitari, in ragione del forte interesse geopolitico e strategico che questo paese riveste nellambito delle priorità di sicurezza americane. 
Sin da questa prima evidenza emerge una riflessione fondamentale per la comprensione dellattuale situazione nellarea che faccio risalire alla dottrina Truman, ufficialmente inaugurata nel discorso presidenziale del 12 marzo 1947, nella quale si certificava a mo' di monito che lAmerica si sarebbe opposta in qualsiasi parte del mondo ad unulteriore espansione dellarea dinfluenza dellU.R.S.S.. Noi italiani ne abbiamo sia sofferto le conseguenze ma soprattutto goduto i benefici e quindi ben sappiamo come questa opposizione si sia estrinsecata materialmente; anche i Paesi centro americani sono stati oggetto di politiche di contenimento dellinfluenza sovietica. Queste politiche, in buona sostanza, si sono risolte nelle azioni della CIA volte, a seconda delle circostanze, a destabilizzare e poi stabilizzare i governi dellintera area quando questi sterzavano troppo a sinistra. 
Ma cosa ha a che vedere questa evidenza storica con la situazione odierna? Lo spiego: i governi che nei decenni si sono avvicendati, anche quelli dispirazione marxista leninista supportati dalla grande Madre Russia, non avevano alcun interesse, e quindi figuriamoci volontà, di costruire un apparato amministrativo moderno ed efficace poiché sarebbe divenuto ovviamente difficilmente controllabile; ecco quindi che, dopo la caduta dellequilibrio atomico, quale risultato proprio del confronto tra le grandi potenze, i paesi dellAmerica centrale e latina si sono trovati praticamente abbandonati a se stessi in una situazione di vacuum di sovranità nazionale che esprimeva questa prerogativa fino ai territori più remoti. In questa oggettiva situazione, con un mercato della droga in esplosione chi altri poteva trarne beneficio? La criminalità, ovviamente, e vediamo ora in che modo.
Da lungo tempo il Guatemala, lHonduras, il Belize e Il Salvador sono paesi di contrabbando di merci dal sud al nord America e viceversa. Ma da una decina di anni alle merci che abitualmente attraversano questi confini se ne sono aggiunte altre: le sostanze stupefacenti. Vale la pena chiarire un punto determinante: i confini tra questi Paesi non sono come per automatismo siamo portati ad immaginare aree insormontabili rigidamente controllate. Qui la norma é esattamente lopposto; i confini sono del tutto aleatori e neanche le comunità che abitano nelle zone rurali a ridosso degli stessi spesso sanno indicarli. In quanto poi alle zone confinarie presiedute dalle forze governative, anchesse non sono certo impermeabili ai traffici illeciti grazie alla piaga della diffusissima corruzione. Con questo viatico é evidente che la grande criminalità organizzata dellAmerica latina, colombiana e messicana in particolare, non poteva non estendere i propri interessi nellarea. La spinta decisiva si é avuta intorno alla fine degli anni ottanta allorché la pressione internazionale ha spinto le autorità americane e soprattutto colombiane a smantellare la rotta dei Caraibi che consentiva alla cocaina prodotta nei paesi andini di proseguire per il nord America e lEuropa; era più che naturale che lattenzione dei criminali si rivolgesse ai territori del centro America che offrivano garanzie di riuscita di una molteplicità di traffici illeciti sotto vari profili. La posizione geografica, le condizioni di povertà generalizzate, il basso livello di capitale sociale, lendemica corruzione e lassenza delle autorità statali nei centri rurali, lesistenza di reti di contrabbando già collaudate hanno consentito alle organizzazioni criminali di radicarsi sul territorio.
Queste reti di contrabbando erano gestite da famiglie del luogo che avevano prevaricato e sostituito, sotto vari profili, lautorità statale esattamente come avvenne nella Sicilia ottocentesca dove i latifondisti divennero in molti casi protettori di mafiosi o mafiosi essi stessi: li chiamavano Galantuomini questi personaggi in grado di controllare intere comunità che dipendevano - in tutto e per tutto - dalla loro volontà mentre nel Guatemala contemporaneo li chiamano los Señores. In particolare questi personaggi si trovano nella regione di  Gualan al confine con lHonduras che, insieme a quella di Matalacan e Sayaxché rappresentano i territori maggiormente afflitti dalla criminalità organizzata poichè attraverso di essi si raggiunge il Messico, lHonduras e il Salvador. Los Señores si occupano di tutto nellambito delle rispettive comunità rurali e sono rispettati acquisendo quella che in Sicilia si chiamava omertà e rispetto. Come è chiaro,  lo studio comparato delle forme evolute di criminalità organizzata riserva sempre sorprese più o meno inaspettate. Se in Gualan comandano los Señores, nel resto del paese comandano le famiglie di transportistas ed i loro capos, che sono responsabili i primi dei carichi che gestiscono in appalto per conto terzi, solitamente i grandi cartelli messicani, i secondi delle singole aree di transito che in Messico si chiamano plazas il cui controllo ha generato, e genera, le centinaia di morti nella guerra tra i vari cartelli di narcotrafficanti.  

In buona sostanza, laddove lo stato centrale é assente, ed a livello locale esiste una struttura sociale ancorata ad unorganizzazione di tipo familista, avulsa dal contesto generale anche storico, i detentori del potere tenderanno a riprodurre di generazione in generazione le condizioni sociali che ne consentono la gestione ricorrendo a qualsiasi mezzo lecito e non.
In Guatemala, e nei paesi confinanti, lorganizzazione sociale é tuttora ferma al passato e lo sviluppo sociale é frenato dai centri dinteresse economici politici e criminali che in virtù di questa arretratezza e soprattutto operando in simbiosi, possono perpetrare il proprio potere. 

Quello del Guatemala é uno tra i casi più interessanti per chi, come me, studia i fenomeni criminali in maniera non descrittiva poiché un approccio sistemico genera virtuosamente processi cognitivi che possono essere replicabili in contesti differenti a beneficio di comunità eterogenee a livello internazionale. In tale quadro, esso merita certamente un ulteriore approfondimento che sarà oggetto di futuri miei interventi sul tema.

lunedì 21 luglio 2014

Terrorism, civil wars and crime, how does it works?


“…Chisinau, Moldova. One of the most powerful organized crime group in Moldova, offered a reporter from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project OCCRP Russian army weapons including rocket-propelled grenade RPG units last month…”

This short anticipation is the introduction to a more articulated piece issued on Tuesday, 03 july 2014 by the on line Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project OCCRP https://reportingproject.net/occrp/index.php/en/ccwatch/cc-watch-indepth/2505-moldova-criminal-underground-feeds-ukrainian-civil-war-with-russian-weapons.

To make it short, they describe how a reporter  working for them was offered to buy Russian weapons by Ion Druta a.k.a. “The writer” arrested and then later acquitted in Moldova on 2013. The reporter purchased an RPG http://world.guns.ru/grenade/rus/rpg-26-e.html.

I do not want to want deep in this specific story, what matters more are some considerations about organized crime playing a specific and central role in the geopolitical framework. 
Lets say first that at the very core of Europe we can find two areas that do not respond to common international principle and first of all to the European Union in which are geographically embedded: the Kaliningrad http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-18284828 stripe and the Transnistria region http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17601580

The first, the Kaliningrad region, is formally Russian territory which is de facto internationally recognized as an exclave or Russian Federation. The second one the territory to the east of the river Dniester, generally known as Trans-Dniester or the Dniester region, that was formally an autonomous area within Ukraine before 1940 when the Soviet Union combined it with Bessarabia to form the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. This area is mainly inhabited by Russian and Ukrainian speakers. As people there became increasingly alarmed at the prospect of closer ties with Romania in the tumultuous twilight years of the Soviet Union, Trans-Dniester unilaterally declared independence from Moldova in 1990. 
Since then the Trans-Dniester has become what can be described as a Criminal Hub due to the practically inexistent control on the organized crime activities. The point which closely interest me concern the fact that this kind of areas exist because it serves many international interests private but also governative. Thanks to the existence of places like Trans-Dniester it is possible to sell and buy any kind of goods with no problem and it does not matter who are the parties involved no one will ask you about your proxy. As in the same way these areas are used to bypass international sanctions and embargo giving chance to organized crime to became a powerful and more rich actor in the international arena.
So go ahead and following the OCCRP story, we left mr. Ion Druta -the writer- bargain for Russian weapons. mr. Druta is allegedly, according to the Moldovan authorities a member of an organized crime network led by the notable Thief-in-law mr. Ion Gusan a.k.a. “Nicu the boss”.
Now it is, according to the wester mass media quite established that the Malaysian 777 jet was reportedly hit by a missile over a rebel-held area in east Ukraine on Thursday and that the responsible for this act are the Ukrainian rebels of the region.
Now it is self-evident that this rebels have logically a proxy that fueled them with arms and weaponry and in my opinion it is also consequential that there is the real possibility that they arrived from the Trans-Dniester region.
In the end and getting to the point, organized crime exploits any favorable situation without any prejudice.

There is one more aspect I left on purpose to the end and it concern Nicu the boss, mr. Ion Gusan, the Moldovan organized crime boss, better known by the Italian law enforcement agencies as Ivan Alexander Gusan a.k.a. “Nicu il grande the big” is allegedly suspected to lead a criminal Moldovan network operating in Italy at least  since 2010. This network has the same modus operandi as the Georgian criminal organization operating in Italy; they are focused on burglary and theft in apartment to collect money for the bosses. This is a very important aspect in which I am focused due to the necessity of clearly understand how the mafias operate in land and abroad. The example of Georgian and Moldovan criminal networks acting in Italy as the do maintaining a low profile is perceived as a minor problem and addressed consequently by authorities. More recently in Bari the local Tribunal dismissed a major indictment for being members of mafia type organization to a group of Georgian sentencing all for a minor crime giving them the chance to cope with a more consistent punishment. This is a problem that the Italian authorities should in brief take into the right account. We do not know if there is any direct connection between Ion Druta a.k.a. “The writer”, Ivan Alexander Gusan a.k.a. “Nicu -il grande- the big” an the knocking dow of the Malaysian MH17 crash http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28383625. But for sure regions like the Transnistria - one of a pletora - has logically served as a criminal framework were set up at least the operative level of this criminal act.

giovedì 17 luglio 2014

II part - Russian Mafia does not exist, not in Italy at least.


I am approaching today, with this piece, the evolution of the historic Georgian crime in Italy.
As mentioned in the previous piece on 11 July, Georgian organized crime it cannot be regarded as an element of novelty, in the national crime scenery, and repeatedly ​​cleared by the police, the judiciary and information in general, the dynamics and the characteristics of this kind of criminality.
Definitely a reliable picture of this phenomenon comes from the analysis of the research results obtained by the various police forces, and already passed the scrutiny of the judgment of the judiciary. Over the past few years have been brought to fruition some investigative activities of particular relevance in Lazio, Piedmont and Lombardy, though minor activities were carried out in general in all the regions of the center-north.
Here's a summary:
GOLD RIVER: 2010, in Piedmont, in the province of Novara, were arrested about twenty Georgian citizens gathered in operational cells - identified as offshoots of structured mafia groups rooted in the country of origin and capable of acting in several other Italian cities such as: Milan, Venice, Florence, Perugia. Rome, Naples and Bari, devoted mainly to the commission of burglary and villas;
SAN GIORGIO: 2012, in the capital, were arrested a total of one hundred Georgians devoted mainly to the commission of burglary and villas;
LOCUST: 2013, starting with a robbery perpetrated in Frascati, 19 Georgians were arrested, after collecting gold and other precious metals through burglary in Rome and throughout the province, had turned to a fence Roman to monetize the stolen goods ;
ODESSA: 2013, in the regional capital of Lombardy, were brought to justice in a number of police raids thirty Georgians suspected of the crime of criminal association aimed at committing aggravated burglary and receiving stolen property, possession of keys altered and unjustified and picks possession of false documents, recovering stolen goods at the same time of considerable value;

KURA: 2014, in the course of this month, again starting from the Piedmont, was discovered the operation of another Georgian criminal dedicated team - as usual - to the commission of burglary and always in the regions of north-central Italy, which has allowed the arrest of 44 Georgians.
At this point, a common factor, should be highlighted about the following peculiarities detectable by the analysis of these, but also of those minor not reported:
-    exclusive commission of burglary, therefore low risk and a high index of sanctions in the face of economic viability;
-    use of the technical input of key bumping that allows the opening of the doors of the houses without leaving signs of forced entry, and with rudimentary tools manufactured in its sophisticated that purchased abroad and in particular in Ukraine;
-   subsequent sale of stolen goods at stores to buy gold   and subsequent transfer it abroad;
-    collection of illicit proceeds in a mutual fund that is denominated in Russian общак the common fund of the criminal organization.
Pushing it even further the analysis of the modus operandi of these - simple - criminal structures led us to identify some of their main organizational features from the forensic point of view, highlighting:
-    that the policies and administrative containment of illegal immigration are easily circumvented through the use of false documents forged or altered;
- the willingness to create inter-ethnic collaborations for the implementation of criminals projects;
-    the ability to reproduce craft keys and picks suitable to open any type of lock;
-    the territorial fragmentation in cells operating in contact with each other;
-    the stable relationships with caregivers to find objective to hit;
-    the use of cars and sim-card phone registered in the name of nominees;
-    the recourse for  international contacts to the Skype network;
-    a brief stay in the city where they carry out delinquent activities;
-    the use of false identity documents.
It appears evident that in terms of knowledge of this phenomenon that it is - in substance - of elementary type.
However, what actually is worthy of get further attention and concerns is the international nature in virtue of which these criminals cells have a network of protection, afforded by membership in criminal clans that provide higher level of assistance against other international criminal organizations.
This is the aspect that I will discuss in the next piece limiting myself to describe and analyze the situation in Europe and the relationship it has with the Georgian organizations against the backdrop of Russian crime trends.


The next piece 07/21/2014

mercoledì 16 luglio 2014

LA MAFIA RUSSA NON ESISTE, NON IN ITALIA / II



Affronto oggi, con questo pezzo, l’evolversi storico della criminalità georgiana in Italia.
Come anticipato nel pezzo dell’11 luglio, non può oramai essere considerata un elemento di novità nel panorama criminale nazionale essendosi resa evidente alle forze di polizia, alla magistratura e all’informazione in genere, nelle sue dinamiche, caratteristiche peculiari e per la sua progressiva evoluzione in forme strutturate operanti nelle regioni ad elevato tenore di vita.
Senz’altro un quadro attendibile su questo fenomeno ci viene fornito dall’analisi dei risultati investigativi ottenuti dalle varie forze di polizia, e già passati al vaglio del giudizio della magistratura. Nel corso degli ultimi anni sono state portate a compimento alcune attività d’indagine di particolare rilevanza nel Lazio, in Piemonte e in Lombardia, anche se attività minori si sono svolte in generale in tutte le regioni del centro-nord.
Eccone un quadro sintetico:

GOLD RIVER: 2010, in Piemonte, nella provincia di Novara, vengono arrestati una ventina di cittadini georgiani riuniti in cellule  operative - identificabili come propaggini di strutturati sodalizi mafiosi radicati nel Paese d’origine- capaci di agire anche in diverse altre città italiane quali: Milano, Venezia, Firenze, Perugia. Roma, Napoli e Bari, dediti prevalentemente alla commissione di furti in appartamento ed in ville;

SAN GIORGIO: 2012, nella capitale, vengono arrestati complessivamente un centinaio di georgiani dediti prevalentemente alla commissione di furti in appartamento ed in ville;

LOCUSTA: 2013, partendo da una rapina perpetrata a Frascati, sono stati arrestati 19 georgiani che, dopo aver raccolto oro ed altri preziosi attraverso i furti in appartamento in Roma e nell’intera provincia, si erano rivolti ad un ricettatore romano per monetizzare la refurtiva;

ODESSA: 2013, nel capoluogo regionale lombardo, venivano assicurati alla giustizia in diversi blitz delle forze di polizia una trentina di georgiani indiziati del delitto di associazione per delinquere finalizzata alla commissione di furti in abitazione e ricettazione aggravata, possesso ingiustificato di chiavi alterate e grimaldelli e possesso di documenti falsi, recuperando contestualmente refurtiva di ingente valore;

KURA: 2014, nel corso di questo mese, ancora una volta partendo dal Piemonte, è stata scoperta l’operatività di un’ulteriore compagine criminale georgiana dedita - come al solito – alla commissione di furti in appartamento e sempre nelle regioni del nord-centro Italia che ha consentito l’arresto di 44 georgiani.

A questo punto, a fattor comune, vanno evidenziate le seguenti peculiarità rilevabili dall’analisi di queste, ma anche di quelle minori non riportate:
- esclusiva commissione di furti in appartamento, quindi a basso rischio ed indice sanzionatorio a fronte di un’elevata redditività economica;
-    ricorso alla tecnica d’ingresso del key bumping  che consente l’apertura delle porte delle abitazioni senza lasciare segni di effrazione, sia con strumenti rudimentali fabbricati in proprio che sofisticati acquistati all’estero e in particolare in Ucraina;
-    successiva vendita della refurtiva presso esercizi commerciali di COMPRO ORO per la monetizzazione e successivo trasferimento all’estero;
-    raccolta dei proventi illeciti in un fondo comune denominato in russo общак  ovvero la cassa comune dell’organizzazione criminale.
Spingendoci ancora oltre nell’analisi del modus operandi di queste strutture criminali - semplici – individuiamo alcune delle loro principali caratteristiche organizzative dal punto di vista criminologico evidenziando:
-  che le politiche e le attività amministrative di contenimento dell’immigrazione clandestina vengono agevolmente aggirate, attraverso documentazione falsa contraffatta o alterata;
-     la disponibilità a creare collaborazioni a livello inter-etnico per la realizzazione dei progetti criminali;
-        la capacità artigianali nel riprodurre chiavi e grimaldelli idonei all’apertura di qualsiasi tipo di  serratura;
-         la parcellizzazione territoriale in cellule operative in contatto tra loro;
-      gli stabili relazioni con badanti georgiane, meglio se clandestine - poiché facilmente ricattabili - per individuare gli obietti da colpire che forniscono supporto di natura logistica;
-         l'impiego di autovetture ed sim-card telefoniche intestate a prestanome;
-         che per i contatti internazionali il ricorso al network Skype;
-          il breve periodo di permanenza nelle città in cui svolgono le attività delinquenziali;
-          l'impiego di falsi documenti d’identità.
Appare evidente che sotto il profilo della conoscenza di questo fenomeno poco c’è ancora da chiarire trattandosi - in buona sostanza - di una forma criminale di tipo elementare. Tuttavia, ciò che in realtà è degno di un’ulteriore attenzione concerne la connotazione internazionale in virtù della quale queste cellule criminali godono di una rete di protezione derivante dall’appartenenza a clan criminali di livello superiore che garantiscono nei confronti delle altre associazioni criminali internazionali.
Questo è l’aspetto che tratterò nel prossimo pezzo limitandomi a descrivere ed analizzare la situazione in Europa e la relazione che con essa hanno le organizzazioni georgiane sullo sfondo delle dinamiche criminali russe.



Prossimo pezzo il 21/07/2014


lunedì 14 luglio 2014

THE RUSSIAN MAFIA DOES NOT EXIST, NOT IN ITALY AT LEAST

  
This is the first of a series of pieces that I will publish twice a weekly and dedicated to  so called Russian Mafia with regard to its evolution in Italian criminal world.

Once again the objective facts are not provided with the right light so the evolution of Russian Mafia in Italy has suffered of low-accuracy and scarce ethics to public opinion.
In Italy, as I have said, repeated and certified, the Russian Mafia does not exist.
In the former Soviet bloc, with the implosion of the system of social planned organization - that had little to do with the communist ideology and a lot with the internal corruption that has, with time, has ossified the entire administrative structure from inside - the criminal organizations originated from that area, facilitated by rampant capitalism without rules have had easy game to create international criminal networks.
The Russian criminals mainly belong to two distinct ethnic groups: Slavic and Caucasian that since long time fight for supremacy on the Russian-speaking criminal world. 
In this context it should be borne in mind that the atavistic clash between these two entities comes up again, as it stands, even among foreign offshoots that both have created; in Italy there are criminal organizations that originate in countries once belonged to the Soviet Union and, among these, the most active are the Georgians followed by Moldavians.
In the past, starting from the Nineties, on several occasions, have been spread sensationalist news that gave rise to the mistaken belief of the advance of the criminal Russian Mafia in Italy.

Fake!

In a few notable cases it was about money laundering, arising from investigations undertaken by foreign authorities. In court, in Italy it was never proven - due to inability to certify the origin of illicit capital - that the Russian Mafia was operating in the country.
Granted this, instead over the last three years, the evolution of the Georgian crime in Italy has reached a stage of maturity that deserves specific attention which allows to outline the main operating trappings. 
Many have been, to date, investigations, and therefore the processes, which led to trial before the Italian Courts Georgian citizens members of Italian operating cells for the most part devoted to the burglary.
This is the first data to assess as highlights an important aspect for the understanding of this type of crime networks. 

Throughout Europe, and not just in Italy, the crime of Georgian origin, strongly rooted in Russia for historical reasons which I will discuss in a future post, has created a network of cells that operate essentially at the order of two clans from the cities of Georgia: Tbilisi and Rust'avi.
 The operational strategy of these two criminal organizations in Europe is to dredge - through the commission of burglary – and so low profile crime in order and accumulate capitals to reinvest it in other activities that increase their power, in Russia and in general in East Asia.
So we are moving from an economic point of view a mere ground of capitalist accumulation already widely theorized by Karl Marx.  




The next piece on 16/07/2014

venerdì 11 luglio 2014

LA MAFIA RUSSA NON ESISTE, NON IN ITALIA




Questo è il primo di una serie di pezzi che pubblicherò -a cadenza bisettimanale- dedicati alla c.d. Mafia Russa ed alla sua evoluzione criminale in Italia


Ancora una volta i fatti oggettivi smentiscono, seppur a distanza di tempo, le notizie e la vulgata che i mass media forniscono con -scarsa deontologica accuratezza- alla pubblica opinione.
In Italia, come ho già avuto modo di dire, ripetere e certificare, la Mafia Russa non esiste.
Nel blocco ex sovietico, con l’implosione del sistema di organizzazione sociale pianificato, che nell’ultimo periodo aveva poco a che fare con l’ideologia comunista e molto con la corruzione interna che ne ha sclerotizzato la struttra dall'interno, le organizzazioni criminali provenienti da quell’area, agevolate dal rampantismo capitalista senza regole che nel periodo immediatamente post comunista aveva sedotto quei sistemi politici, hanno avuto gioco facile  a creare networks criminali internazionali.
I criminali russi appartengono prevalentemente a due distinte etnie: slava e caucasica che -da sempre- si contendono la supremazia del mondo criminale russofono.
In tale quadro va tenuto a mente che lo scontro atavico tra queste due entità si ripropone, tale e quale, anche tra le propaggini estere che entrambi hanno creato; in Italia operano organizzazioni criminali che hanno origine nei Paesi una volta appartenute all'URSS e, tra questi, i più attivi sono i georgiani seguiti dai moldavi.
Nel passato, a far data appunto dagli anni Novanta, in più occasioni, sono state diffuse notizie sensazionalistiche che hanno generato l’errata convinzione dell’avanzata criminale della Mafia Russa in Italia. Falso! Nei pochi casi degni di nota si è trattato di attività di riciclaggio, nate da indagini avviate da autorità estere che –in giudizio- non sono state provate a causa dell’impossibilità di certificare la provenienza illecita dei capitali (Indagine Tela di ragno degli anni '90 nata da un'attività anti riclaggio negli States).
Premesso questo va invece evidenziato che negli ultimi tre anni, l’evoluzione della criminalità georgiana in Italia è giunta ad una fase di maturazione tale che merita una specifica attenzione che ne consenta di delineare i principali crismi operativi.
Numerose sono state, ad oggi, le indagini, e quindi i relativi processi, che hanno portato a giudizio davanti ai Tribunali italiani cittadini georgiani organizzatisi in cellule criminali per la maggior parte dedite ai furti in appartamento.
Questo é il primo dato da valutare poiché evidenzia un aspetto importante per la comprensione di questa criminalità.
In tutta Europa, e quindi non solo in Italia, la criminalità di origine georgiana, fortemente radicata in Russia per cause storiche che analizzerò in un prossimo post, ha creato una rete di cellule criminali operative che fanno capo essenzialmente a due clans egemoni provenienti dalle principali città della Georgia: Tblisi e Rust’avi. 
La strategia operativa di questi due organizzazioni criminali in Europa è quella di dragare capitali attraverso la commissione di reati di basso profilo per accumulare capitali da reinvestire in altre attività che aumentino il potere in patria, in Russia ed in generale verso l’est asiatico. 
L’Europa è quindi da un punto di vista economico un mero terreno di -accumulazione capitalistica primaria- già ampiamente teorizzata da Karl Marx.


Prossimo pezzo il 14/07/2014

mercoledì 9 luglio 2014

The ongoing drug situation in Europe


This is a brief analysis of the European Drug Report (EDR) 2013 recently published by the EU that will be followed by a second one on the report of the UN UNODC agency for the fight against the organized crime. 
Getting in it, let me say that developments are necessary to keep the pace with both the rapidly shifting of drug situation and the growing needs and changing expectations of European audience. Said that it is clear that it is of great importance to monitor periodically  the rapid evolution of drugs trends and developments. In this context, the European Drug Report (EDR) 2013 package is a good tool to better understand the key points - and the state of the art - of drug related issue in the EU.
It is intended to be focused of the framework of the new EU drugs strategy for 2013–20, in which the European Union reaffirms its commitment to a balanced and evidence-based approach to drug issues. Of course, an important part of the EMCDDA’s mission is to help provide the information necessary to implement the better strategies to tackle all the problems at European Union related to the drugs use.
Done this short presentation, let us go inside the report putting under the lights the more important evidence it is possible to find in it according to the 2013 data with the recommendation to get into it by your own that is always the better way to understand the entire pictures. 
First of all it is worth to underline that: “…at least 85 million adult Europeans have used an illicit drug at some point in their lives, representing around a quarter of Europe’s adult population. Most report having used cannabis (77 million), with much lower estimates for lifetime use of other drugs: 14.5 million for cocaine, 12.7 million for amphetamines and 11.4 million for ecstasy…” and also: “…cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy are the most commonly used illicit stimulants in Europe…”
Even if: “…The major features of the European drug landscape have remained relatively stable in recent years…” it should be said that “…new’ problems emerging that challenge current policy and practice models: new synthetic drugs and patterns of use are appearing, both on the illicit drug market and in the context of non-controlled substances…”.
It is clear that the situation is under control at all. The landscape is just evolving as usual and the market is always shifting in the effort to offer always new products to keep the offer hight. The plant drugs are sensibly be challenged by the synthetic that not always are enlisted as banned so that the use will be not punished. 
Internet it is still and always more a good facilitator for the illicit market of drugs: “…the Internet presents growing challenges, both as a mechanism for rapid diffusion of new trends and as a burgeoning anonymous marketplace with global reach. It creates a new interconnectedness in drug use and drug supply…”.
In my point of view what is interesting to note is that: “…overall, both cocaine use and supply indicators have been trending downwards in recent years, and the dramatic decrease in the amount seized is probably influenced, in part, by organized crime groups diversifying trafficking routes and techniques. The Iberian Peninsula remains important for seizures, but proportionally less so than in the past, while reports of cocaine seizures in eastern Europe are worrying and raise questions about the potential for further diffusion of use…” , because I am afraid that it means that the fight against the global network involved in the supply chain of cocaine are capable to get along with the policy and strategy to stop them.  
“…Amphetamine and ecstasy remain the most commonly used synthetic stimulants in Europe and compete to some extent with cocaine…” Europe has a story as producer of these drugs but it should be pointed out that Mexico organized crime networks has growth, in the latest couple of years, enormously in terms of production of synthetic drugs, thanking the relations with the Asian mafias -especially Chinese- that export precursors in the country, challenging the best know countries of Northern Europe such as Belgium and Holland in the production. The growing demand for these drugs - especially in the european eastern countries- may lead to the developments of new and unknown supply line coming even from Latin American, exploiting the same of the cocaine.
“…Two forms of imported heroin have historically been available in Europe: the more common of these is brown heroin (its chemical base form), originating mainly from Afghanistan. Far less common is white heroin (a salt form), which historically came from South-East Asia,
but now may be produced elsewhere…” 
The law quality of heroin seized in the recent past years should possible led the consumer to search for something differente but in my point of view the global market of heroin can not disappear due to the fact that it sustain a lot of center of power and not only criminal. The ongoing situation in Afganistan with the drug lords having won their battle and non sustain the new Taliban call for this type of interpretation along with the well known situation in the east Asia. 
“…although increased use of container shipments means that the large ports of Belgium, the Netherlands and other western European countries may have gained in importance. Recent signs of the ongoing diversification of cocaine trafficking routes into Europe include large individual seizures in ports in Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Baltic countries…” . It is true that we are seeing a shift in this market; the major request coming from easter Europe match with the offer of heroin coming from Asia. The organized crime networks, Russian, Armenian, Georgian and Albanian above the others are now capable to manage a -one for one-  approach in selling heroin vs cocaine and viceversa. In this context Greece and Italy, but also Belgium and Netherlands as entry countries will play a major role.
In conclusion it is of clear evidence that the drug related problems are far from be overcome. In Europe the gap between internal national based legislation and European legal framework still give at the organized crime networks the chance to get along with the efforts made by the law enforcement agencies. But it should be recognized that some step ahead have been done to pave the way for a common European strategy in tackle the mafias involved in drugs markets.
This is a good point to start, but it is not enough, so far.

























lunedì 7 luglio 2014

The Smugglers and the geopolitical implications in the relations between Venezuela and Colombia

Recently, the border between the cities of Cucuta in Colombia and San Antonio in Venezuela, was blocked by a crowd of smugglers who protested because of the abuses suffered inflicted by the Venezuelan police. The disturbances began on the Simon Bolivar international bridge that is the main link between Colombia and Venezuela, where protesters blocked the road with burning tires, sticks, stones, and more.
The authorities of Caracas, in order to stop or at least contain the negative consequences on their balance of payments have increased the price of some food in the hope of stabilizing the economy  stemming the illegal flow of goods to Colombia, where prices are much higher than it absorbs, through the cross-border smuggling about 40% of its domestic products. The Venezuelan government, deeply concerned by this phenomenon, certainly not recent, but lately has reached unsustainable levels so as to involve the relations between the two countries, must run for cover. The economic policies of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, revolutionized by the President Hugo Chavez, were and still are focused to a pervasive nationalism that reflects its effects in the management of major companies failing, however, to attract foreign capital.
This state of affairs, according to the international economic analysts, while it led to a strong U.S. influence dissociation, although Venezuela still exports most of its oil in the U.S., conversely, it is leading the country to the financial collapse.
In Venezuela, for example, gasoline is actually far more cheaper than water, so much so that a gallon of fuel of 95 octane only costs just 5 cents whereas a litre of bottled water, by comparison, more than a dollar. Smuggling along the shared border with Colombia is 1274 miles long is as old as the border itself and the cities along the border are practically grown thanks to this kind of illicit trade.
The Venezuelan goods are often five times cheaper than in Colombia and for gasoline the difference is even greater, in fact it costs 5 cents a gallon in Venezuela, on the other side of the border it costs $ 4.36.
This situation has a negative impact on relations between the two countries that are further cooling the bilateral relations, already strained due to, mainly, the influence that the Americans exercise in Colombia through a strong military presence; but it is not all, both have to deal with problems related to cocaine trafficking in the entire area. First of all we must consider the return to the scene of the drug route in the Caribbean and so the return to the Venezuelan sea to move large quantities from the producing countries, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru, to North America and Europe.
It should be also considered that cocaine traffickers, and large criminal organizations, in order to recycle the huge illegal gains exploit the commercial channels also clothing; approximately 60 % of all clothing entering Colombia is smuggled and much of it is part of chains of money laundering. The drug lords do not want to benefit from these goods, but only move money undetected. In Colombia, the clothes are sold at ridiculous prices and also  the smuggled Venezuelan fuel is part of this recycling industry. Still it is important to note that from some sources the Mexican sign of Sinaloa, the Colombian guerrillas and the criminal organizations usually benefit from various forms of smuggling.
As I have already made it clear in the past, smuggling is one of the first crimes by which an organized criminal network can easily accumulate money and then develop itself. The smugglers have always worked throughout history and around the world; they have always been taking advantage of the natural configuration along the borders that divide the States to transfer the goods. This activity has paved the way for the growth of organized criminal networks operating both locally and also globally. This was the case with the Italian mafia, the Chinese Triads or the Turkish mafia involved in the trafficking of heroin from the east to the west.
The smuggling of goods moving through the long border between Colombia and Venezuela, has created very structured and organized gatekeepers that control and regulate this illegal flow and are in the pay of powerful local criminal organizations. This phenomenon, so common, would not be possible without the endemic scourge of corruption of the authorities on both sides of the border. The index reported by Transparency International estimates Venezuela at the 160/177 and Colombia 94/177 place in the world ranking of corruption thus highlighting the permeability of the administrative structures to the phenomenon of crime that opens the door to the realization of their illicit trade.
Venezuela and Colombia are facing many problems which have a strong influence on the domestic situation: the activities of smugglers, organized crime, both local and from neighbouring countries, the uprising of organizations such as the FARC, but that reverberate their effects at the level of geopolitical balance of the entire area south-central U.S. because Venezuela is inclined to follow the Chavez policies, looking for partners ideologically similar as Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, away from those who choose the U.S. as privileged partner.

Far from being an obvious way out to follow, once again is clearly given that organized crime plays a crucial role in international relations where this is allowed to act undisturbed and to the benefit of  economic and political relational systems that protect the assets.
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