Italian and Colombian Mafias Work Together in Spain
By Dialogo January 20, 2009After the arrest of the Neapolitan “capo” Salvatore Zazo, which took place in Barcelona in Northeastern Spain, the Spanish newspaper "El País" reported on Monday that the Neapolitan Camorra and Colombian drug cartels are working together in Spain. “The Camorra and Colombian cartels are working together (in Spain)," General Gaetano Maruccia, Chief of the General Command of Naples’ Carabineri, told the newspaper in a phone conversation. From Spain, Zazo led the “import of huge amounts of cocaine from Colombia to Naples,” due to the “friendship created in Spain between the Camorra, local criminals, and the Latin American cartels," said Maruccia. The arrested capo “was liaising with the Colombian mafia," while he “led the Mazarella organization, which dominates the drug market in the historical centre of Naples,” said the daily publication, quoting an Italian police report. According to El País, Zazo’s presence in Spain is a result of the Neapolitan Camorra’s way of working, “sending bosses and liaisons to third countries in order to establish alliances with international mafias." “The Neapolitan criminal organization has created logistic bases in some of the main Spanish cities, where they have several important fugitives, and has created friendly relationships with a wide network of collaborators belonging to local and Latin American organized crime," General Maruccia told the newspaper. “The climate, the cultural affinities and, until recently, the state of ‘brick paradise,’ have turned Spain into the core of intermediary groups and made it one of the favourite places” of the Italian Mafia. Maruccia believes that “there are many fugitives in Spain. They traffic not only in cocaine, but also in hashish and heroin.” In recent months, three other Neapolitan capos have been arrested in Spain, where last January 8th the Colombian drug trafficker Leónicas Vargas Vargas, alias "El Viejo," was also murdered in the hospital in which he was admitted.