The Camorra Outside Italy
In this last article on the Italian Camorra, we’ll have a look at the efforts this organisation has made to expand into other countries. It’s worth mentioning from the start that if the Camorra achieved anything it was only in a very minor way; it was never any rival to the Sicilian mafia within the United States or elsewhere.
In the United States
The Camorra had some early influence in the New York area at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. They were eventually absorbed into the growing Italian-American mafia and had no presence of their own until the 1980s when mafia wars and police crackdowns in Italy forced many members abroad and particularly to the United States.
There are still thought to be only around 200 members of the Camorra active in the United States but according to the FBI they are particularly good at working with other organised crime groups, giving them influence out of all proportion to the numbers involved.
In the United Kingdom
We say United Kingdom but really we just mean Scotland, which those from outside the
region may not realise has a substantial second and third generation Italian population. A Camorra boss in Italy named Augusto La Torre had a brother called Antonio. It was Antonio who ran a network of illegal businesses in Aberdeen in the 1980s and actually takes credit for the economic revival in the city which occurred at that time. Others may argue that the huge sums of money coming in to the city from the North Sea oil industry were a more likely candidate.
The Camorra appeared to have chosen Aberdeen because of the Italian community, the lack of any rival gangs, Italian or otherwise and the inability of the inexperienced Aberdeen police to deal with organised crime. The lack of gang warfare made this a strangely non-violent environment.
There is now almost certainly no Camorra presence in Aberdeen, meaning they will have to stick to their Italian and U.S. facing businesses for the time being.