In an interview to Italy’s daily newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano published Tuesday, Reggio Calabria District Attorney Nicola Gratteri claimed the ‘ndrangheta does not like the sobering mission undertaken by Pope Francis because it would be damaging the economic interests of their illegal trades; since the pope is trying to dismantle centers of economic power ‘ndrangheta bosses have been counting on for years, he said, they see him as a danger and they are irritated by his fight against luxury and his mission to rebuild the church, serve the poor and lead a sober lifestyle.
Pope Francis has backed reform at the Vatican's bank, which has been suspected for years of being a channel for the laundering of mob profits.
“'Ndrangheta men who invest and recycle money, those with real power, are getting upset because they have prospered for years on the connivance with the Church,” Gratteri said.
Gratteri has been living under the protection of bodyguards since 1988 and was appointed by Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta to be part of a task force established to elaborate proposals for the fight against organized crime in Italy.
The 'Ndrangheta is a Mafia-type criminal organization centered in Calabria. It has been estimated that the organization's drug-trafficking, extortion and money-laundering activities accounted for at least 3 percent of Italy's GDP.