For Migrants Who Hope For a Better Life, Rosarno is a Dead-End Road
Though not as well-known as the Sicilian Mafia, the organized crime group 'Ndrangheta is centered in Calabria, Italy, or the “toe” area of the country’s “boot.” Despite the ‘Ndrangheta’s steady rise, quietly becoming the world’s most powerful and influential crime syndicate, Calabria remains the poorest and least developed region of Italy.
But this is not a story about ‘Ndrangheta. Nor is this a story about the failing economy in Calabria, where there is a historically rooted cultural fear of resisting ‘Ndrangheta pressures and where most young people feel that leaving the region is the only opportunity for a good education and career. This is not even really a story about the orange industry, which was once the blood of the agricultural economy in Calabria, controlled by ‘Ndrangheta and exploiting migrant labor to turn a profit. This is a story about a place where migrants’ hopes and dreams go to die - Rosarno. Located in southwest Calabria, Rosarno is a city that shows the reality of Italy’s failed system of welcome and integration.