Friends in high places

It’s a truism that organized criminals are as strong as their contacts in the mainstream world. The Mexican drug cartels are obviously extremely strong, and American authorities believe part of the reason is corruption on both sides of the border, including small town New Mexico, where a chief of police and mayor were just arrested and charged with gun running.

Last week, Italian authorities announced they had found links between the former mayor of Stirling, Australia and the ‘Ndrangheta, the Mafia group from southern Italy that’s now considered more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia. The former mayor dismissed the charges as ridiculous, but Italian authorities were confident enough to issue an arrest warrant against him.

Italian authorities have gotten used to charging mayors with organized crime offenses. Last year, they charged the former mayor of Siderno, Italy with Mafia-related offenses, including making a trip to Thunder Bay, Ontario to quell tensions between Canadian underworld groups.

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