The Camorra at Naples.
(Pall Mall Gazette.)
Italy seems to be more distinguished for its natural beauties than for its morals, as the following will prove. It has often been said that such countries, though drenched with churchism, have little or no religion and less morality : —The following episode (says our Roman correspondent) affords some slight idea of the state of morals in Naples and the tardiness of the administration of justice. Two years since, a former Camoristi, Yincenso Borelli, sold his service to the police as a spy. His former companions piccrotti—the last grade but one to which the Camoristi attain by dint of some “ special act of courage” or of some “ deed useful” to the corporation—decided on his death; cast lots, and the lot lell on Rafaele Esporito. At 8 p.m. he met his victim, fired, and mortally wounded him Borelli only having time to say, “Thou has received the mandate from the Camorra, or thou wouldst not have done this thing,” and to the bystanders, “Arrest him! arrest him !” Some soldiers, in fact, arrested the murderer, but he was literally torn from their grasp, and they themselves nearly murdered. Borelli died ; Esporito escaped for the time. Such was the enthusiasm created by his crime in the minds of the demoralised populace, that collections were set on foot and a large sum was presented to him. Moreover, the infuriated mob, chiefly composed of women, went in procession to the old cemetery, tore the body from the guardians, and inflicted nameless horrors on the corpse. Some days later Esporito signified his intention of giving himself up to justice, and was escorted to prison by an immense crowd, showering cigars and flowers on their hero. A year since, visiting the prison, Esporito was pointed out. He then maintained that he had no mandate, no accomplices; and the governor assured me that, do what they would, it was impossible to prevent letters, food, and presents of all descriptions from reaching him, such is the organisation or the Camorra even among gaolers and guardians. For two years he has been allowed the pleasant prison life of Naples, but in the end seems to have tired of “ heroism,” and revealed his accomplices, who now sit beside him at the bar. The trial commenced yesterday. Of course the hall is crowded. President Salvati,
who directs the case, has excluded women from the tribunal, and has made no provision for the press, but the trial raises a perfect fury of excitement. If it be proved that the criminal has betrayed his accomplices, he will, by the rules of the Camorra, be dealt with as he dealt with Borelli.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 26, 25 November 1879
The Camorra at Naples. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 26, 25 November 1879
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