Turin

'Ndrangheta headquarters turned into 'mafia-free' pub

'May it refresh both the palate and the conscience'

'Ndrangheta headquarters turned into 'mafia-free' pub

Turin, May 3 - A notorious bar frequented by the 'Ndrangheta mafia in Turin has been converted into a 'gang-free' pub. Once known as 'Bar Italia', the former mafia hangout has reopened as 'Italia Libera', or Free Italy, under the auspices of Libera, an organization that converts former mob property into socially responsible businesses and institutions. The new bar aims to provide work programs for the unemployed. Under its original management, owner Giuseppe Catalano ran Bar Italia as a headquarters for the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta, the most powerful of Italy's mafias due to its virtual monopoly on the European cocaine trade. Catalano killed himself last year after confessing to working for the crime group after 146 of its members were arrested and 169 were indicted in 2011 in a roundup known as operation Minotaur. The new bar was inaugurated Friday at a ceremony with Libera director Don Luigi Ciotti, local politicians and law enforcement. "I hope this place brings refreshment not just to the palate, but to the conscience as well," said Ciotti. Minotaur (photo: Don Luigi Ciotti)

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