Dormouse hunting and the power of the ‘Ndrangheta

Dormouse hunting and the power of the ‘Ndrangheta
Dormouse hunting and the power of the ‘Ndrangheta

AGI – They had a large marijuana crop, about 730 plants, but also several live dormice in cages and above all 235 frozen dormice in the freezer, probably intended for sale or consumption. In Delianuova, in the Reggino area, the Carabinieri arrested three people for the production of drugs and the killing or capture of protected animal species, after the precautionary custody orders issued by the Judicial Authority.

Specifically, a few weeks ago, the discovery by the soldiers of the Delianuova Station and the “Calabria” Hunters Squadron of a marijuana plantation of about 730 plants in a municipal area dates back to a few weeks ago, following which investigations were then started. made it possible to identify the three managers involved in the production.

The surprise came later, when during the searches in the homes and properties of the three arrested, several specimens of dormice were found in a house, considered as protected species, kept in cages and another huge quantity, about 235, frozen and packed in over 50 packages.

© Carabinieri

The finding of the frozen dormice

Dormouse hunting has distant origins and in the ‘Ndrangheta culture it has ancestral meanings. The use of eating it, boiled in sauce or roasted, dates back to the Roman legionaries, who carried with them containers in which they raised rodents to have food available for times of need.

In the province of Reggio, where the kidnapping took place, the consummation of the dormouse is a kind of celebration of a symbol of power. Bringing dishes based on dormice to meetings organized to exchange favors means binding others with a pact that is difficult to escape. Several times in the interceptions of the underworld of Locride there is talk of pacifying dinners based on dormice between opposing gangs.

Dormouse hunting is widespread throughout Calabria: in Cosentino on the Ionian side (Rossano), on the Sila plateau (San Giovanni in Fiore) and on the Tyrrhenian side (Orsomarso). In the province of Crotone in the Castelsilano area (Sila Piccola). But it is in the “Serre”, where the provinces of Catanzaro, Vibo Valentia and Reggio Calabria meet, that the most rooted tradition is found, in the territory of Guardavalle, Santa Cristina dello Ionio, Nardodipace, Serra San Bruno, Stilo and Bivongi. The Lav estimates that they come only in the municipality of Guardavalle 20,000 animals caught a year, sold for 5 euros each.

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