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Daily Archives: July 17th, 2011

Father Giacomo Panizza poses with collaborator Nunzia Coppede in the offices of Progetto Sud in Lamezia Terme (AFP/File, Mario Laporta)

LAMEZIA TERME, Italy — Don Panizza, a priest,  challenges the Camorra mafia’s power in a southern Italian town along with  six handicapped people in a building confiscated from a local Camorra crime clan.

Father Giacomo Panizza’s placid exterior hides an inner tenacity that has helped him face up to death threats from the powerful ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate and become the face of civil society’s resistance to the mafia.

The challenge “comes from weak people, some of them in wheelchairs, from unarmed people who have showed themselves stronger than others,” Panizza told AFP in an interview in a nondescript block in the town of Lamezia Terme.