Redistributing Mafia Assets The Palaces and Ruins of the Drug Bosses

Mafiosi and drug bosses have changed the face of cities around the world with their massive villas. Now, these assets are being confiscated in Italy, Berlin and Mexico and given back to the people.
By Sonja Peteranderl and Alessio Mamo (Photos)
A villa belonging to Cosa Nostra hitman Giuseppe Greco.

A villa belonging to Cosa Nostra hitman Giuseppe Greco.

Foto: Alessio Mamo
Global Societies
All Articles
Mafia ruins at "Pizzo Sella": Illegal villas, confiscated by the state, slowly crumbling on the Gulf of Palermo.

Mafia ruins at "Pizzo Sella": Illegal villas, confiscated by the state, slowly crumbling on the Gulf of Palermo.

Foto:

Alessio Mamo

Mega-mausoleums in Culiacán, Mexico: The sites are often the venues for wild parties for cartel members.

Mega-mausoleums in Culiacán, Mexico: The sites are often the venues for wild parties for cartel members.

Foto:

PEDRO PARDO / AFP

Amado Carrillo Fuentes, founder of the Juárez cartel, built this ostentatious structure in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Amado Carrillo Fuentes, founder of the Juárez cartel, built this ostentatious structure in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Foto:

ZUMA Press / imago images

The 'Ndrangheta is one of the largest criminal syndicates in the world and is considered to be especially brutal. In 2014, the mobsters burned this car which contained the bodies of two adults and a young child that they had already murdered.

The 'Ndrangheta is one of the largest criminal syndicates in the world and is considered to be especially brutal. In 2014, the mobsters burned this car which contained the bodies of two adults and a young child that they had already murdered.

Foto:

FRANCESCO ARENA / EPA

This building used to belong to a mafia boss in Locri, a town in Calabria. In the future, it will be used as a hostel.

This building used to belong to a mafia boss in Locri, a town in Calabria. In the future, it will be used as a hostel.

Foto:

Giuditta Marino / GOEL

Vincenzo Linarello is president of the GOEL Cooperative Group in Calabria, an association dedicated to fighting back against the mafia.

Vincenzo Linarello is president of the GOEL Cooperative Group in Calabria, an association dedicated to fighting back against the mafia.

Foto:

GOEL

Mafia Architecture in Italy: The Mansions of the Mob Bosses
Fotostrecke

Mafia Architecture in Italy: The Mansions of the Mob Bosses

Foto: Alessio Mamo
This villa in the Neukölln district of Berlin used to belong to the Remmo clan. it is being transformed into a youth center.

This villa in the Neukölln district of Berlin used to belong to the Remmo clan. it is being transformed into a youth center.

Foto:

Olaf Wagner via www.imago-images / imago images

A house in Culiacán, Mexico, from which drug boss Joaqiín "El Chapo" Guzmán (pictured here) fled in 2014, is being raffled off in September.

A house in Culiacán, Mexico, from which drug boss Joaqiín "El Chapo" Guzmán (pictured here) fled in 2014, is being raffled off in September.

Foto:

Mario Guzman/ dpa

El Chapo's house in Culiacán doesn't look like much from the outside.

El Chapo's house in Culiacán doesn't look like much from the outside.

Foto:

Adriana Gomez / AP

This piece is part of the Global Societies series. The project runs for three years and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.