Despite popular perceptions, mafias are not only an Italian phenomenon, but also a worldwide problem. Libera was founded in Italy in 1995 to support those inspired to fight back against mafias and related organized crime. The organization’s network includes more than 1,600 associations, cooperative groups and schools working together to promote a culture of lawfulness in an environment long shaped by a permissive view of criminality. Based in Rome, Libera pursues a number of initiatives aimed at achieving a civil victory over the institution of mafia influence. Backed by Italian legislation that provides for the re-use of seized criminal assets for social purposes, the organization has arranged for youth cooperatives to produce oil, wine, pasta, vegetables and preserves on confiscated land throughout Sicily, Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Lazio and Piemonte.
All organically farmed products are sold with a Libera Terra certification, contributing to the scope of Libera’s work, and complementing educational programs designed to spread a culture of responsible citizenship through all levels of schooling. Broadening its strategies to address a problem no longer confined within local boundaries, Libera is building a network of over 50 organizations from Europe and the Mediterranean dedicated to fostering democratic participation in the fight for human rights, whilst also lobbying to internationalize the law on land confiscation.