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Women march against Mafia

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LOCRI, Italy -- About 3,000 people, most of them women, marched in this southern portlate Sunday to condemn Mafia violence and back a northern woman's quest to free her abducted son.

Angela Casella of Pavia camped out in the Locri town square last month to dramatize her efforts to free her son Cesare, 19, from his Mafia kidnappers.

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He is thought to be held by the 'Ndrangheta criminal group in the nearby Calabrian mountains.

Feminists in the region organized the march to protest organized crime's tightening grip on life in southern Italy and the lack of a strong state response.

Speakers at the evening march voiced support for Casella, who is known as 'Mother Courage' for her determination. The women condemned 'the arrogance of the 'Ndrangheta' and decried the 'absence of the state in marginalized zones like Locri.'

They demanded 'precise blows by the state structure in the fight against Mafia organizations.'

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