‘I have become a monster.’ The line that defines Italian investigative journalist Roberto Saviano’s crawl beneath the skin of the global cocaine trade is one that every journalist who’s ever got too close to their subject has told themselves. If you’re unlucky, it’s one you might repeat every day you wake up with the consequences. For Saviano, those consequences are all too real. Since he wrote Gomorrah, the definitive book on the Neapolitan Mafia, his life has become one of safe houses and round-the-clock police protection.
The irony of a reporter living under more constraints than the cartel bosses he exposes blows through Zero Zero Zero (the name, adapted from the flour trade, given to the purest grade of coke). Most of his kingpins are still at liberty. Some have suffered setbacks, including the Ukrainian Semion Mogilevich, whose investments in his native