Mutri are a Bulgarian variation on a general phenomena deriving from the perturbations of the post-Communist transition period. The period was marked by intensive economic restructuring and consequent material cash flows, along with law enforcement weakness and corruption. These stimulated the emergence of organised criminal groups which flourished on patronising prostitution, gambling and providing “protection” to small businesses, among others things. As countries began to recover from the transition and law enforcement bodies started working, these groups had to legalise the activities that could be legalised and hide the ones that could not. The best legal cover for these “businesses” was, obviously, security, and that is how they function today - legally providing protection to small business.
Daniyar Abenov, Kazakhstan
I think a mutra is the long face that Bulgarians make most of the time on the streets. More particularly, I have noticed that with the older people who are facing daily difficulties. A mutra could be associated with a sad or disappointed face.
Radu Panciuc, Romania
Mutra is the name for the Bulgarian underground mafia. I imagine them as big bold guys with very short necks and huge gold necklaces with big crosses hanging from them.
Lorena Baric, Serbia
I am sure I've heard of mutra before... I'd say it's a place somewhere in the Middle East, or, at least, Asia. But then again, I might be totally wrong because there are so many names of places all around the world that I keep mixing up. A mutra might simply be an abbreviation of some organisation, project, media shortcut or anything.
Emira Ajeti, Kosovo
I saw mutri only once during my stay in Bulgaria. They were sitting in a restaurant at a table next to mine, chatting loudly, laughing a lot and cheering all the time. There isn't anything dangerous about them, it seems. If all mafia were like the mutri , the world would be a safer place!
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers