ITALY TO DEPLOY ARMY TO COMBAT ‘TRIANGLE OF DEATH’ MAFIA DUMPS
(AFP) – Rome, Jan. 14 – The Italian government has agreed to send in the army to fight the mafia, which it blames for illegally dumping tonnes of toxic garbage in an area dubbed the “Triangle of Death”. Toxic waste has been buried in Campania province for decades, ever since the local Camorra crime syndicate decided to branch out into the lucrative waste disposal business in the 1980s. Instead of paying exorbitant sums to have it disposed of legally, companies paid mobsters a fraction of the cost to dump it in fields, wells and lakes.
Defence undersecretary Gioacchino Alfano says the army can be deployed “to deal with in the most efficient manner the phenomenon of the environment mafia in the area between Naples and Caserta”. Parliament is due to examine the decree but Mr Alfano says that “for the first time, all political forces are in agreement to offer concrete solutions to resolve a specific problem”.
The smoke-choked area north of Naples dubbed the “Triangle of Death” includes the towns of Acerra, Nola and Marigliano.
It is a grim sight – a short trip but a world away from the postcard images of the city’s bay and its famous cuisine.
Hidden out of sight down dirt tracks in the countryside, vast mounds of illegal and hazardous garbage, from broken sheets of asbestos to car tyres and containers of industrial-strength glue, lie rotting next to farmed fields. Periodically set alight, they billow black fumes towards neighbouring towns, but locals say the real killer lies in aquifers feeding tomato, cabbage and broccoli crops which are poisoned with chloroform, arsenic and heavy metals.
Environmental groups say the toxic garbage could affect one-and-a -half million people living in the Naples and Caserta provinces. According to environment protection association Legambiente, 10 million tonnes of industrial waste were burnt or buried in the zone between 1991 and 2013, all trucked in at night.
NSA Naples Public Affairs Office; “ITALY TO DEPLOY ARMY TO COMBAT ‘TRIANGLE OF DEATH’ MAFIA DUMPS”, January 15, 2014.
Photos from Google Images.
When you think of Italy do you think of fresh produce and local markets? The talk of the past few weeks is all about the unsafe soil and air that have led to a cancer surge. There have been a handful of articles and studies done by local companies and the military basically informing us that we should not eat local produce. It has led to a protest, not the first and most likely not the last. There was one a month ago in our town of Gricignano, but this one was much larger and article worthy…sums up what we’ve been hearing so much about nicely.
THOUSANDS IN NAPLES PROTEST OVER ILLEGAL WASTE DUMPED BY MAFIA
(AFP) – Rome, Nov. 17 – Thousands protested Saturday in Naples over illegal waste dumps blamed on the mafia that generate toxic fumes.
Between 30,000 and 100,000 people braved heavy rain for the protest, according to varying estimates from police and organizers.
Demonstrators chanted “No to Camorra” in reference to the Neapolitan mafia and some protestors carried photographs of relatives who they said had died from cancer.
The protest movement is calling for the decontamination of polluted land and water and blames the mafia for creating hundreds of illegal dumps in the area.
Locals call the zone between Naples and Caserta the “Land of Fires” or “Triangle of Death” due to the toxic fumes produced by burning waste.
Among the protesters were the mayor of Naples, environmental groups and local figures including the singer Nino d’Angelo and Father Maurizio Patriciello, one of the first to hit out against the problem.
Three tons of bread baked using ingredients from “clean” fields in the region were distributed to protesters.
The organization Legambiente said that in 22 years some 440 businesses located in central and northern Italy have buried around 10 million tons of industrial waste in the area.
Garbage traffickers busted outside Naples
(ANSA) – Rome, Dec. 6 – Police outside Naples uncovered 21,000 tons of unregistered garbage and arrested two people for alleged illegal trafficking and fraud, including the CEO of a front company. The bust took place in the town of Agropoli, where police said the garbage traffickers had made 240 million euros over the course of seven years by masquerading as legitimate trash-disposal firms and filing taxes for trash incinerators that did not exist. Police seized 14 million euros in assets.
Italian police recover stolen Egyptian sphinx
(AFP) – Rome, Dec. 6 – Italian police on Thursday said they had recovered a 2,000-year-old Egyptian sphinx statue that was stolen from a necropolis near Rome and was about to be smuggled out of the country.
“The investigation began with a random check of an industrial vehicle during which police found a decorative ceramic object from an excavation as well as many photos of the Egyptian sculpture,” the police said in a statement.
A search of the driver’s residence turned up the statue from the Ptolemaic era (4th-1st centuries BC) packed into a crate and hidden in a greenhouse.
The statue is believed to have been stolen from the Etruscan necropolis of Montem Rossulum near Viterbo, some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Rome.
The police “prevented the sculpture, as well as a series of ancient objects from being put on the clandestine international market,” the statement said.
The granite statue measures 120 centimeters and 60 centimeters.
Egyptian sculptures began to be shipped to Italy following the Roman conquest of Egypt in the 1st century BC.
This is about the storm we drove through on Veteran’s day…
THREE MORE KILLED BY ITALY FLOODS, HUNDREDS EVACUATED
(Reuters) – Florence, Nov. 13 – Two men and a woman were killed when their car fell off a collapsed bridge in Tuscany on Tuesday, as floods battered central Italy for a third straight day.
In all four people have died in flooding that forced part of the country’s main north-south highway to close and has damaged many homes and shops as well as thousands of acres of farmland.
Tuscany was particularly badly affected, with 800 people evacuated from their homes in the village of Albinia, thousands left without electricity and several towns isolated by swamped roads. The main A-1 highway was closed in parts of the region.
Floods in the Tuscan district of Massa Carrara had caused 10 million euros ($13 million) of damage, according to Italian agricultural group Coldiretti, to farms, crops and olive groves.
The Tiber river burst its banks north of the capital of Rome as heavy rain moved south, flooding factories and homes near the ancient town of Orte.
“Even if you listen to the oldest inhabitants this has never happened before,” said Orte resident Luca Seccese. “It has completely destroyed us.”
The center of Rome was kept safe by high embankment walls and because there had been no heavy rain there for two days.
Water levels were receding in Venice, the lagoon city and UNESCO World Heritage Site that at the weekend saw its sixth-highest water levels since records began in 1872.
St Mark’s Square, one of the lowest lying areas of the city, where some tourists were able to swim in high water on Sunday, was returning to normal, a city official said.
ITALY NEEDS TO SHORE UP DEFENSE AGAINST NATURAL DISASTERS
(ANSA) – Rome, Nov. 13 – Investments are required in a “serious program” aimed at shoring up defenses in areas at risk of flooding, earthquakes and other natural disasters, in order to prevent “this country from falling apart more than it already is,” the head of Italy’s national civil protection agency said Tuesday.
Such a program would also help prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths every time an extreme natural phenomenon strikes, Franco Gabrielli said. Italians also have to start taking more responsibility in the way they attempt to counter damage caused by natural disasters, including respecting building codes and not constructing in geographically risky areas, Gabrielli said. Referring to extreme weather incidents, such as recent rains which dumped up to 40 centimeters of water in some areas of Tuscany in just over 48 hours, Gabrielli said that these rains “impacted an area whose fragility is very well-known and where people built where they shouldn’t have built”. “The real challenge,” Gabrielli said, is to carry out significant – although not necessarily massive – investments in shoring up risky areas. Separately, Gabrielli also made a call for more private coverage of weather-related damages, saying that State can’t be expected to foot the bill for all types of natural disaster-induced damage and that people need to get their own private insurance coverage.
The only solution against damage caused by flooding, earthquakes and natural catastrophes is for citizens to be forced to purchase insurance, Gabrielli said. “It’s time to wake up to the fact that the State, considering its resources, is no longer able to offer, in an equal manner, adequate answers from a rebuilding point of view”.
Gabrielli also criticized his countrymen’s “not in my backyard” mindset when it comes to issues like garbage disposal, pointing out how Italians don’t recycle.
Italy sends garbage across borders, where it is burned and generates electricity which is subsequently sold. By doing this, Gabrielli said, Italy is missing an opportunity and shipping wealth out of the country.
Taken from NSA PAO, November 14, 2012