Thousands Protest in Italy Over Toxic Waste Dumps

Photograph: Alessio Paduano/Demotix/Corbis

Photograph: Alessio Paduano/Demotix/Corbis

from PressTV

Thousands of people have protested in Italy’s southern city of Naples over toxic waste dump by the mafia.

Demonstrators, including families of children who have died of cancer as a result of the contamination, marched in Naples on Saturday to protest decades of illegal dumping of toxic waste by the local Camorra crime syndicate.

Chanting “No to Camorra,” the protesters demanded an immediate decontamination of polluted land and water in the area between Naples and Caserta, called by locals the “Triangle of Death.”

Italy’s foremost environmental group, Legambiente, which organized the protest, said more than 400 businesses in the country had been involved in the illegal activity.

According to the group, the toxic waste, containing ten million tons of industrial waste, has been dumped in the region over the past two decades.

“It is essential that in addition to waste we find also the truth about who is responsible,” Legambiente’s director Rossella Muroni said.

The latest report by Legambiente revealed that the mafia made an estimated 16.7 billion euros in 2012 by illegally trafficking waste and exploiting the environment.

It is said that the complicity of local authorities has been key to the success of mafia groups in exploiting Italy’s environment.

In 2012, the number of local councils that were dissolved on suspicion of mafia infiltration more than quadrupled from the previous year, climbing from 6 to 25.

According to reports, cancer in towns around Naples are on the rise, with the number of tumors found in women increasing by 40 percent, and those in men by 47 percent.

Discharging poisonous substances in the air, and dumping toxic waste are today considered criminal offenses by the European Union(EU).

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