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Govt in favour of using army to combat Ecomafia in Campania

Health alarm over toxic waste between Caserta, Naples

14 January, 17:38
Govt in favour of using army to combat Ecomafia in Campania (ANSA) - Rome, January 14 - The government wants to use the army to stop the dumping of toxic waste by the so-called Ecomafia in the southern region of Campania, Defence Undersecretary Gioacchino Alfano said Tuesday. The area between Naples and Caserta has been nicknamed the 'Land of Fires' due to the practise by members of the local Camorra mafia syndicate to set light to the toxic waste they dump in the area.

"The government is in favour of using the army in Campania to more effectively combat the phenomenon of the Ecomafia in the area between Naples and Caserta," said Alfano. Mafia infiltration of waste disposal has become a major environmental and health issue as hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste - some of it dangerously contaminated - has been illegally dumped in what some have described as an ecological time bomb that will continue to poison the land for at least another 50 years.

In many cases, hazardous or toxic waste has, in clear violation of environmental laws, been dumped in landfills that are not properly sealed with the result that waste materials seep into the soil and aquifers.

The Land of Fires alarm hit headlines after it emerged that a Camorra-member-turned-State-informant had told the authorities about the danger of waste dumping in the area many years ago, but the information was declared secret and kept under lock.