Thursday, 2 March 2017

Fuming Felix. How decades of illegal dumping poisoned Italian land and people.

Shocking doc from RT, watch it if you can! From a country close to my heart...

Campania, known in the Roman times as Campania Felix – “fertile countryside”- is a scenic region in south western Italy; it’s famous for the historic city of Naples, the majestic Mount Vesuvius, beautiful nature and glorious food. Thanks to the volcano, the bountiful land yields several crops a year. Campania is the birthplace for many signature Italian dishes, including pizza and pasta.
However, in the past three decades, Campania has developed a much less positive reputation; it’s now a highly polluted area in which the endless burning of rubbish dumps has caused parts of it to become known as the “Land of Fire”. Illegal toxic industrial waste disposal by mafia groups has poisoned the soil, ground waters and air. Some believe that the waste hasn’t just come from all over Italy but from all over Europe too, much of it is radioactive.
The problem has been brushed under the carpet for way too long despite soaring rates of cancer among the local population. Doctors have sounded the alarm over unprecedented numbers and varieties of cancer in children. Two communities in Campania have the country’s highest child mortality rates. Residents of this once pristine rural region now have to undergo regular toxicology tests to establish exactly what poisons they have in their blood.
An investigation into illegal toxic waste dumping began in the 90s when police officer, Roberto Mancini uncovered the ‘eco-mafia’s’ criminal activity. Despite his findings, the case was closed and local concerns were brushed aside. It wasn’t until 15 years later that the case was reopened. By then, Campania’s devastating health situation had become hard to ignore. Like many of his neighbours, Roberto Mancini died of cancer.
Now though, thanks to extensive media coverage, the government is at last paying attention to local demands and has recently made illegal dumping a criminal offence. Stopping the practice though remains a challenge. Meanwhile, doctors believe that they’re only just starting to see the extent of the approaching health problems in the “Land of Fire”.




  1. A problem of the "Good Administrators of the Commons?" ;)


    "Indeed, the process has been so widely commented upon that one writer postulated a common life cycle for all of the attempts to develop regulatory policies. The life cycle is launched by an outcry so widespread and demanding that it generates enough political force to bring about establishment of a regulatory agency to insure the equitable, just, and rational distribution of the advantages among all holders of interest in the commons. This phase is followed by the symbolic reassurance of the offended as the agency goes into operation, developing a period of political quiescence among the great majority of those who hold a general but unorganized interest in the commons. Once this political quiescence has developed, the highly organized and specifically interested groups who wish to make incursions into the commons bring sufficient pressure to bear through other political processes to convert the agency to the protection and furthering of their interests. In the last phase even staffing of the regulating agency is accomplished by drawing the agency administrators from the ranks of the regulated."

    1. I lived and worked in Italy for 4 years and the least one can say is that the country is a 'failed bureaucracy'. Environmental debacles are common.

      The influence of Cosa Nostra is also very palpable... Corruption is ystemic.