Naples Suffers at the hands of the Camorra

Ahh the Camorra. Much less glamorous than La Costa Nostra - the Sicilians we all know and love - but at this point, much more successful as well.

The Camorra is much less centralized than the 'mafia' that you know. There is no head of the Camorra - it is a loose collection of families and clans, which each operate and control certain regions.

The city where they have historically had the most influence is Naples. And right now, it is suffering.

You see, one of the way the Camorra makes its money is through the control of trash. This is really not that different from the US, where historically, the collection and disposal of trash has always been... well... a dirty business.... (sorry).

Italy though, it has been, and is, much more so:

'The pungency of 250,000 tons of rotting garbage is almost indescribable. “It is like a heavy, soiled blanket that smothers us each night,” says Ferdinando Mosca, who owns a fruit shop across the street from the entrance to the Cava Sari landfill in Terzigno, Italy. “It burns your eyes. It closes your throat. The children vomit and cough. Our bodies are covered with rashes.”

Rising rates of leukemia, throat cancer, and respiratory illnesses are a testament to the severe pollution of the air and water. They can’t open their windows, and the children can’t play outside because of the intensely sickening smell. No tourists come here, despite the picturesque landscape, and no one wants to buy any of the agricultural products grown in these fields. As if that’s not enough, the landfill sits inside the Vesuvius National Park on the flanks of a live volcano. “We live in a tumor factory,” says Oreste. “How can we accept that we have to pay for the Camorra’s profits and the government’s convenience with our health and that of our children? Enough with the trash. Enough with the lies.”'

Basically, the Camorra is making a ton of money by importing toxic waste and other environmental hazards from all over Europe, and dumping them in the massive hellhole just outside of Naples (and inside Mt. Vesuvius national park).

When Berlusconi came to power (again) three years ago, he promised to solve the Naples garbage crises. He hasn't. His 'solution' was to announce plans for an even bigger landfill nearby. The Cava Vitiello landfill is also being dug inside Vesuvius National Park, about nine miles from the Cava Sari site and will hold 3 million metric tons of trash. It will be the biggest landfill in Europe, and it will be completely controlled by the Camorra.

The not-so-pleased residents of Naples responded by... setting all of the garbage trucks in Naples on fire. Which means the trash is just sitting there.

Locals are also trying to fight back against the Camorra controlled trucks which are still dumping toxic waste, but rather than opposing the Camorra, the Italian government is helping them break the locals rudimentary blockades and protests.

Yeah... and you thought recycling only coming every two weeks was annoying.

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