Toxic: Napoli

Toxic: Napoli

2009, Environment  -    -  Playlist 9 Comments
Ratings: 8.13/10 from 31 users.

In the city of Naples, Italy, the Mafia has controlled the waste-management industry for decades - dumping and burning trash across its rolling hills and vineyards. In 1994, the European Union declared the situation an official environmental emergency, and things have only gotten worse since then.

When VICE investigated the situation they found mutated sheep, poisoned mozzarella, alarming rates of cancer, and pissed off farmers ready to push back against the Camorra, Italy's most powerful and dangerous criminal organization (and the government that enables it).

At the beginning of 2008, world news outlets were flooded with images of garbage piles in the streets of Naples. The newly reelected premier, Silvio Berlusconi, made countless TV appearances, personally picking up trash and promising to resolve the situation.

Naples and the entire Campania region had been officially declared an environmental crisis over 14 years ago. The garbage piles were just a current distraction from the real emergency. Almost 8 million tons of rubbish stockpiled throughout the region, illegal toxic waste dumps, a serious human health crisis, and behind it all, the largest criminal organization in Italy, the Neapolitan Camorra.

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David Dieni
1 year ago

What makes this criminal activity possible? Capitalist private property, and white-mans insane denial

9 years ago

Nothing new. The people of southern Italy have the destiny into their own hands. They chose the Mafia, the deserve the garbage and corruption. One would expect 100,000 people taking part to a demonstration, instead there are a few hundred or maybe 1,000. The others are culturally worth garbage and / or are complete cowards.

John Defalque
10 years ago

I feel so sad for the sheep herders, I always thought Berlesconi was like Il Duce light, but now I hate him even more for seeing how the good folks of Naples have to suffer as Italy's dumping ground.

Francisco Sá
10 years ago

One more reason to vote in modern democracies...

10 years ago

Wow, such a beautiful place to be ruined in such a needless way. Not to mention the people harmed, this is outrageous. La cosa nostra should have more respect for their own homeland. What happened to honor among thieves, this is shameful.

10 years ago

NAPLES: I was there in Feb 2011. It was the filthiest city in my Med. cruise of 18 days, with rotting mattresses on the pavement outside a hostel. Barrier fencing round a hole in the pavement full of rubbish. Sheets of plastic, metres long strewn across the pavement. Damaged road accident bollards and rails. Every where you looked was delapidation, decay and litter. It was a depressing dump. It is also the most dangerous city in Europe for pedestrians. I got run over, to boot. Lucky to be alive.

10 years ago

Oh no!This used to be my city,region,school and more.....11 years spent here;high school ,Academy of Fashion and Academy of theFine Arts.Very warm hearted people(and coldblooded murderers)....too warm!Crimes and criminals are considered as normal!Took me so long to get used to this mentality,and honestly,maybe I never really got used to it and so I eventually left.
I can't remember living the 'refuse' experience while shuttling from Salerno to Naples every day.(50 km to and fro)Back then in the 80s,it was quite clean but,in the whole region Camorra reigned supreme no doubt!feuds were frequent and it's not unusual to hear of the assassination of people living in my own neighborhood !I remember the local sub-bosses continualy tried to recruit me as a pusher.I never yielded probably because I wasn't cut out for delinquency and moreover I had honest means of sustainment.

Now the refuse,toxic or non,is fast becoming an emergency in many italian cities.Naples sticks out like a sore thumb mainly because illegal dumping by the camorra has been going on for ever.Dumping grounds are getting more and more scarce,and in desperation they take necessary risks,dumping in the open country fields.People are dying,the conniving farmers (out of fear or bribery) can no longer stay blind and's one big mess down south !