Over 10,000 people, many immigrants, demonstrated against racism on
Saturday in the southern town of Caserta, near Naples. Meanwhile, the
Italian government deployed some 500 soldiers in the area in efforts to
combat the Camorra organized crime syndicate. For VOA, Sabina
Castelfranco reports from Rome.
The Camorra has shown it has no
intention of giving up its control of the territory in the area of
Caserta, near Naples. Just two weeks ago members of the organized crime
syndicate opened fire and gunned down six immigrants. There have been
more killings since then, although not of immigrants.
police said the murders of the immigrants were connected to drug
trafficking in the area, where it appears Africans have begun to deal
independently and stopped paying kickbacks to the Camorra.
massive demonstration was held in Caserta Saturday morning against
racism and against the Camorra. More than 10,000 people turned out. In
addition to immigrants, who sang songs from their countries of origin
- Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria - there were also many students, members
of local associations and institutional leaders.
immigrant, who took part in the demonstration, said the climate here
after the killings has changed. It is no longer what it was like
before. Now, he says, there is discrimination of immigrants and
killings of immigrants.
The Italian authorities have stepped up
their fight against the Camorra. On Saturday 500 soldiers began their
deployment in the area to provide assistance to the other police forces
in the area.
The troops are patrolling streets and manning
checkpoints in Caserta. Italy's Interior Minister Roberto Maroni has
said the aim is to preside and render visible the presence of the
Just this week sweeping arrests were made against the
mob in the area and Maroni said the Italian state is waging a war
against the Camorra. He added pressure like never before is being
exerted now on organized crime and that this pressure will be kept up
until the war is won.