Feature

A city given over to the underworld

The week's news at a glance.

Italy

Ernesto Galli Della Loggia
Corriere della Sera

Naples can no longer govern itself, said Ernesto Galli Della Loggia in Milan’s Corriere della Sera. The national government is now stepping in to police the city—and high time, too. The Camorra, the underworld that controls Naples, has paralyzed the municipal government for years. Garbage piles up in vast mountains, “burying residents in a nauseating stench.” Shootouts between Neapolitan heroin or cocaine dealers are becoming common—as are “civilian” casualties. At least a dozen people were murdered just in the past two weeks. It’s much worse than Palermo ever was, even back in the days when the Sicilian Mafia ruled. “Entire quarters of the city are no-go areas for police.” Prime Minister Romano Prodi seriously considered sending the army in to take back the city, and eventually that might be necessary. For now, though, the government is sending a few thousand police officers from other cities, officers who haven’t been corrupted or intimidated by the Camorra. Even if all they can do at first is basic law enforcement, “cracking down on truants and speeders,” it will be a start. Ultimately, the mission must be to “make the Camorra weep.”

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