Triangle of Death
The Triangle of Death is an area in the Italian province of Campania where the Camorra or Mafia has illegally dumped, buried and burned toxic waste for decades. The resulting ecological disaster harms not only the environment but the thousands of people living in the area surrounding Naples. Simultaneously it generates billions of dollars in toxic waste disposal for the Mafia. Lack of modern technology, inefficient bureaucratic apparatus and apparently corrupted politicians created perfect conditions for the Camorra to carry on this business. In 1990 the Italian government declared a state of emergency for waste disposal in Campania yet the dumping continues. Recently the ex-Mafia Boss and accountant Carmine Schiavone declared in an interview that he informed authorities about the waste business at his 1997 arrest. According to him, the government did nothing despite him identifying dumping sites and naming involved companies, businessmen and politicians. Most important, no decontamination programs have started. Evidence of dangerous toxic waste containing PCBs, industrial sludge, asbestos, cement, dioxins, metal drums filled with dangerous solvent and even nuclear waste pollute the vast site. These toxins come mainly from factories, processing plants and hospitals in Northern Italy. The illegal material contaminates the land and water so much that the region now experiences increasing deaths above the national average from cancer and other diseases. After many years of tolerating this deplorable situation, finally people are organizing and demonstrating to expose this unbearable environmental catastrophe. However, the Italian government has limited its action to the requisition of a few dumpsites and contaminated fields. To date the government has offered no solution to the growing problem.