In the Land of Fires

In the Land of Fire

In one of Europe’s most poisoned landscapes they are quietly burying the dead in a large, newly built cemetery. Over two decades of toxic waste dumping has left the region of Campania, Italy so poisoned that people are afraid of drinking the local water, or eating regionally grown food. Trapped between the violence of the mafia and the indifference of the Government, the residents of the region abandon themselves to a struggle for their lives against elevated levels of cancer and genetic defects. A once picturesque terrain of Italy, Campania’s beauty could match that of any other Roman soil, soil, which has yielded the highest quality produce for years. Yet in the late 1990’s saw the height of the Camorra’s lucrative development of Campania as the illegal dumping ground for the rich, industrialized North of the country. The toxic waste of various types including chemicals, heavy metals, petroleum and more are buried under ground, burned in large quantities, hidden in conventional house-hold trash dumps and in some cases even thought to be buried in the foundation of building structures. The Camorra has become the European leader in illegal toxic waste disposal, generating profits upwards of tens of billions of Euro each year. Although scientific studies by the Italian National Research Council, as well as the American Military and the World Health Organization, have raised serious environmental and health concerns, the Italian Government remains indifferent on the situation.