Published earlier today in the Italian Insider:
Naples opts for camorra victim compensation
By Florence Brock
NAPLES — The city makes a political statement and publicly says ‘No’ to organised crime.
The Southern Italian metropolis took a public stand against the camorra Tuesday in a City Council deliberation to compensate families of innocent mafia victims.
In line with the European Union Guidelines, the City of Naples agreed to indemnify families of innocent mafia fatalities with one-time payment of 2000 Euros.
In a symbolic gesture to aid suffering families of uninvolved organised crime victims, approval of the contribution was signed by the Youth Department Councillor Alessandra Clemente together with Roberta Gaeta, responsible for authorizing special contributions to families of innocent victims, marking only the beginning of a master plan.
Aimed at a larger objective, Naples’ unprecedented decision is an example of how the city is projected towards a changing society and a demonstration of its willingness to work with citizens to debilitate the criminal world.
The funding takes advantage of a social fund that foresees financial aid for families with an annual income below fifteen thousand Euros per annum.
Of course this is in no way reparation — the small monetary sum could never pay back the damage done and pain suffered. It is, however, the first time that a city in Italy allocates a subsidiary to the victims of the mafia.
The first checks will soon be made out to the families of Luigi Galletta, Gennaro Cesarano and Maikol that have been publicly fighting for justice since the loss of their loved ones.
In a constant fight for the justice of the innocent camorra casualties, Council member Alessandra Clemente herself witnessed the death of her mother, Silvia Ruotolo, from the house balcony in 1997.
Watching her mother walk up the Salita Arenella neighbourhood stairs with her younger brother in plain daylight, 10-year-old Alessandra saw her mother shot in the forehead and instantly die from a stray bullet fired by the Camorra in a criminal showdown.
Together with ‘Un Popolo in Cammino,’ voluntary association adamant about freeing Naples from organised crime that helped promote the motion at City Hall, this concrete statement lets families like Gennaro Cesarano’s know the city is fighting at their side for justice and truth.
“The European Directive is clear — it asks Italy to assume the responsibility of the fatalities due to violent crimes,” Clemente specifies. “With today’s deliberation, we would like to become a forerunner and give a limpid signal, not just economic aid,” insists the city representative.
The Council is now working on expanding financial aid. “For example, Ciro Colonna’s family does not fit within the parameters designed in the recent city allocation,” she explains. “But for us it is important to include all victims, even sons and daughters of Public Notaries, businessmen or judges in this operation because the city always has to bring home the message that it is there for its citizens.”
Although the City has little money at their disposal at the moment and the battle seems all up hill, the Councillor emphasises that “it is not the economic situation of a family that should delineate a contribution, rather the firm and courageous stance against the camorra and all of the criminal world.”
In the meantime, the list of guiltless fatalities caused by the camorra becomes longer and longer — some reports estimate that more than 150 people have been killed due to stray bullets, a mistake in kin or even a mistake in identity.