Wednesday, December 8

539 immigrants arrive in a boat alone

Correspondent in Rome



Lampedusa records a new wave of landings, which shakes the waters between the political forces, with the League of Salvini attacking the Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorgese, who is accused of not defending the confines of Italy. Only on Saturday 13 boats arrived on the island, with a total of 820 people on board; of them, 539 in a ramshackle fishing boat where they traveled crowded, like canned sardines. It seemed a miracle that, loaded into the implausible, it could reach Lampedusa. Thanks to the calm sea, a possible shipwreck was avoided. In any case, fearing that the ship could sink, it had to be rescued 7 miles from Lampedusa, transferring the immigrants in patrol boats of the Finance Guard. In the island’s reception center there were 1,097 immigrants on Sunday morning, more than four times the number of available positions, which is 250.

Most of the 539 immigrants who arrived by boat were men, mostly young people (29 unaccompanied minors) from sub-Saharan Africa and from North Africa, but also from Bangladesh, Yemen, Palestine and Syria. The boat had left Libya, where some of the immigrants spent weeks in sheds, suffering violence of all kinds. According to the doctor Alessandro Trainito who treated them in Lampedusa, some had evidence of the torture they suffered and have told dramatic stories.

The Agrigento (Sicily) Prosecutor’s Office, on which Lampedusa depends, opened an investigation into this extraordinary landing. Researchers are trying to find out if behind the trip, with hundreds of people crammed into a crude wooden barge, there is a organization of human traffickers. The Agrigento prosecutor, Luigi Patronaggio, and the investigators are convinced that a criminal organization was activated in order to crowd 539 people into a battered boat, with serious risk of shipwreck.


The mayor of Lampedusa, Salvatore Martello, reacted bitterly to this umpteenth landing on the island: «Once again Lampedusa is preparing to face alone the weight of humanitarian reception. It is necessary – he adds – to focus on the ‘other Afghanistan’ and also guarantee humanitarian corridors to those populations, managed by international institutions ”. Likewise, the president of the Sicilian Region, Nello Musumeci, raised his voice again, who a few days ago addressed Prime Minister Mario Draghi to find a solution to the landings that are creating significant problems on the island.

This wave of immigration is, unfortunately, a film already seen, especially in summer, which raises controversy as well. The political parties of the Government of Mario Draghi are divided. The leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, has called for the resignation of the Interior Minister, Luciana Lamorgese, who has the support of the rest of the government parties: «An Interior Minister defends the borders: I did it and that’s why I was sent to trial. I hope that the Minister of the Interior, if there is one, will wake up, otherwise it will have to be done by someone else, “warned Salvini. “Enough with the trafficking of human flesh and the dead in the Mediterranean,” added the leader of the League. We must intervene in the countries of origin because Italy today cannot host all of Africa.

So far this year, 38,000 immigrants have arrived in Italy, practically double the number that arrived last year. The president of the Forza Italia senators, Anna Maria Berini, has called for the intervention of the European Union: “Italy, which has just saved five thousand Afghans, more than any other EU country, cannot continue to support everything alone. the weight of the humanitarian reception of immigrants from North Africa ».

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