In Mondragone the truth has been in plain sight for years. The Cirio buildings, the concrete cubes inhabited largely by the Bulgarians, are “ghettos” and the coexistence between men and women from the East and the Italians, the Mondragonese, has always been problematic. This is why the guerrilla war that broke out today – and quelled thanks to the intervention of the police – because some of the quarantined Bulgarians, confined in the red zone, protested asksndo food and the possibility of going out to earn a living in the fields as laborers and other coronavirus positive results that were to be transferred to the Covid Hospital in Maddaloni were missing from the appeal, it did not take everyone by surprise. And more than one, in the town of the province of Caserta, recalled the stabbing, a few years ago, of a Mondragonese who had scolded a Bulgarian on the street. And the appeal to avoid any form of xenophobia launched by the Bishop of Sessa Aurunca, Monsignor Orazio Francesco Piazza.
“Today we discovered hot water,” comments Mimma D’Amico, from the Ex Canapificio social center, which deals with immigration and social inclusion in the Caserta area. The scenes of the Bulgarian who threw a wooden chair from the balcony of the building, of the Italians who smashed the glass of a van, tearing the license plate from a parked car to bring it in trophy to the cry of “We are Mondragone ”continue to bounce on the net and on television.
The tension remains high, but many people point out that Covid only detonated a well-known and dramatic situation. The one in which the Bulgarians have lived for years, mostly agricultural workers, exploited by the corporals, for 4 euros an hour. Men but mostly women, who for six months a year – when the weather arrives in Bulgaria to come and earn in Italy for the harvest season – and from around 700 even reach two thousand. Often women arrive accompanied by their children and with them, together with their compatriots, live crammed in the former Cirio buildings. In small, dilapidated apartments, in precarious hygienic and sanitary conditions and paying rent to black. They are all exploited workers, at the mercy of the corporals who at dawn load them on vans often without insurance and with tinted windows to escape the controls. “A situation on the verge of survival,” sighs D’Amico. Volunteer associations also find it difficult to enter the Bulgarian buildings. “But politics and institutions know the question – asks the activist – why don’t you prepare a plan to start solving it with appropriate interventions?”.
Finding a solution to what he calls “a problem”, rather than a goal, is also a necessity for Maria Conte, councilor in nearby Castel Volturno, but a Mondragonese doc. In the afternoon, while tension rose in his home town – and Mayor Virgilio Pacifico Chiedeva “to take every measure in order to restore legality” – together with some entrepreneurs in the area, he met the prefect. To request the dispatch of other military personnel – “who will arrive at close quarters”, explains the councilor to HuffPost – but also, “once the Covid issue is resolved, the opening of a technical table to deal with this long-standing question with a series of targeted actions, starting from a serious census “.
In fact, how many people live in the former Cirio buildings nobody knows for sure. “What we know – says the councilor – is that there is the hiring, the crime, the exploitation. We must make sure that these people live in human conditions and in compliance with the laws. It is time to defuse this bomb, which can explode at any moment. ” Increasing the already numerous difficulties – see the many canceled reservations – that entrepreneurs in the area, mostly with an agricultural and tourist vocation, have to face after the pandemic.
“What happened today – concludes Conte – makes it clear that this situation can lead to a civil war. And then politics and institutions must take charge of it, you can no longer pretend nothing. “
Meanwhile, in the late afternoon, the protesters blocked the Domiziana state road and the Mondragone case also became political, with the leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, who attacked the president of the Campania Region, Vincenzo De Luca, saying “So many words and zero facts. : it’s a flat vacant “. De Lucameanwhile, after the outbreak of the guerrilla war, he asked the Minister of the Interior to strengthen the garrison of the territory – “Lamorgese announced the arrival of an army contingent”, the governor then explained. Shortly before he had guaranteed: “We are doing rigorous and demanding work to isolate the infections that have come from Bulgaria or from other parts of the world, but as always we are committed to ensuring the serenity of our families”. But Mondragone is far from serene. And Covid has something to do with it.