Weapons, drugs and degradation all around. A 45-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man – both Filipinos, with a record of him and her uncensored – were arrested on Tuesday in Milan after being caught trading in the “favela” of via Domokos, the area behind via Novara that has been dealing with abandonment, dirt and petty crime for some time.
They were stopped by the agents of the Porta Genova police station at the end of a brief investigation which started after the reporting of some citizens worried by the strange movements around one of the abusive shacks that over time have become the refuge of many desperate people. When the policemen showed up on the spot in the morning, they understood that someone was inside and, after receiving no reply, they climbed over the fence and forced a padlock and managed to enter.
In front of him, the agents found a chicken coop, a kennel for a dog, iron waste and a “house” in sheet metal with five rooms and sanitary conditions at the limit. Inside there were four people: the two arrested, the “owners” who immediately admitted to living there, a friend of theirs and a second man who was working on the electrical connections of the house, powered by some car batteries.
On the kitchen table, the policemen immediately saw tinfoil rolls and bags usually used to package the doses and so they decided to search the shack. Investigators found 1.6 grams, 16 doses, of shaboo – the potent Asian drug ten times stronger than cocaine -, 15 amphetamine tablets, a piece of 1.5 gram hashish, hundreds of sachets and straws, a precision balance and sheets with pinned numbers and debts. In addition, a 57 cm machete, 17 daggers, a dog chaser gun, two gas toy guns, a sword of almost a meter and a billhook were also discovered at home. In the courtyard there were also a dog, two ducks and a hen which were entrusted to a man who manages a nearby vegetable garden.
The favela of Milan, between drugs and bonfires
It is not the first time that the inhabitants of via Domokos and piazza d’Armi have asked for help. Already in 2018, when there was a project for the construction of the new Inter sports center for that area, the residents had reported to MilanoToday the presence of illegal barracks, the danger of crime and, above all, the continuous repetition of potentially harmful bonfires.
At the time, looking at the area from the terrace of one of the neighboring buildings, the glance was bleak: shacks, laminae, vegetable gardens, and even some trucks that served – and serves – clearly to carry waste material of any kind, to be “disposed of”. In short, a real favela. That still resists but for a while. Following the arrests for drugs, the president of the Municipality 7 Marco Bestetti has announced that, in the next few weeks, the tender for the demolition of the slum and the disposal of waste will end.
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“It will be – said Bestetti -. the first important step towards the redevelopment of the entire Piazza d’Armi and its handover to citizens, with a large urban park that will change the face of the entire neighborhood ». The area, owned by the military property, had been given to the Invimit company for management to be enhanced and one of the hypotheses concerned, as mentioned above, the Inter sports and training center; the Municipality of Milan then decided to make it public park.