The Court of Locri in Calabria has sentenced, in first instance, the former mayor of Riace, Mimmo Lucano to 13 years and 2 months, twice as much as requested by the prosecution.
Mimmo Lucano is not a gangster, he is known all over the world because for many years, as mayor of a very small town in Calabria, Riace, he welcomed migrants and asylum seekers. He hosted them in formerly abandoned houses, not using the reception business for personal enrichment but to help people. In Italy, in an area with a high unemployment rate that forces young people to emigrate, Lucano has brought work, has built solidarity, and is accused of having done so in order to get votes in return. Those who have had the good chance to know him well are aware of his political and moral qualities and know well how such a model bothers those who consider politics as a means of corruption, of connection with crime and of exploitation. This sentence is not justice, is an act of revenge by a system that has been persecuting him for 4 years. While the mafia threatened him and tried to destroy his work, the state turned its eyes, then began to persecute him, with the same logic as organized crime.
The European Left considers the experience realised by Mimmo Lucano as a mayor part of his own history. We declare ourselves his accomplices in the crime of solidarity and we mobilize in his defense. This sentence is a dark page in the history of Italian justice and represents a real attack on the Italian Constitution.
Photograph: Luigi Salsini/LaPresse via AP