On Monday night, a group of survivors from the destroyed town, led by the parish priest and the city’s mayor, stormed the regional capital of Rieti an hour away to collect the coffins of their dead, who had been taken there for what was supposed to be a mass state funeral.
“I’m not holding a funeral here,” the parish priest, Don Fabio, said.
Shortly after the 2012 earthquake that struck the Emilia-Romagna region, the Calabrese gang known as the ‘Ndrangheta was already nipping at the lucrative construction deals.
They, along with the Neapolitan Camorra, were also there in 2009 when rebuilding efforts got under way to rebuild L’Aquila after a deadly earthquake destroyed that nearby region.
ROME — Not even the dead can find peace after the disastrous earthquake last week that killed hundreds in the mountainous region in central Italy.
Of the 292 victims of the earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks, 231 were from the once picturesque hilltop village of Amatrice—now nothing more than a pile of stones and personal belongings.
“The post-earthquake reconstruction is historically a delicious morsel for criminal groups and complicit businesses.”This is not the first time organized crime has tried to weasel its way into reconstruction efforts.
“We will hold it in Amatrice even if we have to do it without the bodies.”Authorities had hoped for a collective state funeral at a hangar in Rieti where all Amatrice’s dead could be essentially lined up and laid to rest together. ”Authorities had also wanted the bodies of Amatrice’s dead in Rieti so the state coroner could perform autopsies for use in any future criminal trial to prove culpability in the aftermath of the earthquake.
The first funeral was held on Saturday, when the 34 residents of the small village Ascoli Piceno who died in the earthquake were buried quickly in absence of a functioning funeral parlor able to embalm all the victims in a timely manner.“Why are we waiting for them to rot? As it is often said, “earthquakes don’t kill people; buildings do.” And apparently nowhere is that more relevant than in Amatrice, where a construction firm tied to organized crime apparently sold anti-seismic reinforcement work that was never carried out and, essentially, amounted to a false sense of security.
But when investigators looked up the building code records, the seals and stamps that proved compliance were apparently faked and fudged.
In essence, the documents meant to ensure anti-seismic protection measures were installed in a primary school in an earthquake zone had been faked.