So much hypocrisy and confusion, only one certainty: death – Palermo

Nowadays, telling
the story of what happens in Sicily around the migratory fluxes is even more
difficult – under some point of view even distressing.

Around us there
are the ghosts meandering within the ineffectiveness of the centres of
“un-“reception and the dead disembarking in plywood boxes, which somebody still
calls coffins.

Indeed the dead,
whom we do not manage to count anymore, given the fact that our governments –
European and national ones – have the license to kill and use it without any
moral hesitation towards children, women and men of every age and ethnicity.

The dead are the
only certainty in an historical phase where we attend to a new holocaust, which
we are not able to stop, because politicians, together with the economic
mighty, have decided that killing is the best solution: for business purposes,
for the control of the external borders, for the cheap labour force they bring,
for disseminating fear among the population, for fuelling intolerance and

The dead are the
only certainty in front of our inability of raising our voice, of organising
from the grass-roots and opposing these daily massacres, of getting indignant
about politicians who generate confusion and emergences, so that they can
better manage the business of migration and the hypocrisy of their sham
statements, reported by complaisant journalists.

More than 2.400
deaths in 2015 (according to the official data which surely do not correspond
with the real number of deaths at sea). The latest arrived in Palermo on August
6. They are 26 corpses, among them 3 children, respectively 10, 11 and 12
years old. Watching these tiny lifeless bodies is a torture; and so is watching
the parents devastated by an immense grief, unable to find a reason why they
have not saved their children.

At the port in
Palermo there were many journalists and politicians, members of the army and of
the diplomatic service. The corpses were welcome with the guard of honour and by
politicians who display deep feeling and cry crocodile tears, but who keep the
doors of the old continent close, continue to militarize the borders and find
in those deaths the scapegoat to be offered to the public opinion. Beyond
the corpses, 360 migrants arrived, who will continue their journey to Campania,
Lombardy and Veneto.

The politicians
from Palermo attended the disembarcation, with the major in the front line; but
they do not wonder about the choices taken by the administration either; an
administration not able to look further than its own nose, an administration
able to stay beside the corpses and the migrants at the port, but which
afterwards forgets the people as soon as the media spotlights are turned off.
One more time the victims of this sea tragedy are not given an adequate burial.
But not only that: the accompanied children are left to their destiny, the
first Sprar project in the city is full of holes since the city hall, the
authority in charge, does not adequately control, nor offers adequate resources
and experienced personnel and leaves the few competent workers alone. The only
good practices in the city can be signalled in the centres Astalli e Cus. For
the rest the politicians from Palermo, though very active on the social networks
where they write, cry and scream against deadly Europe to change its attitude,
forget to find resources for guaranteeing the mediation services: so much
hypocrisy and confusion.

It is admirable
to see the prefect assisting to the disembarcation in the port of Palermo, but
it is less virtuous that the transfer buses arrive only two hours later and
that we see some people leaving without clothes, shoes, even in their underwear
(with the volunteers from Caritas jumping through hoops to fill the abysses in
the system of first reception in Palermo).

It is admirable
to see the police commissioner in Palermo attending to the arrivals with his
team, but it is less virtuous to see the impolite attitude of the officials,
who do not mumble a single English word and pretend that the people who just
landed, traumatized by their journeys, understand them; it is not good either
to assist to the certification of adult status to the most developed underaged
on the simple ground that there are no more places in the centres for minors in
Palermo; in addition to that it is not good at all that 80 migrants from
Maghreb are detained for 4 hours in the burning sun, before they are forced to
get on the bus to the migration office to be repatriated to the sender via ad
hoc flights. And it would not be good either, if we had to discover that laws
were not respected during these repatriations.

In other words
many nice words, but the substance is always full of injustice, inefficiency
and human rights violation, also thanks to the confusion dominating among the
main actors of the system of first reception: little consultation and little

But this does
not happen only in Palermo….

Alberto Biondo

Borderline Sicilia Onlus

Translation by Marco Baldan