Translation of the public letter from the major of Lampedusa to the eu institution

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Translation of the public letter from the major of Lampedusa to the EU institution:

"I am the new mayor of the islands of Lampedusa and Linosa. Since I got elected this May I have been brought to my knowledge how 21 people has died at sea when they tried to reach Lampedusa, and to me this is unbearable. For Lampedusa this brings an enormous load of grief. We had to ask for help by the mayors of other towns in the province to bury eleven bodies, as we did not have any more space to bury them on the island. We will make some more, but I want to ask you all a question: how big should the cemetery of Lampedusa be?

I cannot understand how such a tragedy can be considered to be normal, how it is possible to ever forget the fact that, for example eleven people, of whom eight were very young women and two boys of eleven and thirteen years old, died last Saturday during a trip that should have been for them the start of a new life. 76 people of those who tried to escape to Lampedusa have been rescued but it initially were 115 people. It seems the number of people who dies is always much bigger than the number of bodies that the sea gives back.

I am outraged by people’s indifference and by Europe’s silence. I am shocked that Europe who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize says nothing about the carnage that has taken so many lives.

I get more and more persuaded by how the European policy on immigration considers this tribute of human lives as a way to moderate the flows of migration, if not, as a deterrence.
But if this escape route is people’s last chance to hope, I believe Europe should feel shame and disgrace for their deaths.
In this very sad page of history that we are all writing, one can find comfort in how men of the Italian state rescue human lives 140 miles away from Lampedusa, while someone just 30 miles away from the shipwreck, as last Saturday, should have been rescued by the motorboat that our former government gave to Gheddafi. Their request for help was ignored and the boat is instead used to confiscate our fish boat far away on the Libyan sea. 

Everybody should know that it is Lampedusa, through its citizens, through the rescue and reception forces that value the human lives of all people, and which give pride to our country and to all of Europe. So if the deaths are only our deaths, I will as a symbol of their value send a grief telegram for each person who has died.

You can read the Italian version of the letter here

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