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Pope Francis to visit region poisoned by toxic waste dumping

EPA-EFE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA
Pope Francis waves to well-wishers at the start of a holly mass at a baseball stadium in Nagasaki, southwestern Japan, 24 November 2019. The pope is on a four-day visit to Japan, the first in 38 years and only the second in history.

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Pope Francis will visit an Italian region where illegal toxic-waste dumping by the mob has polluted the environment for decades.
Francis’ 24 May visit to the area near Naples, called “Land of Fires”, will mark the fifth anniversary of his ecological manifesto. He is hoping to bring a “strong appeal to public institutions so that the truth finally comes out” about the land, which is controlled by the local mafia, which Francis has repeatedly condemned.
According to the country’s National Institutes of Health, residents of the area suffered higher-than-normal incidents of death and cancer due to exposure to contaminants from the burning of hazardous waste.
The dumping has poisoned the underground wells that irrigate the farmland that provides vegetables for a large part of the country. Francis seeks to bring hope for the region’s families, and especially their cancer-stricken children.
Francis has previously called for a cultural revolution to correct an economic system in which the rich exploited the poor, turning Earth into an “immense pile of filth”.

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