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In Memoriam: Murdered Italian Journalists Ilaria Alpi and Miran Hrovatin

Ilaria Alpi

Few beyond Italy’s borders will have heard of late Italian journalists Ilaria Alpi who was murdered in Somalia along with cameraman Miran Hrovatin this very day in 1994.

Exactly why Ms Alpi and Mr Hrovatin were killed remains a mystery though it is believed Alpi was killed because she had been getting too close to the truth.

Both journalists had been sent to Somalia to cover the war in progress at the time.  They were also investigating arms and toxic waste trafficking between Africa and Europe. Nuclear waste may also have been disposed of in Africa.

Ilaria Alpi
The late Ilaria Alpi

After the killings of the journalists, Italian businessman Giancarlo Marocchino who was in the area, stated that the killings were unlikely to have been a robbery attempt. He added that Ms Alpi and Mr Hrovatin had seen something they were not supposed to have. The suspicion is that the journalist and her cameraman were silenced before they could reveal too much to the world.

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Before the killing of the two journalists, in November 1993, Italian secret service operative Vincenzo Li Causi died in mysterious circumstances. Reportedly, Mr Li Causi had been acting as an informer to Ms Alpi. An attempt was also made to kill an official of Italy’s foreign office, Franco Oliva. Mr Oliva survived the attempt.

The Truth Remains Unknown

To this day, it is not known who was behind the killing of Ilaria Alpi and Miran Hrovatin, though Alpi’s parents and others are still campaigning for the truth to be revealed. The speaker of Italy’s lower house of parliament, Laura Boldrini, stated recently that she would ascertain whether secret documents on the affair could now be made public. Whether they will remains to be seen.

UPDATE: Italy’s government has agreed to de-classify documents relating to the Ilaria Alpi case according to a tweet by Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano this afternoon.

Has the hazardous waste trafficking between Europe and Africa ceased? Apparently not.

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