Widespread outrage in Italy over the killing of a 21-year-old black youth

Willy Monteiro Duarte was killed while trying to help his friend who was caught in an altercation with a group of people in Colleferro in Rome. Many believe the killing of the 21-year old black youth to be of a racist nature

September 15, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Willy Monteiro killing - Italy
Torchlight procession in Paliano in memory of Willy Monteiro Duarte (Photo: il Manifesto)

Widespread outrage and protests continue across Italy over the killing of a 21-year-old black man, Willy Monteiro Duarte. Hundreds of people joined his funeral procession on September 12, Saturday, including Italy’s premier Giuseppe Conte and interior minister Luciana Lamorgese. Willy Monteiro, born to Cape Verdean parents, was killed on September 6 while trying to help his friend who was caught in an altercation with a group of people in Colleferro in Rome.

According to reports, a day of mourning was declared on Monday in Colleferro  and the nearby town of Paliano in honor of Willy Monteiro, who was “killed for his generosity” reported the Italian press. A procession was also held in Paliano last week in his honor. While four suspects have been arrested, the prosecutors have so far not indicated the motive behind the killing. 

Communist publication Senza Tregua said in Its editorial that  “the facts to date seem to exclude a motive of an ideological and racial nature, and perhaps to label the killers as ‘fascists’ is really simplistic. But the context is clear”. 

“Those racist comments left on social networks by the suspects, as well as the statements of the parents who, according to Repubblica, would have commented that ‘he was just an immigrant’, bring out a context in which it is evidently legitimate to believe the life of a black boy is worth less. Yes, black, because Willy was also Italian, and therefore the question is really all here… racism (in the most literal sense of the word) that continues to exist in Italian society. There is very little doubt about this” says the editorial.

Giovani Comunisti/e (GC) also expressed anger at the killing saying, “what happened in Colleferro has shaken public opinion. It is a racist, deliberate murder characterized by a disproportionate use of physical force, seasoned by the further racist justifications of the relatives of attackers.”

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