Investigators are searching the area for the white Fiat Panda that the survivors say was used in the shooting. The incident occurred after the three victims, all migrants, had walked to an old warehouse in San Ferdinando to collect some metal sheeting, which investigators believe was stolen.
They say the murder was in retaliation for the theft and that there was no xenophobic motivation.
There have been tributes to Sacko’s work as a trade unionist and activist for migrant rights. Italian media said he had wanted the sheeting to construct his shanty.
Meanwhile fear of reactions to the murder of the Mali trade union activist and the wounding of two other countrymen have been building.
In Vibo Valentia smoke columns have risen from the old tent city of San Ferdinando, in the province of Reggio Calabria, where migrants in the late evening on Sunday set fire to tires and waste of all kinds. The fires were extinguished in a short time by firefighters, but there is fear of a reaction to the murder of Sacko.
The 29-year-old Malian migrant was killed by one of the gunshots who injured two others. His union has called for a day of laborers’ strikes.
Sacko had accompanied two friends from Mali, like him, to collect some sheets for their shack. He was shot in the head.
Explaining to the carabinieri what had happened, was Drame Madiheri, 39, who was slightly injured in one leg: “I saw the man, white, with the shotgun. from top to bottom”.
The critically injured migrant was immediately transported to the hospital in Reggio Calabria, but the severity of the injury was such that he died before the doctors could do something to try to save him.
The old furnace in the municipality of San Calogero, a few kilometers from the tent city, was seized as part of an investigation by the Prosecutor of Vibo Valentia because underground there are illicitly stored some 135 thousand tons of hazardous and toxic waste.
The victim had arrived in Italy before 2010. He lived in the new tent city, but had decided to help the two friends.
The shantytown was founded in 2010, after what was called the “revolt of Rosarno”, with days of clashes that saw migrants assembling at the plain of Gioia Tauro in search of work in the fields, and the inhabitants of the country in clashes.
A revolt is brewing after the attack against the three North Africans.
League leader and interior minister Matteo Salvini meanwhile said on Thursday “open doors in Italy for decent people and one-way ticket for those who come to Italy to create problems and think they can be maintained for life. ‘Go home’ will be one of our priorities,” he said “I’d like to give a nice cut to those 5 billion euros, that seem a bit much to me” [for migrant reception].”
But he also added that “the mafia has always made us and will always make us sick, wherever there is injustice I will try to be there with a team. I ask you to be close to us because you can’t do anything on your own”.