60 year-old – Sentenced to thirteen years in jail
Mimmo Lucano was mayor of Riace from 2004 to 2018, a small town in Calabria in the South of Italy. He used his leadership to welcome migrants and asylum seekers to his town. Such towns in rural southern regions are becoming depopulated as younger people move to bigger towns or the north. Young immigrant families could help give life and energy back to such areas. Local people married some of the migrants but the legal authorities accused him of setting up false, artificial marriages. He set up cooperatives to help support the newcomers and obtained public funds to do so.
In October 2018, the Italian police put Mimmo under house arrest for allegedly helping illegal migrants to stay in the country by organising “marriages of convenience”. The state has accused him of mismanaging the funds. Even his accusers accept that Mimmo has made no personal financial gains at all.
Mimmo will be appealing and his future will not just depend on the vagaries of the court but on the strength of the national and perhaps international campaign in his favour.
- 30.09.2021 – Sentenced to 13 years and 2 months in jail for abetting illegal migration and for “irregularities” in managing the asylum seekers
- 11.06.2019 – Trial
- 11.04.2019 – Indicted on charges of abuse of power and aiding illegal immigration ; faced another probe regarding alleged false public statement and fraud
- 02.10.2018 – Mimmo put under house arrest