Pope rails against crime and corruption in southern Italy
* Pope visits one of Naples' most dangerous neighbourhoods
* Urges residents not to let crime and corruption rob them of hope
By Philip Pullella
NAPLES, Italy, March 21 (Reuters) - Pope Francis visited one of Naples' most violent and drug-infested neighbourhoods on Saturday and urged residents not to let organised crime and corrupt politicians rob them of hope.
Francis, on a day-long trip to the southern city, addressed a crowd in the notorious Scampia neighbourhood, a stronghold of clans of the Camorra, the Naples version of the Sicilian mafia.
He spoke in the shadow of a dilapidated sail boat-shaped housing project known as Le Vele, so dangerous that even police are sometimes afraid to enter, residents say.
The blighted area has often been the battleground of Camorra clans fighting each other for control of drug trafficking and extortion rackets.
"See to it that evil is not the last word. It (the last word) has to be hope," he told a crowd of several thousand people as he was surrounded by children who rushed the stage to sit on the floor at his feet.
"Those who voluntarily take the road of evil rob a piece of hope. They rob it from themselves and from everybody, from society, from so many honest and hard-working people, they rob it from good name of the city and from its economy." Continuación...