Roma Face Ghettoization in Romania
In Arizona, politicians are trying to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep people out. Across the Atlantic, in an industrial city in Romania, a wall is being built to keep people in.
The local government of the city of Baia Mare in northern Romania is trying to erect a concrete wall in front of a Roma (Gypsy) neighborhood. The wall would separate the community from a main road, and human rights groups are saying that it is a government instituted attempt to "ghettoize" an ethnic community.
"Such initiatives belong to the Nazi era," the Center for Legal Resources said in an open letter to Biai Mare mayor Catalin Chereches.
"The idea to separate a community with severe social problems... amounts to institutionalized racism."
The Roma, also known as the Romani or Gypsies, form an ethnic group widely dispersed across Europe. Traditionally a traveling community with its roots traced to India, the Romani peoples are oft subject to extreme, institutionalized persecution.