Alcohol restrictions in Rome's S. Lorenzo after death of teenager

Rome police detain two men in relation to rape and murder of Desirée.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi has introduced legislation prohibiting the consumption of alcohol on the streets of the S. Lorenzo district after 21.00, following the gang-rape and death of a 16-year-old girl in an abandoned building in the area.

Emergency services discovered the body of Desirée Mariottini, from Cisterna di Latina south of Rome, on the night of 19 October in an illegally-occupied premises on Via dei Lucani. Medical tests have confirmed that the minor was drugged and gang-raped while in a state of unconsciousness, according to Italian news agency ANSA, which also reports that police have detained two men - both from Senegal and without regular papers to stay in Italy - for questioning in relation to Desirée's murder.

The case has taken political overtones in Italy and has been seized on by Matteo Salvini, Italy's deputy premier and interior minister, and leader of the anti-immigrant Lega party.

Salvini's first attempt to visit the site of the murder, on the morning of 24 October, was blocked by protesters who accused him of capitalising on the case for political gain.

However Salvini returned later that evening and placed a white rose outside the abandoned building which carries the graffiti "Giustizia per Desirée. San Lorenzo non ti dimentica" (Justice for Desirée. San Lorenzo will not forget you). Salvini pledged to return "with a bulldozer", a reference to demolishing the illegally-occupied site where Desirée was killed.

Following Salvini's visit, Rome's mayor introduced alcohol restrictions in the neighbourhood, also announcing that the sale of alcohol by the area's mini-markets would be curtailed.

Describing Desirée's death as "unacceptable", Raggi wrote on her Facebook page: "As the first citizen, as a woman and as a mother I can not tolerate the harrowing image of a girl brutally raped and killed."