On 3rd October 2013 hundreds of Europe-bound people lost their lives in the sea off Lampedusa. Although tragedies of this type have been occurring for at least a couple of decades, the significance of this event has triggered reactions from both Italian civil society and organizations of exiles. The Italian institutions have once again framed the phenomenon through a «securitarian» and «humanitarian» approach. Their behaviour towards the dead people, the survivors and the victims' parents has been characterized by «avoiding» and «suppression» (especially celebrating a funeral in the absence of the survivors and the parents). From their point of view the Eritrean exiles (the majority of those involved in the tragedy) - together with sectors of the Italian civil society - spoke out against the Eritrean regime and the Italian assistance to it. Their statement has made clear the political and postcolonial dimension of the event. Along these lines the border crossing appears as a challenge to the traditional idea of citizenship based on the inclusion/exclusion dichotomy.