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(en) France, UCL AL #315 = Ecology, Politics, Chlordecone: the state protects poisoners (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 20 May 2021 10:15:16 +0300

In Martinique, activists are mobilizing tirelessly to obtain redress in the face of the devastating health and environmental consequences of chlordecone. They face repression. ---- On February 27, thousands of demonstrators from Martinique protested in Fort-de-France to demand justice and reparation for the poisoning of their land and their bodies with chlordecone. This insecticide, classified as a probable carcinogen in 1977, was not banned in France until 1990. Hundreds of tons were however spread in West Indian banana plantations until 1993. Three additional years were in fact granted by ministerial exemption. to the landowners, the bekes, white descendants of the great slave owners.

This deliberate and prolonged poisoning illustrates the neo-colonial situation in the Antilles[1]. Still persisting today in soils and waters, chlordecone continues to poison the population and will not disappear for several centuries.

In 2019, a study by Public Health France finally established the consequences of this health and environmental scandal: more than 92% of the adult population of Guadeloupe and Martinique is contaminated by this endocrine disruptor. The rate of prostate cancer is the highest in the world. The same year, a parliamentary commission of inquiry concluded that the French State "is primarily responsible " and " has subjected the reckless risks, in view of the scientific knowledge of the time, to the populations and territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique.". Despite this, the numerous complaints lodged over the years have not resulted in any redress, and those responsible have not even been worried.

Latest affront to date, on January 20, 2021, seven associations from Martinique and Guadeloupe have learned that their complaint for " endangering the life of others ", filed in 2006, risks dismissaldue to prescription. The investigation of the case has dragged on in the courts for fifteen years, no indictment has been launched, and now evidence has "disappeared" from the file.

Blocked supermarkets
The unions then called for general mobilization on February 27 and then March 27. But anger and indignation also take root in the violent repression and judicial harassment suffered by anti-colonial and anti-Lordecone activists. Exceeded, they launched in 2019 a phase of civil disobedience action, blocking supermarkets belonging to the families of bekés. Following clashes with the police, three of them were sentenced on August 28, 2020 to a fine of 4,500 euros and seven to twelve months in prison. Coming to support them on July 16, Keziah Nussier, 22, an anti-lordecone activist, was beaten up, insulted and threatened by the police. Yet it is he who is now accused ! His trial, postponed several times, was finally disoriented in Paris, on an unknown date, in the hope no doubt of preventing any manifestation of support and the possibility of turning it into a political forum.

Faced with this two-speed colonial justice, let us bring our support to Keziah and make visible the fight of anti-lordecone militants for social and ecological justice[2].

Mélissa (Ecology Commission)


[1] For a more complete analysis, see the article "Colonialism: West Indian area to defend" in Alternative libertaire of May 2020.

[2] Among other groups to support: Justice for Keziah, Collective of agricultural workers and their beneficiaries poisoned by pesticides.

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