Court case against the use of the pesticide 'chlordécone' in the French Antilles

In 2006, a group of environmental and ecological associations brought a court case against State-funded banana producers in the Antilles (dominated by the béké population) for their use of the harmful pesticide, chlordécone, between 1972 and 1993. Despite bans in other countries, such as the USA, the French government authorized the use of this pesticide in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Chlordécone has been linked to cancer, soil pollution and water contamination. In March 2007, Raphaël Confiant et Louis Boutrin published a text entitled Chronique d’un empoisonnement annoncé that investigated the harmful effects of this pesticide on the health of Antilleans. This case links to issues concerning the socio-economic dominance of the béké population and their privileged links to the French government, as revealed in the documentary Les derniers maîtres de la Martinique, reparations and the discrimination of the overseas departments by the French State through a form of exploitative neo-colonialism. 

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