Nicaragua: ex banana workers to get $ 97 mln.
multinationals condemned for use of pesticides, end of hunger strike

Tholen - A final verdict of Nicaraguan judge Socorro Toruño has brought an end to the hunger strike of ex-banana workers in Nicaragua who camped at a blood centre of the Red Cross since last Monday. The judge decided that a number of American will have to pay a compensation of $ 97 mln. to a 150 former employees, who have suffered unrecoverable injuries from the use of pesticides.

It concerns the companies Standard Fruit Company, Dole Food, Dow Chemicals, Shell Oil Company (Shell Oil USA) and Occidental Chemical Corporation. These companies have distributed chemicals in Nicaragua during the sixties and seventies, which were banned under US sanitary laws.

Now legal trials will begin against the multinationals. According to the lawyer of the demanding party, Jacinto Obregón, the companies have committed an act of genocide against the lives of thousands of employees.

The Nicaraguan government has taken up position behind the interests of the ex banana workers, by granting their demands by including a fund in next years’ budget so the ministry of public health can direct the necessary attention to the numerous victims of chemical products.