Friday, November 24, 2006

Toxic Wastes in Abidjan- Progress Report

So far Trafigura maintains that the wastes were not toxic and that it tried to dispose of them but due to its unfortunate selection of an Ivory Coast company called Tommy, many people were poisoned and about 10 lost their lives. Investigation has however revealed that Tommy is a shell company created while the Probo Koala was on its way to the Ivory Coast - talk about custom made. A report out this week suggests a chain of incompetence and negligence was to blame for the tragedy. So far those jailed include the manager of Tommy, two European Trafigura officials and a few Ivorian businessmen. Trafigura meantime has retained a high-flying British lawyer and is sticking by its story of compliance with national and international laws.

This is how globalism and international capitalism works. The tiny people get ground up and spat out by the cogs of big MNCs. All this delaying, legal mumbo-jumbo and obfuscation puts such heart-rending injustice out of mind over time. We feel less and less outraged as our lives are not affected and we can still get cheap oil. Hey, a few hundred unhealthy and 10 dead Ivorians versus the $300,000 to be paid for safe clean up. I mean, if Trafigura paid that sum, they would have to pass it on to their customer and we all know that cheap fuel keeps our world going around, right?

[Same picture, NYT- thanks.]

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