Costa Rica banana workers affected by Nemagon still waiting on compensation

April 15, 2015
8 Comments

Hundreds of banana workers who were exposed to the banned pesticide Nemagon protested Wednesday in front of Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly demanding compensation for physical and psychological damages.

From 1967 to 1979, thousands of workers in banana fields owned by foreign companies in Costa Rica and across Central America were exposed to the nematocide Nemagon, also known as DBCP, a chemical that has been proven to cause myriad health problems including sterility, cancer, miscarriages and genetic deformities. Costa Rica banned the importation of the chemical in 1979.

Although a law has been on the books since September 2001 promising compensation for the former banana workers, and a decree by President Luis Guillermo Solís was published in the government newspaper La Gaceta in December 2014, hundreds of workers still haven’t received payments.

Alberto Font/The Tico Times
"We want a pension and fair compensation," reads a sign held by protesters on April 15, 2015 in San José, Costa Rica. Alberto Font/The Tico Times

 

“It looks like they are waiting for us to die,” said José Carlos Madriz, a banana worker from Batán, a town in the province of Limón, who worked with the Standard Fruit Company from 1967 to 1973.

“We are suffering from severe health problems and we want to get the money we deserve,” added Miguel Arguedas, who also worked for the Standard Fruit Company.

Protesters are demanding ₡5 million ($9,400) each, plus a monthly pension of ₡300,000 ($565).

 

 

 

You may be interested

PHOTOS: ‘There’s a new normal in Puerto Rico’
News
951 views
News
951 views

PHOTOS: ‘There’s a new normal in Puerto Rico’

John McPhaul - October 22, 2017

There’s a new normal in Puerto Rico. Not having electricity is the new normal. Reading with a light that straps…

5 questions for Costa Rican dancer Gustavo Hernández
Weekend Arts Spotlight
518 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
518 views

5 questions for Costa Rican dancer Gustavo Hernández

Elizabeth Lang - October 22, 2017

For Gustavo Hernández, dance is a tool for communication and expression - but also a powerful motor for social inclusion. The…

Whatcha lookin’ at up there?
Photos & Video
6390 views
Photos & Video
6390 views

Whatcha lookin’ at up there?

The Tico Times - October 21, 2017

Reader John Honeyman shared this image of a howler monkey in Santa Teresa, on the Nicoya Peninsula. Thanks, John! Would…