The Territorial Collectivity of Martinique (CTM) seized the examining magistrates in charge of the complaint on the poisoning with chlordecone of the French Antilles of an “act of transport on the spot”, announced the lawyer of the institution Wednesday.
“In the context of a criminal investigation, it is not 7,000 kilometers from the place that must be investigated”, justified Me Alex Ursulet, lawyer for the CTM in this case. The single community of Martinique became a civil party in the criminal proceedings in October 2021. This request for transport to the scene is the first act introduced by the community since its entry into the file.
Fifteen years of instruction
“It is incomprehensible”, explained the council of the CTM. “This investigation has lasted for more than 15 years and no trip to the scene of the crime has taken place.” Associations from Martinique and Guadeloupe, which had lodged a complaint 14 years ago for chlordecone poisoning, learned in early 2021 that this complaint could fall within the scope of prescription.
In his letter, the lawyer proposed to the judges to hear the president of the local executive, Serge Letchimy, but “also the other civil parties who would like to be heard”.
Chlordecone, a pesticide banned in France in 1990 but which continued to be authorized in the banana fields of Martinique and Guadeloupe by ministerial exemption until 1993, caused significant and lasting pollution of the two islands. More than 90% of the adult population in Guadeloupe and Martinique is contaminated with chlordecone, according to Public Health France.