The investigating judges of the public health center of the Paris judicial court pronounced on March 25 the end of the investigations without questioning in the investigation into the poisoning of the West Indies with chlordecone, learned AFP, Tuesday April 5, from sources familiar with the matter.
Two Parisian investigating judges announced to the complaining communities and associations their intention to close this file without issuing an indictment, thus directing it towards a dismissal.
This notice of end of information opens a period allowing the parties to the procedure to indicate their intention to make observations, request acts, etc., before the requisitions of the Paris public prosecutor’s office and the final decision of the investigating judges.
Predominantly prescribed facts
In 2006, several Martinican and Guadeloupean associations had filed a complaint for poisoning, endangering the lives of others and administration of harmful substances.
Since 2008, the public health department of the Paris court has been responsible for judicial information, but the investigating judges informed several civil parties in 2021 of their analysis, according to which the facts would, in their vast majority, be prescribed.
Two months later, Rémy Heitz, then Paris prosecutor, had estimated in a daily interview France-Antilles than “the vast majority of the facts denounced were already prescribed” from the filing of the complaints in 2006.
A recognized occupational disease
Chlordecone, a pesticide banned in France in 1990 but which continued to be authorized in the banana fields of Martinique and Guadeloupe by ministerial derogation until 1993, caused significant and long-lasting pollution of the two islands.
More than 90% of the adult population in Guadeloupe and Martinique is contaminated by chlordecone, according to Public Health France, and the West Indian populations have one of the highest incidence rates of prostate cancer in the world.
These prostate cancers linked to exposure to chlordecone were recognized as an occupational disease in December, paving the way for compensation for farmers and agricultural workers.