Media Lies

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Bhopal twenty years on

Just after midnight on December 3, 1984, forty tons of methyl isocyanate leaked from the Union Carbide pesticide plant at Bhopal, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

The disaster killed between 7,000 and 10,000 people in three days. 15,000 have died since. 100,000 have been or are suffering chronic diseases. A generation suffers infertility and birth defects.

Although Union Carbide paid the Indian government $470 million to settle all claims related to Bhopal, that figure was based on the now discredited estimate of 3,000 deaths due to the disaster. Much have the money has not yet reached the victims. No one has faced charges in court for the disaster. Instead those responsible abscond from the law.

In September 2004, three years after 9/11, the US State Dept refused, without explanation, an extradition request from India.

This was for top Union Carbide officials, including Warren Anderson, the chief executive at the time of the disaster.

The Bhopal disaster is several times the maginitude of 9/11, in terms of suffering and death.

Bhopal was not deliberate. But unlike September 11th, those responsible are fully identified and within the grasp of the authorities. However, the US govt refuses to co-operate with the Indian authorities to get justice for the victims.

Mark Hertsgaard says:

"There are many shades of gray in life, but sometimes the truth is black and white: it is shameful for Dow/Union Carbide to keep ducking its obligations in Bhopal and shameful for the U.S. State Department to help it do so."

The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal

Read about Yes Men and their original treatment of this issue, and wrong doers and media duplicity in general here.