Four Months of Unanswered Protests in Guadeloupe

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Citizens of the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe have been protesting COVID-19 restrictions for the past four months. In response, authorities have implemented a 6 PM curfew to prevent people from gathering. Reports of protestors shooting at the police, arson, and looting have resulted as anger grows.

The citizens of Guadeloupe have every reason to be hesitant. From 1973 to 1993, the insecticide chlordecone was used on banana plantations, resulting in mass exposure to dangerous toxins. The chemical was used for nearly two decades, and almost all adult residents have traces of the toxin in their bloodstream. The coastal waterways, rivers, and large areas of soil still contain the deadly toxin. Fishing in many areas is prohibited. Cancer, tremors, premature births, slurred speech, short-term memory loss, and a lowered sperm count are among the many dangers chlordecone possesses. Why did it take 20 years to ban chlordecone? Banana lobbyists. What is France doing to correct the problem? Nothing.

The people of Guadeloupe have already suffered at the hands of a corrupt government. The country had an unemployment rate well above 20% before COVID started, and a large part of its GDP is derived from tourism. Forcing vaccines on a population that is currently battling the effects of government incompetence and greed will lead to disaster.

 

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