Pictured: Workers in the February 2000 protest in San José against the use of the pesticide Nemagon and asking for government assistance for health concerns resulting from exposure. Teresita Chavarría/AFP
After 14 years, Costa Rica finally has a regulation guaranteeing payment of physical and psychological damages for nearly 14,000 banana workers who were exposed to the banned pesticide Nemagon. The decree by President Luis Guillermo Solís was published in the government newspaper La Gaceta on Monday, the last step before a law can go into effect.
Between 1967 and 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.
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(ZACH DYER. Tico Times. December 3, 2014)