News Release

Interviews Available on Global Corporate Crime: Earth Summit, Bhopal


As the Earth Summit — or World Summit on Sustainable Development — continues to meet in Johannesburg, South Africa, many nongovernmental organizations are calling for increased corporate accountability and protesting against corporate control of the Summit itself.

Yesterday, a court in Bhopal, India, rejected the Indian government’s application for a reduction of criminal charges against former Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson. The court has instead directed the prosecuting agency to hasten the extradition of Anderson from the United States. Anderson, who is accused of “culpable homicide” for deaths from the poisonous gas leak from Union Carbide’s pesticide factory in Bhopal in 1984, has refused to appear in court in India.

Slater is president of GRACE — the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment. Currently at the Earth Summit, Hauter is director of Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program. They are available for interviews on environmental aspects of the Summit and questions of corporate accountability and influence.

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Srivastava, a CorpWatch India delegate attending the Earth Summit, said today: “On December 2, 1984, deadly gases at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, leaked — killing 8,000 people in three days. Over 20,000 have since died. Even today, one person a day dies from the aftermath. Survivors and their supporters have been on a worldwide relay hunger strike, including here in Johannesburg. Dow Chemical, which now owns Union Carbide, is waging a PR campaign within the Summit instead of taking responsibility. This is a prime example of the shameful lack of corporate accountability that the Summit has so far done very little to correct.” Karliner, the executive director of CorpWatch, said today: “At the first Earth Summit, and now in Johannesburg, the world’s governments have failed to address the central role that transnational corporations play in the world’s most pressing environmental dramas….”
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Earlier this week, 52-year-old Texas fisherwoman Diane Wilson was arrested for climbing a tower within a Dow Chemical complex, where she hung a 12-foot banner: “DOW — RESPONSIBLE FOR BHOPAL.” She recently completed a month-long hunger strike to protest the attempt to dilute outstanding criminal charges against former Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson.
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Greenpeace USA’s Toxics Campaigner, Harrell served Warren Anderson a symbolic arrest warrant two weeks ago. Prior to this, the Indian government had claimed that Anderson could not be found.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167