Mayor in French Caribbean vows to 'fight on' after judges dismiss pesticide pollution case

Écologie — Interview

Earlier this month judges in Paris dismissed a legal case brought by residents from the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe over the widespread use of the pesticide chlordecone which has polluted local ecosystems. The Green mayor of Pointe-à-Pitrre in Guadeloupe, Harry Durimel, who is also a lawyer acting for victims of the pesticide, has announced his intention to appeal. In an interview with Mediapart's Mickaël Correia, he talks about the harmful impact of the court ruling – including on how France's overseas citizens will now view the French state.

Paris sends aid as Caribbean islands struggle with Covid surge

France — Link

Sixty Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in hospitals in Guadeloupe since August 9 out of a total of 357 since the beginning of the pandemic and incidence rate has shot up to 1,912 cases per 100,000 population.

French overseas territories hit hard by the Delta variant

France — Link

President Macron called the situation is 'dramatic' as he opened a virtual meeting with his senior cabinet ministers to discuss the epidemic.

The extraordinary tales of wartime resistance on the French Caribbean island of Martinique

Portfolios — 10 photos

When general Charles de Gaulle, exiled in London, called on his countrymen in June 1940 to rise up against German occupation of France and the puppet pro-Nazi Vichy regime, his words inspired resistance not only in mainland, but also thousands of kilometres away across the Atlantic, in the French-governed islands of the Caribbean. On Martinique, many young men and women made perilous crossings to the British islands of Dominica and Saint Lucia to join up with the Free French Forces and fight in Europe. These are some of their extraordinary stories, told in picture-portraits by photographer Sylvain Demange and historian Sylvie Meslien, and which are part of an exhibition now showing in the Martinique capital Fort-de-France.

Dock dues tax: the colonial hangover that still costs French overseas citizens dear


One of the recurring complaints of consumers living in France's overseas regions is how high the cost of living is compared with Metropolitan France. At the heart of this criticism is the 'octroi de mer' or dock dues, a tax paid on the import of goods to these territories. This tax has been in place since 1670 and the start of the French colonial system. And the European Union has just agreed to continue it to at least 2027. Julien Sartre reports on the history and impact of a tax that is a throwback to colonial days and which still leaves a burden on often poor French consumers living in overseas départements.

Isolated and vulnerable: why France's overseas territories feel shunned in virus crisis


The threat of the Covid-19 coronavirus is particularly great for France's overseas regions and territories because of their remoteness and their lack of infrastructure. But above all, as Julien Sartre writes, the pandemic risks being a disaster for the morale and mental well-being of the people living on these far-flung lands.

Bitter legacy of a once-mighty French newspaper empire

France — Investigation

The Hersant newspaper group disintegrated a few years ago, following massive job losses, the closure of titles and insolvencies. However the demise of this once-powerful group which had owned close to 50% of the national and local French press, is still having an impact in French overseas territories where it also had a strong base. Julien Sartre reports on the lingering effects of the fall of a newspaper empire which had influence around the globe.

French Caribbean takes measures in face of Zika epidemic

France — Link

Paris is sending extra hospital equipment as officials say Martinique and French Guiana have had about 100 confirmed Zika cases.

Le siècle de Glissant, poète du Tout-Monde


Edouard Glissant s'en est allé, à Paris, au petit matin du jeudi 3 février, à l'âge de 82 ans. Né le 21 septembre 1928, à la Martinique, cet immense poète laisse une œuvre incomparable, dont la poétique fut résolument une politique. Porté par les aspirations de la décolonisation, dont il fut un militant actif, il imagina des émancipations véritables qui ne répéteraient pas les anciennes dominations. Hommage au récitant du Tout-Monde et chantre de la Relation qui, pour Mediapart, fut un compagnon de cœur.