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Abstract of the affair (English vesion)



› Between october 1995 and June 1996, and then between April and June 1997, an abdominal ache epidemic ( part of them where acute appendicitis ) and skin diseases struck 80% of the inhabitants of Desirade island ( a 1610 people dependency of Guadeloupe, in the French West Indies), thus the whole consumers of tap water, provided by Générale des Eaux, a VIVENDI subsidiary .

› This website was created by SOS-Santé Désirade (an association which defends Desiradians) and the concerned medical practitioners, in order to keep in the integrality of the informations they have (Scientific, Juridic and Media-related) .

› Its purpose is to make people know everything about a Public Health drama which stuck a resourceless population, at the hands of the alliance between money power (the multinational firm VIVENDI, tap water provider) and political power ( Health ministry), both determined to cover up the affair .

The main victims of this drama, excluding the Desiradian, paid the piper of their courage :

  • Two murders :
    • 1991 Max Mathurin, Désirade's Mayor
    • 1999 Pr. Camille Berchel, Chief of Pediatric department in the Hospital of Pointe-à-Pitre .
  • One murder Attempt : 1996 Dr.Jean-Marie Le Cabellec, the Island GP, was stabbed. He miraculously survived, but his serious mayhem prevents him to work again .
  • Huge administrative sanctions : Dr. Manuceau, Surgeon in Pointe-à-Pitre and correspondant of Dr Le Cabellec, could not feel safe any more, dashed of Guadeloupe in July 1999 . Which destroyed his professional and familial life. In 2006, the Health Ministry achieved to forbid him to treat any social insured patient for one year .

Few strong points :

January 2nd of 1998, Le Figaro publishes the Health Ministry's version, concerning the Desirade affair :

"Desiradians have never been ill. It was a collective psychosis whose reponsibles were Dr. Le Cabellec and Dr. Manuceau" .

Le Figaro gave, as a scientific proof supporting this thesis, the Investigation Report, written by Réseau National de Santé Publique (RNSP), directed by Dr. QUESNEL .

April, 10th of 2000, Guadeloupe's prefect, announced in a press conference that pesticides were found in the provided local tap water . It's the first time such an analysis was done . Though farmers have used large amounts of pesticides for 10 years .

September, 10th of 2000, , Dr.Quesnel defends his Investigation Report before the 11th Appeal Court of Paris . Parisian Judges considered that this version constitued a libel toward the two practitioners . Then, the 11th Chamber confirmed the judgment of the 17th Correctionnal Chamber : It was the first victory against the Health Ministry .

June, 21st of 2002 , the Guadeloupean Water Committee laid charges against X, for putting others in jeopardy, voluntary abstention of taking or stimulate measures to fight a sinister and offence foretold by the L.216-6 article from the Environment Code . The Republic Prosecutor refused to investigate the complaint .

September, 27th of 2002, , Dr. Manuceau laid charges against X, for Faux, slandering denunciations, and frauds for judgement . The Republic Prosecutor refused to investigate the complaint .

September, 18th 2007, Reporting to the press his survey about Pesticides in French West Indies, Pr Dominique Belpomme, an oncologist from Georges Pompidou Hospital, stated that :

  • "For the 20 last years, the French West Indies have been poluted by more than a hundred pesticides, without any toxicological control".
  • "Our scientific surveys are leading to assess that a health tragedy occured in the French West Indies [...] it is a real poisoning of Martinique and Guadeloupe, [...] concerning soil and water . [...] The whole population has been poisoned this time : not only currently living, but also for the next generations" .

September, 18th of 2007 , le Figaro published an article entitled "An alarmist report about pesticides in French West Indies" :

  • "The National Agronomic Research Institute has known local animals were infected since 1980".
  • "The truth is that no campain for water, soil or population toxicologic measures has been made before 1999, and for 25 years, no tonnage, no history-listing of the use of pesticides or officially recognized ones have ever been published ."