Paris, France – The landmark trial between a 799-year-old Vietnamese-French woman and 14 chemical multinationals has always turned David and Goliath into a legal battle.
Train T Anga has breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart and lung problems, a rare insulin allergy and other serious illnesses.
19 1966 Vietnam War Reporter He was hiding in an underground tunnel with resistance fighters.
When he came out briefly, for the first time he was sprayed by a highly toxic herbicide known as Agent Orange used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.
Like other Vietnamese people, he continues to feel its destructive effects and claims that he is a victim of this herbicide.
In 2014, Train filed a lawsuit against the German military against 14 agrochemical firms producing and selling Agent Orange, including Dow Chemical and Monsanto, now owned by US giant Bayer.
Monday, May 10, in a French court Dismissed The lawsuit called Tron’s allegations “unacceptable” and said the US government had no jurisdiction to prosecute cases involving wartime activities.
Despite this push, Tran is “determined to continue fighting for justice for all the victims of Agent Orange.”
“Justice and law do not go together. It was proven today, but sooner or later [justice] Come on, ”Train told Al Jazeera.
At the request of the train, three lawyers from the Paris-based law firm Borden & Associates, who are working pro-bono, will appeal the ruling.
In a statement released Tuesday, they said the ruling “applies an obsolete definition of the policy of prevention of jurisdiction,” and that the level of dioxin in Agent Orange was the responsibility of the accused agencies.
According to the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA), the U.S. military sprayed approximately 60 million liters (21 million gallons) of toxic chemicals during the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1971, as part of Operation Wrench Hand (366). The amount of dioxin in a quarter of Vietnam.
Dioxin in Agent Orange is one of the deadliest chemicals known to science.
It polluted the soil and destroyed much of the region’s ecosystem, extending into Laos and Cambodia. Many species of animals and plants disappear and dioxins contaminate humans after it spreads to fish and shrimp.
Viva estimates that 4.8 million people in Vietnam are sick or unable to come in contact with Agent Orange.
Like the train, many Vietnamese people – even two generations – suffer from these blood-borne illnesses, including leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, Hodgkin’s, cancer and congenital malformations.
Tran lost his 1-month-old daughter to himself due to a heart defect.
Agent Orange has also cast a dark shadow over Vietnam’s legacy.
A Vietnamese nove panacea and journalist who wrote extensively after the Vietnam War, Dr. Nguyen Phan Koye Mai said that he “remembers very clearly” how – as a child – his parents debated whether to eat fish caught in the Mekong Delta, which is often disguised. Was.
They eventually ate it because they were hungry, and the result of Agent Orange was not known until later.
“We use the word ‘poison’ [for Agent Orange], “Nguyen told Al Jazeera.
“I grew up in the countryside and people only use the word‘ poison ’because they knew it was poisonous. It can kill trees and animals and kill people.
Nove Panasic hoped Train would be the first Vietnamese citizen to win the case by acknowledging his illness and cried after the verdict was announced.
Military veterans in the United States, Australia and Korea have been compensated for the response caused by Agent Orange, specifically through the ৮ 160 million Agent Orange Settlement Fund in 1984, but no decision has yet been made in favor of South-East Compensation – Asian Victims.
These different regulations describe the train case as an example of “environmental racism”, an idea that emerged during the environmental justice movement of the 19 1970s.
“The real thing: why this dual standard? Why were the Americans compensated, and why not the Vietnamese? Thu Tien Ho, coordinator of the train’s support committee, told Al Jazeera.
Another word that came to mind in the counter-protest movement during the Vietnam War, and Tran’s lawyers sued the agricultural companies, was “ecoside” – a description of the catastrophic destruction of the environment.
A Bayer spokesman said in a statement sent to Al Jazeera that they agreed with the court’s decision to dismiss the claim outright and that wartime contractors were “not liable for any allegations related to the use of such products during wartime”.
On Saturday, the annual march against Monsanto-Bayer and other agricultural giants will move forward, and is expected to draw thousands of people across France.
The train case is being raised as one of the main appeals of March.
According to Thu Tien Hoe, Tran has become a “symbol” for France’s fight for environmental justice.
Although her loved ones are worried about her health – her two daughters call her every morning to find out if she’s alive – the train is the one that lifts everyone’s spirits.
Although his team was disappointed with the verdict, he saw it as a victory because the case was successful in raising awareness about Agent Orange’s victims.
“Our cause is justified, and I know that if I have a just cause I must defend it.”
“My argument proves that I started alone and now thousands of people around the world are supporting me.”