On 20th anniversary of Bhopal disaster, justice still eludes victims

Thanks to bureaucratic inertia, government corruption, and corporate evasion, the citizens of Bhopal, India — site of a catastrophic 1984 gas leak that killed some 7,000 people immediately and 15,000 since — have yet to see justice, says a new report from Amnesty International, released this week to mark the 20th anniversary of the tragedy. Only about 30 percent of the meager $470 million settlement paid to the Indian government has actually been dispensed to survivors, and Dow Chemical — which bought out Union Carbide, owner of the leaking pesticide factory, after the disaster — claims it is not liable for further damages. Meanwhile, AI estimates 100,000 citizens are still suffering from chronic or debilitating illnesses stemming from the leak. “[A]stonishingly, no one has been held to account for the leak and its appalling consequences,” says the report, aptly dubbed “Clouds of Injustice.”