On Sept. 4 the giant California-based fruit and vegetable producer Dole Food Company, Inc. finally began funding a settlement it made more than a year earlier with some 5,000 former banana workers in Central America who said their health had been damaged by exposure to the pesticides Nemagon and Fumazone, brand names for dibromochloropropane (DBCP). Dole had refused to pay until all judgments against it had been dismissed and each of the plaintiffs had signed a release agreeing not to sue Dole again for injuries linked to DBCP.
Nicaragua will no longer send military personnel to the US military's controversial Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly the US Army School of the Americas (SOA), President Daniel Ortega said during a meeting with a delegation of human rights activists in Managua on Sept. 4. Nicaragua will be the first Central American country to withdraw from the school, which critics say has trained many of Latin America's most notorious human rights violators since its founding in 1946. Five South American nations have ended their relations with SOA/WHINSEC: Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Venezuela, and, as of June 27, Ecuador.