Zaldibar: remember and clarify responsibilities #Zaldibarargitu

Feb 09, 2022
On the second anniversary of the collapse of the Zaldibar refuse dump, ELA has convened protests at the doors of its head offices to ensure that what happened on the 6th of February, 2020 is never forgotten and to demand for the responsibilities to be clarified.


Two years after the collapse of the Zaldibar refuse dump, responsibilities have yet to be clarified. The interests of those being defended by the Basque Government have been made clear. Instead of clarifying what happened and acknowledging their responsibility in this disaster, it has safeguarded the company’s interests, which put the earning of the highest possible profits ahead of the nature and lives of the workers.

It has been shown that the company Verter Recycling has a direct responsibility for the death of two workers. They have accepted their responsibility in exchange for not going to prison. The company has undertaken to pay an economic compensation to the families of the victims. The deaths of the workers are resulting very cheap for the company.

But the responsibility for the collapse of the Zaldibar refuse dump is not just limited to the company. In fact, the public administrations have a direct responsibility in this type of infrastructure: monitoring and control. At the Zaldibar refuse dump they did not do what they had to do and therefore the clarification of the responsibilities is particularly important, including the political responsibilities.

Although the political responsibilities are clear, the Basque Government is not amongst the defendants. Instead of controlling the irregularities that it knew about and making the company fulfil the law; time and again the Basque Government hid these faults until the refuse dump collapsed.

Likewise, the Basque Government’s environmental and waste management policies defend the neoliberal and ecocide interests of the employers. These policies do not resolve the urgent problems of the working class, nor do they respond to the local and worldwide ecological emergency.

It is time to change these unfair policies and there are alternatives. But there is a lack of political willingness to put life and health ahead of everything else.