In 2010 the US mining and gas company, Renco, managed to successfully avoid having to pay compensation to Peruvian locals who were harmed due to pollution by their companies by successfully using a provision of the Peru-US Trade Agreement. Not satisfied with avoiding having to pay compensation, the company has since demanded $800 million from the Peruvian government as they argue that one of the companies they own, Doe Run, was forced into bankruptcy due to an expensive pollution clean-up which the Peruvian government required Doe Run to conduct.
There shouldn’t have been a Formula One race in Bahrain on Sunday. It is clear that the safety of those involved was put under unnecessary risk for the sake of greed and the saving of face. The pro-democracy protests that raged throughout the country garnered much international attention and media interest. The calls for Formula One to leave Bahrain on these grounds showed once again that sport and politics are inextricably linked and any wish for the contrary is nothing more than a pipe dream. It also led me to ask a question; “Should we expect sports organisations to have more backbone than western politicians?”