Opinion Article on Pollution

The outrageous impunity for environmental crimes

Few countries lack specific legislation on environmental matters, but even fewer still enforce it with the full weight of the law. The environmental crime, apparently, constitutes for the bulk of our societies a minor crime, without mourners, excusable especially if the perpetrator is a powerful transnational corporation or, worse still, a company belonging to the same State.

This reality appears to be even worse in third world countries, where the urgency to resolve social, economic and political dilemmas relegates the issue of pollution to the bottom of the pending list. Thus, crimes committed against the environment are condemned with scandal on social networks and with indignant gestures from everyone in their homes, but not with real justice, or at least not with the same justice that applies to those who attempt against private property or against the political and economic order of the country.

Examples, unfortunately, are plentiful and are found on both sides of the ideological spectrum. So outrageous is the use of pesticides in Argentina’s private agricultural industry, that it poisons the subsoil waters with impunity and destroys the chemical balance of the sea; the wild burning of the Amazon to expand the arable area in Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia; or the tragic oil spills of the Venezuelan state industry, whose appearance in any local media is also impossible. That ancestral treasure that is vegetation and biodiversity in Latin America seems to have no real place in our plans for economic development.

In a world increasingly concerned about the climate and environmental future, impunity for environmental crimes and indifference to pollution are yet another reflection of our inability to find our own path to sustainable development.

Spellbound by the European and American mirage, we willingly march towards the destruction of the environment, to turn it into raw material to export, sacrificing along the way what is perhaps the greatest of our potential: that of an environmentally friendly tourism industry.

The question arises as to when we will understand that environmental crimes are actually crimes committed against future generations, since the world that is being ruined and uninhabitable is theirs.

Personally, I am pessimistic about it. I think that one day the tons of plastic dumped into the ocean will suffocate the place where life originated on the planet; and the atmosphere, flooded with toxic substances, will become unbreathable. We may then understand the tragic consequences of an unsustainable pattern of existence. But, as often happens to those who live without thinking about the future, we will regret it when it is too late.


  • “Opinion journalism” in Wikipedia.
  • “Pollution” in Wikipedia.
  • “Contamination” in Greenpeace Spain.
  • “2020, the year of oil spills in Venezuela” in Eldiario.
  • “Ten facts to debate the use of pesticides in Argentina” in Tierra Viva Agency.
  • “Deforestation in the Amazon: Brazil’s rainforest suffers the greatest loss of vegetation since 2008” in BBC News Mundo.

What is an opinion piece?

A opinion piece It is a type of journalistic writing, of common appearance in the written press, in which the points of view and considerations of a signing author are expressed, who is usually an individual with authority in the matter or whose perspective is valued within society .

Opinion articles are subjective, personal and argumentative in nature, since in them the author seeks to promote his point of view among readers, that is, to convince them to interpret reality in the same way.

Editorial columns are also considered opinion articles, that is, in which the media expresses its institutional position on a given issue. These texts, however, are not signed by any person, but by the editorial committee of the medium.