14 February, 2002
Viequenses denounce military detonations
The Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV) denounced military
exercises the US Navy carries out in the Eastern part of this island municipality the past
three days. At midday on Wednesday, 13 February, residents of the Fort area, close
to Vieques Public Square, heard a strong detonation from the bombing area inside Camp
García. The Viequenses accused the Navy of carrying out open detonation
practices for which they have no permits from environmental agencies neither in Puerto
Rico nor at the federal level.
Last week the Navy placed at the Post Office and at other public places a Notice to
fishermen and other operators of boats that navegate the coastal waters of Vieques,
indicating the US Navy will be carrying out dangerous naval activities that present a
danger for people, equipment and/or boats. The document includes a calendar and
schedule that covers the 11th to the 17th of February and informs the hours of operations
will be from noon to 5 PM on the days mentioned.
Historically, this action takes place in preparation for upcoming maneuvers, prompting the
Committee for the Rescue of Vieques to confirm its preparations for the next round of
civil disobedience actions.
Fernández Porto, environmental advisor to the Puerto Rican Independence Party and to the
CRDV, said that
from the environmental perspective, each detonation in this
zone forces up into the atmosphere the poison soup that everyone knows gets
into the air the people of Vieques breath. The soup Fernández referes to is
made up of the military toxics accumulated on the Eastern end of Vieques as a result of
sixty years of bombing and experimentation with a wide variety of conventional weapons and
others, like uranium.