16 March, 2002
Viequenses denounce resumption of bombing will cause more cancer related deaths
Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV) denounced plans by
the Navy to resume bombing here in April as the continuation of a genocidal policy
against the people of Vieques that began in the 1940's. Spokespersons for the
community group mentioned that with live or `inert' bombs, the use of the bombing
range on the East end of Vieques will disperse into the air dangerous toxics
accumulated there during sixty years of bombing. They asserted that the
increase in toxic particulates in the environment, that always occurs with military
exercises, will produce more cancer victims in Vieques.
admitted in May of 1999 they had fired uranium projectiles on Vieques. The
uranium oxide produced on impact of these projectiles can travel more than
tweny miles in the wind the civilian population lives less than 10 miles
downwind from the bombing zone. A study by Viequense chemical engineer and ex
artillery officer, Rafael Cruz Pérez, demonstrates how heavy metals and other
cancer causing elements are transported by wind currents to the civilian area.
In past weeks, no less than half a dozen Viequenses have died from different
types of cancer, sickness related to environmental contamination.
will do everything humanly possible, using peacefull civil disobedience, to defend
the safety of our people," said Nilda Medina, of the CRDV. "If the
government cannot protect us from this threat to the health of our children, our
older folks and all Viequenses, we have no alternative but to defend
ourselves", added Medina.