26 February, 2002   Six deaths this week in Vieques

The Committee for the Rescue and Development denounced the deaths this past week end of 6 persons, four of them cancer victims.  Lung and stomach cancer were the principal causes.  The victims were residents of the Monte Santo and Lujan sectors, areas that receive winds directly from US Navy's the bombing zone on the Northeast part of the island.  Several scientific studies show how military toxics produced during sixty years of bombing, get to the population through the breezes and the food chain.

The Vieques community is alarmed by four deaths from cancer in one   weekend.  The previous week saw the death of another victim, this  time cancer of the kidney.

Dr. Rivera Castaño, Viequense epidemiologist and member of the   Committee said, "the Department of Health and Dr. Rullán are very  slow with the cancer study of Vieques and it is high time that a  cancer alert be declared Vieques for Vieques and all the services to deal with this alarming situation should be offered."

Dr. Rivera Castaña mentioned that "… more than a year ago the  Legislature assigned funds for an epidemiological study on cancer to  be ready in five months and we have not yet seen any results."

The Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques demands the  Navy begin the cleanup of the environmental disaster that little by  little is killing our people.