2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 10:58:34 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Vieques Report
9 May, 2000
Camp Peace and Justice for Vieques
In front of the gate to Camp Garcia, Vieques
Warm greetings from this island beseiged, a people of great dignity and 
a spirit of struggle and sacrifice.  Five days after the 
kidnapping-arrests of hundreds of Viequenses, Puerto Ricans and other 
members of the civil disobedience camps, our struggle begins a new 
phase, with new strategies in the context of non violent civil 
It is important to point out that the arrests were conducted peacefully, 
not by decision of the forces of repression, but because of the 
committment of our community to peacefull action.  It is equally 
important to denounce the multiple violations committed against all 
those detained by the military, the FBI and the Federal Marshalls.  
Everyone was handcuffed and searched more than once, including old folks 
and even sick people.

 Only one person was handcuffed with metal handcuffs - Nilda Medina, my 
wife.  Only one person was handcuffed behind the back, also Nilda 
Medina.  We have no doubt this was a selective punishment to provoke and 
justify an aggression against us.  Nilda and I were the only ones 
specifically mentioned in the press by the Superintendent of Police as 
"agitators" and "troublemakers" in the days prior to the arrests. 
Nilda´s strength assured we would not be provoked.
During the trip to Naval Station Roosevelt Roads - a three hour ride in 
a dirty barge, on a hot metal floor, without seats, with shade, with 
drinking water - the heat was punishing.  It was impressive to witness 
the strength with which older folks like Dona Luisa Guadalupe with her 
85 years, the always present national heroin,  Lolita Lebron and 
Viequense, don Pablo Hernandez, supported the horrible conditions of 
that voyage.  Once at Roosevelt Roads we were searched again, read a 
document that all refused to sign and let out, without charges being 
filed.  We had been kidnapped for ten hours.
Five days after this violation, our community remains under siege - 
armed soldiers at the entrances to the navy facilities and all along the 
fences that separate the military and civilian sectors; the Tactical 
Squad of the PR Police (Riot Squad) in controll of the street that leads 
to the entrance of Camp Garcia from the North and South; a contingent of 
twenty five members of the Riot Squad stationed in front of the gate to 
Camp Garcia.  The Coast Guard threatens our fishermen, blocking them 
from their work at sea, threatening to confiscate their boats for the 
"crime" of sustaining their families in their sea, our sea.   Two 
Vieques pilots were threatened with loosing their liscence for 
supposedly entering into Navy restricted air space during the arrest 
The community organizations, leaders of the civil disobedience camps and 
fishermen have been meeting during the past few days to plan the next 
actions.  We maintain a firm committment to actions of peacefull civil 
disobedience or evangelical obedience in defense of our right to live in 
peace, with dignity and with hope for a future Vieques free from the 
military presence. 
About the Navy´s announcement that they resumed bombing yesterday:  
First, there are several people still in the impact zone.  If they did 
bomb they are more irresponsable than we imagined.  Second, in May of 
1999 the Navy admitted it had shot here 263 depleted uranium shells 
during maneuvers in February of that year.  Military physicists in space 
suits recovered only 52 projectiles before abandoning the area due to 
the extreme danger of unexploded ordnance. Any type of bombing in the 
impact zone while depleted uranium shells are still present represents a 
grave danger for all of Vieques.
We are preparing for the next phase of this life and death struggle of 
our community.  We move forward convinced that God is on our side and 
that the demilitarization of Vieques will be a contribution to world 
In struggle, in solidarity
Robert L. Rabin Siegal
Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques
(Comite Pro Rescate y Desarrollo de Vieques)
Apartado 1424   Vieques, PR  00765
(787) 741-0716   cel. 375-0525
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