2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: bieke@coqui.net
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2000 15:58:41 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Vieques Digest for 12/8/00
Vieques Digest:

1.  Viequenses reject negotiations with Federal Court 
2.  Vieques at Japan Peace Conference 
3.  Vieques vs. ATSDR


Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques
P.O. Box 1424 Vieques, Puerto Rico 00765
Tel. 787 741-0716 Fax. 741-0358 Email:  bieke@coqui.net

7 December, 2000

Press Release

Viequense Civil Disobedients Reject Offer to Drop Cases

Dozens of civil disobedientes from  Vieques meeting at the Peace and
Justice Camp, rejected an offer from Federal Attorneys  in Puerto Rico to
drop their cases. Lawyers for the Viequenses arrested for  protest actions
in the US Navy`s restricted zone on Vieques, told their clients  of an
offer to file the cases of the Viequnenses arrested, while the civil
disobedientes from the Main Island of Puerto Rico and from other  countries
would have to pass through judicial processes and pay fines. 

"The Federal Court and the Navy want  to separate the Viequenses from the
rest of the Puerto Ricans. We will no allow  that. We will not accept any
special treatment that divides us from the Puerto  Ricans on the Main
Island. Vieques is Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico is Vieques."  That was the
declaration of Ismael Guadalupe, spokesman for the Committee for the
Rescue and Development of Vieques, the prinicipal community organization in
the  struggle for demilitarization.

Unanimously, the Viequenses reaffirmed  their strong sense of solidarity
with the civil disobedients from the Main  Island that have made great
sacrifices in defense of the Vieques cause. Without  exception, the
Viequenses arrested rejected the offer to have their cases dropped  without
the same treatment applied to those from the Main Island.

"When we entered the restricted zone  on the 7th of August with the
companeras from the Main Island, we  entered together. When we get out of
this, we`ll all leave through the same  door. We will not negotiate with
the Federal Court or with the Navy. If they want  to file the cases, let it
be the cases of all the Puerto Ricans  those  who live on the Main Island
and the Puerto Ricans who live on Vieques," expressed Norma  Torres, a
Viequense woman who coordinated the August entrance of 31 women from
Vieques and the Main Island.

Contact: Robert  Rabin, CRDV 787 741-0716


Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques
P.O. Box 1424 Vieques, Puerto Rico 00765
Tel. (787) 741-0716 Fax. 741-0358 Email:  bieke@coqui.net

Friday, 6 December, 2000

Press Release

Organizers from Okinawa and Puerto Rico share strategies at the Japan
Peace Conference

Ismael Guadalupe, from the Committee for the Rescue  and Development of
Vieques and Maria I. Reinat Pumarejo, from the Institute  for Latino
Empowerment, were part of an international delegation that met in  Okinawa
for the Japan Peace Conference from the 28th of November to  the 4th of
December. This magnum conference brought together  thousands of Japanese
antimilitary organizers and an international delegation to the  capital
city of Naha.

The Puerto Rican activists met with their Okinawan  counterparts to share
strategies and strengthen even more the bonds of solidarity  established
through previous visits by others from Puerto Rican. There are many
similarities between the countries. 

Among the outstanding events of the conference we  mention the following:
the visit by the international delegation to the vice Mayor  of the city of
Nago, that faces the threat of a new military base (a  heliport)supported
by the local government against the will of the people expressed in a  1996
referendum; meetings with several grass roots organizations fighting
militarism; interviews with several news media from Japan and Okinawa; and
special participation in the international symposium where not only were
shared  diverse aspects of the struggle against the U.S. Navy in Vieques,
but also heard  were activists about their particular situations of
struggle against US  military bases in Japan, Okinawa, South Korea, Italy
and the United States. Many  other activities were programmed to promote
joint efforts between Okinawa and  Puerto Rico against the imposed U.S.

The group issued a joint declaration to be transmitted  world wide in which
it expressed that "the solution to the problem of the  bases is now part of
an international agenda" and the will exists to eliminate these  bases as a
common effort amongst the different nations of this planet.

Ismael Guadalupe 741-2304
MarEDa I. Reinat Pumarejo  732-5077, 649-6559


Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques
P.O. Box 1424 Vieques, Puerto Rico  00765
Tel. (787) 741-0716 Fax 741-0358 Email: bieke@coqui.net

December 8, 2000

Press Release Don't Play with the Health of our Children

The Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR), is visiting
Vieques to investigate about health and toxic substances. It is a federal
agency  that intervenes in communities with high levels of toxic
contamination. But  this agency has a long and negative history of bad
relations with affected communities.

Hiding behind a facade of "science", the ATSDR does not conduct  scientific
studies. Its procedures are limited to interviewing a few people in the
affected area, ask the contaminator (in this case, the US Navy), or other
governmental agencies for information about toxics in the environment, and
later  conclude that there is no "scientific" way to prove causal
relationship between  the contamination and terrible health problems.

We know what to expect from this agency in Vieques. Admiral Kevin  Green
has already announced publicly that ATSDR will exonerate the US Navy for
any  responsibility related to health problems suffered by the people of

The Vieques community has heard testimony from people who have  suffered
from the machinations and trickery of this federal agency, like the case of
 the ex residents of Christian City in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Several
experts in  health and environment told about ATSDR intervention in Puerto
Rico and the  United States and all gave identical testimony: ATSDR carries
out incomplete  studies, manipulates and twists information, and in almost
all cases, has  exonerated the contaminator of being the cause of the
health crisis in the  communities.

Several Vieques doctors asked ATSDR for economic help so health
professionals on the island municipality could carry out medical studies
and  laboratory analisis necessary to diagnose and provide treatment to
Viequenses  exposed to the toxic substances of the US Navy. But ATSDR does
not provide  resources for this tipo of study nor does it do medical exams
for residents, so it is  not clear how the agency will use and/or
manipulate the healt data  available.

Individuals, community organizations and professionals in Vieques and  in
Puerto Rico must sound the alert and energetically protest the lies and
deceit planned by ATSDR against the people of Vieques. Our struggle for
real,  for peace and for the health of this and future generations of

Contactos: Nilda Medina, Comite Pro Rescate y Desarrollo de Vieques
741-0716 Dra. Dulce Maria Albandoz, Medico de Vieques 741-2288
Lisandro  Rivera, Colectivo Cayo La Yayi
Dr. Jorge Colon, Grupo de Apoyo Tecnico  Para el Desarrollo Sostenible de
Vieques 640-7694
Sarah Peisch, Centro de  Accion Ambiental 250-8551

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