2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: bieke@coqui.net
Date: 22 Dec 2000 20:32:27 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Viequenses stop Navy construction project

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

22 December, 2000

Press Release

Viequenses stop Navy construction project

Thursday, December 21st around 9:00 AM,  several members of the Peace and
Justice Camp in Vieques stopped a US Navy  construction project on civilian
land adjacent to the Camp Garcia military fence.  Carlos Cruz, Nilda Medina
and Robert Rabin, placed themselves in front of the  enormous Navy tractors
and other heavy equipment to block what they described as  an illegal
movement of land in property of the Puerto Rican  people. 

Over the past several weeks military personnel have  been building a camp,
with permanent structures and several large trailer  homes, about half a
mile South of the PJC and the main entrance to the Navy  base of Camp
Garcia. The Viequenses believe the Navy plans to make a new  entrance to
the base to avoid the constant protests and vigilance by the community that
 takes place from the PJC.

Riot Police sent to the area early in the morning,  attempted to intimidate
the Viequenses to get them out of the area and allow the Navy  to continue
with its project. However, the protesters insisted the Navy  produce
necessary governmental agency permits to assure them the Navy was not
acting illegaly. Lt. Wally Matos of the Puerto Rico police, indicated that
representatives of the Navy said they only had a permit from the  regional
office of Public Works. The protesters pointed out to police officials that
 they would not allow the Navy construction to continue since there were no
permits  from Natural Resources, the Planning Board or the Archaeological

With the arrival of more people from the community  and confronted with the
lack of permits, the military were force to take  their equipment and
personnel back onto the Navy`s side of the fence. In  addition to the dozen
Riot Police and several local policemen, the Navy sent to the  scene a
military security team with dogs, pepper spray, sheilds and plastic

While Navy personnel looked for their permits,  members of the PJC and the
CRDV set up a new camp named, Camp Luisa Guadalupe, in honor  of the 83
year old Viequense woman and well know activist against the Navy, who  died
last week. A 24 hour vigil was organized to keep an eye out and inform  the
community if the Navy attempted resume work in the area.

Contact: Robert Rabin CRDV 787  741-0716

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