American Values Network Releases White Paper: Vieques Today, A Sea of Broken Promises
Washington, DC (CapitalWirePR) - A new white paper by American Values Network examines the current situation in the island municipality of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Vieques is a small U.S. territorial island located eight miles from the main island of Puerto Rico. The people of Vieques are American citizens who have made tremendous sacrifices for our country’s national security. For over 200 days per year from 1941-2003, the Navy used significant portions of the Island of Vieques for training exercises and munitions testing.
During this period, the Navy tested nearly every kind of munitions employed by the military, dropping over 80 million pounds of ordnance on Vieques from 1984-1998 alone. The Navy has refused to disclose the complete list and amounts of all materials sprayed, dropped, tested, or disposed of on the island and surrounding ocean during the 62-years of weapons testing.
The people of Vieques have a 25% higher infant mortality rate, 30% higher rate of cancer, a 381% higher rate of hypertension, a 95% higher rate of cirrhosis of the liver, and a 41% higher rate of diabetes than those on the main island of Puerto Rico a mere 8 miles away. Despite these facts, the Navy denies any culpability and refuses to help alleviate the suffering it has caused.
The health claims of the American citizens in Vieques have been supported by a multitude of groups and faith-based organizations, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), and the American Values Network, among others.
The full white paper is at http://americanvaluesnetwork.org/vieques/white-paper/