island violation must stop
Peace Team to Vieques
Christian Peacemaker Teams is sending a delegation to Vieques Island March 11-17 in support of groups challenging the US military presence there. Vieques, with a population of about 9,000, is part of the US commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The US Navy controls two-thirds of the island and some 200,000 square miles of surrounding waters.
The accidental death of a civilian during bombing practice in April 1999, and the firing of 267 rounds of depleted uranium in February, 1999, have galvanized Puerto Rican religious, political, union and environmental groups.
An agreement that would clear the way for resuming US and NATO military maneuvers was recently reached between the Puerto Rican and US governments, but without Puerto Rican popular support. Maneuvers, including bombing practice, have been halted for 10-months because of protests across Puerto Rico. Dozens of resisters have been encamped in the restricted military area on Vieques during that time, some in abandoned military barracks.
Participants in the CPT delegation will spend time in nonviolent public witness at the resistance camps near the firing zones. They will also meet with local fishers and church representatives, as well as military spokespersons, to put the situation in context.
Contact: Christian Peacemaker Teams, PO Box, 6508, Chicago, IL 60680; 312-455-1199; firstname.lastname@example.org.