Today, Friday, February 9, 2007 at 11:15AM, four intense detonations shook several zones of Vieques. The windows in the office of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV) at the Peace and Justice Camp, in front of what used to be the entrance to the naval base here, vibrated as a result of the explosions that frightened tourists at the Sun Bay Public Beach on Vieques south coast. From high points in the Destino sector, a large cloud was seen from the explosion that forms part of the Navy’s “clean up” process.

At the January meeting of the Resotation Advisory Board (RAB) that meets periodically with representatives of government agencies and the company (CHM2Hill) in charge of the clean up, the CRDV and the RAB’s community members unanimously demanded the detonations stop. Despite the demands of the community that for over a year has argued for the cessation of the detonations until an adecuate monitoring system can guarantee that military toxics dispersed into the air from the explosions are not getting to the civilian sector of Vieques.

Governor Anibal Acevedo Vilá ordered the President of the PR Environmental Quality Board – during a meeting with Vieques community leaders on 26 January – to inform the Navy that he supports the community’s position. However, today’s detonations indicate a total lack of respect by the Navy toward the Puerto Rican government and/or the lack of vigorous measures on the subject by the Governor.