Para ver esta página en español, oprima aquí.

Sanes Commemorated

Bush Committed To Status Solution

DAs Sent To States

New Anti-Terrorist Northern Command Covers P.R.

Pro-Statehood Navy Supporters To Demonstrate

Senate: April 19 ‘Vieques Day Of Solidarity’

Protests Halted

Federal TANF Parity Sought

Third Anniversary Of Sanes’ Death To Be Commemorated

April 18th, 2002
Copyright © 2002
The Associated Press. All rights reserved.  

SAN JUAN (AP) - Pro Rescue and Development of Vieques Committee spokesman Ismael Guadalupe announced that the activities to commemorate the third anniversary of David Sanes’ death are scheduled to begin Friday at dawn with a reveille.

Guadalupe said Thursday that a musical activity will begin at 4:30 a.m. and will be followed by a prayer at the public square at 6 a.m.

According to the Vieques fisherman, the Sanes family will visit the cemetery at 10 a.m., accompanied by a member of the committee.

At noon, bells will ring at the Catholic church, and a mass will be held at 6 p.m., at the family’s request.

Vieques Mayor Damaso Serrano will not be present at these activities as he will be attending an activity organized by the Ponce municipality dubbed "Dawn for the Peace in Vieques."

White House Confirms Commitment To Solve Status Issue

April 18th, 2002
Copyright © 2002
The Associated Press. All rights reserved.  

SAN JUAN (AP) — White House spokeswoman Mercie Viana said the White House continues to be committed to solve the Puerto Rico status issue permanently, while she affirmed that there has not been any efforts from Gov. Sila Calderon’s administration to speed up the decolonization process.

Despite the commitment, Viana told a local newspaper that the White House Working Group for the status issue has met only once, last August, via conference call.

The official said the committee is willing to work with the Unity and Consensus Committee proposed by the governor, although there has not been any effort in that direction.

Calderon admitted last week, in speeches and interviews in New Jersey, that the Commonwealth lacks full autonomous powers.

Justice Secretary Ordered To Send DAs To The States

By Proviana Colon Diaz of WOW News

April 18th, 2002
Copyright © 2002
WOW News. All rights reserved.   

COMERIO — Gov. Sila Calderon ordered the Justice secretary to send a team of assistant district attorneys to the United States mainland to interview witnesses and victims of the tear gas attack by U.S. Navy personnel on protesters in Vieques two weeks ago.

Calderon also ordered Justice Secretary Anabelle Rodriguez to speed up the investigation.

"I asked her (Rodriguez) to transfer her district attorneys to the United States mainland because most of those who were overcome by the gas had already returned to their homes," Calderon said.

Members of the Puerto Rican National Coalition, including President Manuel Mirabal, have already filed a complaint at the FBI Puerto Rico Regional Office against the Navy for violating their civil rights. They also sent a letter to President George W. Bush denouncing the April 6 incident.

The incident involves more than 100 members of the coalition who were overcome by tear gas thrown by members of the Navy into the civilian population for more than 45 minutes outside the Luisa Guadalupe Camp outside Camp Garcia.

The incident, which outraged the island’s population, including the governor, was described by members of the coalition as a "cowardly ambush."

When the attack occurred, coalition members were aboard buses and were about to leave the area. However, the gas thrown affected all those inside the buses.

Mirabal said the gas turned the buses into a gas chamber, in which a great tragedy could have occurred.

New Anti-Terrorist Northern Command Covers P.R.


April 18th, 2002
Copyright © 2002
The Miami Herald. All rights reserved.  

The Pentagon announced Wednesday a broad reorganization that creates a new command to defend the United States against terror attacks and leaves the Southern Command intact and in Miami-Dade County, with responsibility for U.S. military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The centerpiece of the plan is the creation of the Northern Command, to be headed by a four-star general whose mission is to defend the continental United States and to lend military support to civil authorities if another disaster like Sept. 11 occurs.

Northcom will also be responsible for monitoring events in Mexico, Canada and U.S. territory in the Caribbean, and for coordinating security and military issues in those areas.

Southcom will continue to use Puerto Rico as a staging area and base for Southcom's so-called Army and Navy components, although military activities on the island that concern the island will be part of the Northern Command.

Southcom has used U.S. military bases on Puerto Rico since it began moving from Panama to South Florida in 1997.

The U.S. Navy and Pentagon will continue to manage the controversy over the use of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques as a test bombing range.

Pro-Statehood Supporters To Hold Demonstration

April 17th, 2002
Copyright © 2002
The Associated Press. All rights reserved.  

SAN JUAN (AP) — Several pro-statehood organizations will reaffirm their support for the presence of the U.S. Navy in Vieques in an activity to be held Sunday in front of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Ceiba.

New Progressive Party (NPP) Sen. Miriam Ramirez, who leads the mobilization, indicated that the activity will serve to support the military presence in Puerto Rico and support the military maneuvers in Vieques.

It will also serve, according to Ramirez, to let President George W. Bush know that there are people in Puerto Rico who support his "fight against terrorism" and repudiate what she called "the violation of civil rights" against those who support the Navy.

"We want the president to know that we support his decision to fight terrorism, that we want to keep the Buchanan and Roosevelt Roads bases open, and to tell him that there are citizens willing to fight for that cause," the NPP legislator said.

Ramirez added that as part of the activity, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., a document expressing their support will be given to military authorities.

The senator made the announcement at a press conference accompanied by the "Renacer Estadista" group president, Edgar Berrios, who informed that he will be filing complaints against police agents assigned to Vieques.

According to Berrios, the complaints against the police are for "violating the right of assembly and freedom of speech" of the pro-statehood supporters who have tried to hold demonstrations in front of the Navy military camp in Vieques.

April 19 Declared ‘Day Of Solidarity With Vieques’

April 17th, 2002
Copyright © 2002
The Associated Press. All rights reserved.  

SAN JUAN (AP) - A statement declaring April 19 of each year "Dia de la Solidaridad y la Hermandad pro Vieques" (Solidarity and Fraternity with Vieques Day) was approved by the Senate on Wednesday.

A copy of the resolution will be sent to U.S. authorities and international organizations that fight for world peace.

The declaration seeks the inclusion of Vieques, as an example of solidarity, in Puerto Rico’s history, said Sen. Juan Cancel Alegria, author of the statement.

"For Puerto Ricans, April 19 will be a day in which our commitment to peace in every home and our sacrifices for a just cause will be reaffirmed," Cancel Alegria said in a press conference at the Capitol.

The statement also says that the Senate will participate in the act of "Amanecer para Vieques" (Dawn for Vieques), to be held at dawn Friday at the Third Millennium Park in Puerta de Tierra.

Puerto Rico will be asked to watch the sunrise Friday, when the third anniversary of David Sanes’ tragic death is commemorated.

"This date commemorates the tragic death of a Viequense and also Puerto Rico’s commitment to peace in the Isla Nena," the resolution said.

The statement will also be sent to the U.S. president, the United Nations, and the U.S. Navy secretary.

The resolution was approved by the Popular Democratic Party delegation, as well as Puerto Rican Independence Party Sen. Fernando Martin and New Progressive Party Sens. Norma Burgos and Sergio Peña Clos.

Protests Halt During Latest Military Exercises In Vieques

EFE News Service

April 17th, 2002
Copyright © 2002 COMTEX News. All rights reserved.

Vieques , Puerto Rico - The continuing protests against the U.S. Navy's practice bombing maneuvers on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques halted this week during the third round of military exercises.

During the first two weeks of maneuvers, violence broke out when officers stationed at the Garcia Naval Base shot tear gas and pepper spray into the crowd of protestors demonstrating just outside the bombing range.

There were no incidences on Tuesday when the military training began shortly after 10:00 a.m., Sixto Escobar, a U.S. Navy spokesman, told EFE.

However, officers arrested Luis R. Quinones Soto, a 51-year-old economist from Ponce, and Hector Quinones Concepcion, a 63-year-old planner from Arecibo, for entering the restricted area.

Retired teacher and leader of the Pro-Rescue and Development Committee of Vieques Ismael Guadalupe opposed the arrests saying that the fight to get the U.S. Navy to leave the island cannot be measured by the number of arrests.

This week, the majority of Vieques community leaders who are fighting to stop bombing practices were not on the island.

Others are under arrest at the U.S. prison in Puerto Rico .

Since the bombing maneuvers began two weeks ago, 29 people, including several women of whom one is the vice president of the Puerto Rican Independent Party, have been arrested.

Bill Filed For Federal Parity In Temporary Aid

By WOW News staff

April 16th, 2002
Copyright © 2002
WOW News. All rights reserved.  

Washington D.C. – Resident Commissioner Anibal Acevedo Vila presented legislation in Congress on Tuesday for Puerto Rico residents who benefit from the federal program Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) to have access to the same resources that are available for residents of the United States and the District of Columbia.

The bill also includes the Virgin Islands and Guam, whose representatives Donna Christian-Christensen and Robert Underwood, respectively, co-authored the bill.

The resident commissioner explained that the same TANF rules apply to Puerto Rico and the two other jurisdictions but do not provide the same tools for child care, training, and medical assistance that the states and the District of Columbia have.

Acevedo Vila indicated that the bill proposes to allow Puerto Rico access to all available federal funds for child care. Federal funds for two of the four programs are currently available to Puerto Rico and the territories.

"Single parents need the support of child care programs to be able to come out of dependency and achieve adequate employment. If my proposal is approved, Puerto Rico will have access to more options. This new tool means increases of up to $61 million," Acevedo Vila said.

The bill also proposes to include Puerto Rico in the temporary medical assistance program available to stateside TANF beneficiaries in their transition toward the workforce.

"The existent law excludes Puerto Rico from this program, forcing these families to choose between work and having access to adequate medical services for their children," the resident commissioner said.

He also said the bill includes Puerto Rico in the contingency funds program. This program exists to help states in periods of economic stagnation in which unemployment levels rise and families need greater help from the government. Acevedo Vila said Puerto Rico is specifically excluded from this assistance.

Self-Determination Legislation | Puerto Rico Herald Home
Newsstand | Puerto Rico | U.S. Government | Archives
Search | Mailing List | Contact Us | Feedback