Nilda Medina-Diaz – Puerto Rico

Linked with the Restoration Advisory Board RAB.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Nilda Medina Diaz has dedicated her life to the demilitarization of Vieques. This tiny (21 miles by 3 miles) Puerto Rican island was used by the U.S. Navy for military exercise and weapons training and testing for 63 years. Largely because of the work of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, co-founded by Nilda, the U.S. closed its bases in 2003. In addition to coordinating the movement’s civil-disobedience-organizational center, Nilda continues to play a crucial role in the post-Navy struggle to ensure that her community is informed and involved in their homeland’s environmental cleanup … (1000PeaceWomen).

She says: “The Navy is not leaving because it wants to, but because the people have forced them out”.

She is also mentionned als Political Heroe.

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Nilda Medina-Diaz – Puerto Rico

She works for the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, for the Restoration Advisory Board, and for the Military Toxics Project.

On the morning of Dec. 21, 2000 Nilda and other members of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, placed themselves in front of huge Navy tractors to block yet another military action. Riot police arriving at the scene were well equipped with dogs, pepper spray, and handcuffs. But when a large group of community members joined the protesters, the police withdrew. Such scenes as these were common in the battles Nilda fought with and for the citizens of Vieques. Leading the struggle for “the four D’s” (demilitarization, decontamination, devolution and development) members of the Committee often put themselves in harm’s way.

Born in 1950 in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, Nilda is the youngest of five children. As a student at the University of Puerto Rico, she began organizing for labor rights and was regional coordinator for the Puerto Rican Socialist Party during the 1970s. Armed with a certificate to teach science – and fierce determination – she moved to Vieques in1980.

Her work has not ended with the withdrawal of the U.S. military.

As a member of the Restoration Advisory Board, she reviews and reports on military clean-up efforts. She organizes community forums to discuss the clean-up, independent expert evaluation of its progress, activities for teen mothers, and leadership opportunities for the local youth organization. She helps to resolve transportation issues for families with loved ones in the hospital or in prison, and arranges legal representation for Viequenses who have been arrested by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for using ex-military lands for community functions. She is a coordinator of “Radio Vieques,” a weekly radio program – a vital service for a community that has no newspaper. To help similar communities dealing with problems left by military bases, Nilda serves on the Board of the Military Toxics Project.

Many problems remain in Vieques. The land has not been returned to the people of Puerto Rico; rather, it has been transferred to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, in order to assess environmental damages. So far, the U.S. has allocated only a small portion of the money needed for cleanup … (1000PeaceWomen).

Navy Bombs Kill Man in Puerto Rico
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Nilda is one of 1000 women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, and has dedicated her life to the demilitarization of Vieques. This tiny Puerto Rican island was used by the U.S. Navy for military exercises and weapons training and testing for 63 years. Largely through the work of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, co-founded by Nilda, the U.S. closed its bases in 2003. In addition to coordinating the movement’s civil disobedience organizational center, Nilda continues to play a crucial role in the post-Navy struggle to ensure that her community is informed and involved in their homeland’s environmental cleanup. (vermont says no to war).

Military Toxics Map.

… According to the web site 1000peacewomen.org, “Nilda Medina-Diaz has dedicated her life to the demilitarization of Vieques, a tiny Puerto Rican island that was used by the U.S. Navy for military exercises and weapons training and testing for 63 years. Largely through the work of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, the United States closed its bases in 2003. In addition to coordinating the movement’s civil disobedience organizational center, Nilda continues to play a crucial role in the post-Navy struggle to ensure that her community is informed and involved in their homeland’s environmental cleanup” … (full text).

links:

Vermont says no to war;

Comité Pro Rescate y Desarrollo de Vieques;

Addendum 1 to the final environmental remedial investigation … ;

Peace and Justice Camp, at the entrance to the Navy base in Vieques, Camp García;

African colleges merge onto Internet fast lane;

Peaceful Boricuas;

Peace and Justice News.

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