New Mexico Public Health Association Recognizes Trinity Downwinders and Events at White Sands Gates

Please join the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium at two White Sands Missile Range entrances during the Trinity Site open house on Saturday, April 7th to support those who have been negatively affected by radiation exposure from the first plutonium atomic weapon test there on July 16, 1945.  The Army opens the Trinity Site twice a year for people from around the world to visit the radioactively contaminated site.

Beginning at 7:30 am, the Downwinders will gather at the Tularosa Gate, located on the Tulie Gate Road, west of the Tularosa High School, for a one-hour peaceful demonstration.  Beginning at 9 am, the Downwinders will gather at the Stallion Range Station, east of San Antonio on Highway 380, for a three-hour peaceful demonstration.  Please bring your own water, snacks, chair, hat, and a poster or sign.

Tina Cordova, a co-founder of the Downwinders, explained the goal of the peaceful demonstrations is “to educate people about what it has meant to be a downwinder [and] basically tell the other part of the story since all people have ever heard is about the science and industry.”

The Downwinders will provide information about the harm done to the People living downwind of the Trinity Site and their efforts to ensure that the Trinity Downwinders are included in the proposed amendments to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA).  In 1990, Congress passed RECA to provide medical care and compensation to those living downwind of the Nevada Test Site, another location used for testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere.  RECA was amended in 2000.  The Trinity Downwinders have never been included even though over $2.2 billion has been paid in claims.

Cordova said, “Seventy-three years have passed.  Now is the time for the U.S. Government to recognize those who were unknowing, unwilling, uncompensated, innocent participants in the world’s largest science experiment, who have been suffering in silence ever since the bomb was detonated.  Our organization is revealing the rest of the story and the People are being made aware of the complete legacy of Trinity.”

In recognition of this work, the New Mexico Public Health Association will award the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium with the Phil Lynch Legislative Award on Thursday, April 5th at their 101st Annual Meeting in Albuquerque.  The Phil Lynch Legislative Award recognizes policy makers who actively work with communities to improve the health of the public.  Associate New Mexico State University Professor Cynthia Kratzke, who volunteers with the Downwinders, nominated them “for their outstanding advocacy efforts.”

For more information, please contact Tina Cordova at 505-897-6787.  For information about the Tulie Gate gathering, please contact Kathy Tyler at 575-585-2896.  For information about the Stallion Range Gate gathering, please contact Louisa Lopez at 575-835-8146.


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