April 16 2015 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

16 years later, ‘Paz Para Vieques’ still teaches powerful lesson

Sunday, April 19th marks the 16th anniversary of the training accident that sparked our Navy’s worst defeat since Pearl Harbor.

Soaring over the eastern tip of Vieques Island, off Puerto Rico’s coast, a Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet dropped two 500-pound bombs near the hillside observation post over a mile from the target range, killing a local civilian guard named David Sanes Rodriguez.  The “Paz Para Vieques,” a.k.a. Peace for Vieques movement was born.  By 2003, the Navy was evicted from its Atlantic Fleet training facility and the following year pulled out of Puerto Rico entirely.

As the Navy’s senior spokesman in Puerto Rico from 1999-2001, based across the strait at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, I had a ringside seat to see how it unfolded.  … (more…)

March 31 2015 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

Iranian terrorist network could use Latin American traffickers against U.S., military warns

A senior U.S. military official has once again expressed concern from Washington that Iranian-backed terrorists groups are operating throughout Latin America and working with drug trafficking groups.

Speaking to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee last week, Lieutenant General Ken Tovo – the deputy commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) – told lawmakers that he was concerned about “the financial and operational overlap between criminal and terrorist networks” in Latin America.

“While there is not yet any indication that the criminal networks involved in human- and drug-trafficking are interested in supporting the efforts of terrorist groups, these networks could unwittingly, or even wittingly, facilitate the movement of terrorist operatives or weapons of mass destruction toward our borders, potentially undetected and almost completely unrestricted,” Tovo said in his testimony to Congress…. (more…)