On July 16th, 1945 the first nuclear weapon was tested in New Mexico. Trinity was the named given to the site of the first nuclear explosion. On this day, tens of thousands of people near the explosion were exposed to very high levels of radiation. The nuclear test has resulted in the people surrounding the Trinity site to have a 6-8 times higher chance of getting cancer than the national average, according to Tina Cordova.
Tina is an activist and group organizer with The Tularosa Downwinders Basin Consortium. This grassroots organization is fighting for recognition that they were the first ever downwinders of a nuclear explosion. The US Government must acknowledge the fact that there were many surrounding communities near where the nuclear test took place. Tina wants them to come forward and talk with these communities about the problems that came with the nuclear test. It is important for the truth to come out and allow for a healing process to start.
Restorative justice is an important step to Tina because it will open up discussions between those affected and those who can help such as elected officials who can amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (see page on menu bar for additional information regarding RECA.)
Tina and others are working on a health assessment to change legislation and make RECA funds available to affected people and families in areas surrounding the Trinity site. The town of Tularosa, NM holds a candlelight vigil every year on July 16th to remember and honor those who have had to live and suffer with this nuclear legacy.
If you live in these areas or would simply like to help change legislation, please contact either Tina Cordova or Kathy Tyler.
o Tina Cordova
o Kathy Tyler