1998 NCC News Archives

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NEWS CONFERENCE 11 A.M. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16,
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO

NCC GIVES 1998 "MAURICIO AMILCAR LOPEZ" HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD
TO PEOPLE OF VIEQUES, PUERTO RICO FOR STRUGGLE AGAINST U.S. NAVY

 
Place: The Bar Association, 808 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Santurce, Puerto Rico (San Juan area)
With: Dr. Carlos Reina, former President of Honduras and current President of the Central American Parliament (probable)

The Rev. Oscar Bolioli, Director, Latin America and the Caribbean Office, National Council of Churches (NCC)

Bishop Rafael Malpica Padilla, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and Chair of the NCC’s Committee on the Caribbean and Latin America

Bishop David Alvarez, Episcopal Church (Puerto Rico)

Bishop Francisco Sosa, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Caribbean Synod

Bishop Juan Vera Mendez, United Methodist Church (Puerto Rico)

Background: Four people who are symbols of the struggle in Vieques against U.S. Navy occupation will be honored with an annual award given by the National Council of Churches (NCC) to people carrying out exceptional work for justice in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 1940, the U.S. Navy has carried out military exercises and test shellings on Vieques, occupying up to 26,000 of the island’s 33,000 acres. Local fishermen’s, women’s and development groups have organized against the U.S. Navy’s occupation because it has disrupted the local fishing industry.
Other events: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m.: Worship Service at the Episcopal Cathedral, Santurce. A broad sector of Puerto Rican society has been invited, including human rights and church groups.

Thursday, Dec. 17, 10 a.m.: Awards Ceremony, Fuerte Conde de Mirasol Museum, Vieques

Participants include: Award recipients Ismael Guadalupe, Rescue and Dvelopment Committee for Vieques; Carlos Zenon, former President, Fishermens’ Association; Carlos Ventura, Vieques Fishermens’ Rights Committee; Luz Delia Tirado, Vieques Women’s Sector (Posthumous Award); Local bishops; Rev. Felix Ortiz, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Attorney Noemi Espinoza, Vice-Chair of CCLA, and Dr. Rodney Page, Executive Director of Church World Service for the NCC.

Contact: NCC News Department

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