30 Jul 2010

Guam people to continue speaking out on unresolved issues over US troop build-up

3:32 pm on 30 July 2010

In Guam, there remain unresolved issues over the US military's final Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, regarding the troop build-up in the territory.

The US military has released the report for the planned transferral from Japan of over 8-thousand Marines and 9,000 of their dependents by 2014.

Responding to last year's draft EIS, thousands of local people voiced a wide range of concerns about the strain on Guam's society, infrastructure and natural environment from the build-up.

Professor Victoria Leon-Guerrero of the University of Guam has been closely reviewing the statement and says aspects like the military's selection of Pagat cliff as the location for a firing range are not acceptable.

"People were very clear that we didn't want that as the firing range. So I think if the community continues to unite around the issue, we can stop it. The big issue here too is that the people of Guam have not had any consent, that the US is acting in its role as a colonial power. This build-up is preceding despite people's concerns."