Tina Cordova, Co-Founder, Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium

Air Dates: July 11-13, 2020

In Observance of the 75th Anniversary of the First Atomic Bomb Drop at the Trinity Site in N.M. – July 16, 1945

This Week – TINA CORDOVA, Co-Founder

Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium

July 9, 2020 – This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, in a program observing the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb at the Trinity site in New Mexico on July 16, 1945, an explosion that produced more light and heat than the sun, and exposed nearby residents to harmful radioactivity.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders are individuals from central and southern New Mexico residing mostly in Lincoln, Socorro, Otero, and Sierra counties. The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium was started in 2005 by Tina Cordova and Fred Tyler along with other residents of Tularosa to compile data on the cancers and other diseases that plague the communities surrounding the 1945 Trinity Bomb Test, and to seek justice for the survivors and their descendants.

The first atomic weapons test was conducted near Alamogordo, New Mexico, during the Manhattan Project, and given the codename “Trinity.” The test was originally to confirm that the implosion-type nuclear weapon design was feasible and what the effects would be before they were used in combat against Japan. While the test gave results about many of the explosion's effects, it did not give an appreciable understanding of nuclear fallout and its dangerous effects on the ranchers and farmers living in the vicinity of the bomb site.

Although the US government claimed the area was uninhabited, census records show that more than 40,000 people lived near-by. No warning was provided to these residents despite high levels of radiation. To date, however, no one has received medical support or compensation.

The Consortium's primary goal is to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to include the people of New Mexico. $2.3 billion has been paid out in claims so far to people in parts of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona, some living as far away as 238 miles from the Nevada test site, while the people of New Mexico who lived as close as 12 miles have been completely left out.

On July 16, 2020, beginning at 5:20 a.m., there will be an event in Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza to memorialize the75th anniversary of the Trinity Bomb Test. The event will be live-streamed and will include a countdown - much like what took place on July 16, 1945.

People will tell their firsthand stories about how this has affected their families, as well as the reading of names of those Downwinders that have lost their lives to cancer since 1945.

There will be an additional event, starting at 9:00 a.m. Dignitaries such as the Governor, Lt. Governor, all the New Mexico Congressional delegation, and the Mayor of Albuquerque have been invited to participate. All the details will be available on the web site: www.trinitydownwinders.com/