Crizel, the Toxic Warrior

Video | 21 December, 2010

In 1991, after the eruption of mount Pinatubo, the Philippines government rejected a proposal to extend the 90 year old U.S. bases agreement. The U.S. abandoned their military bases in the Philippines, leaving behind them a toxic legacy.

The volcanic disaster combined with typhoon Yunya made thousands of people homeless, and they found refuge in camps on the ex-military grounds. They didn't know that the water they were drinking and the ground they were walking on was contaminated.

Crizel Valencia was diagnosed with Leukemia in 1999. She was part of a "cancer cluster" in the area of the ex U.S. bases where she was born and lived. Her disease was consistent with symptoms of people exposed to persistent organic pollutants that were found contaminating the ground and water.
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