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Proposed Radar System Protested

Sun., March 16, 1997

About 1,500 gathered to protest a proposed U.S. Navy radar system, seen as the Clinton administration’s latest weapon in the war on drugs.

Environmentalists, union members, local politicians and residents marched Saturday in this town, about 40 miles southwest of San Juan, waving signs reading “Say No To The Navy” and “We Don’t Want The Radar.”

Some opponents of the radar see it as a symbol of further militarization of Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, while others see it as an environmental and public health threat.

Juana Diaz is home to the Fort Allen army base, where the radar’s receiver would be stationed.

Puerto Rico’s Environmental Quality Board heard comments Saturday from a number of supporters and opponents of the radar, which would track low-flying aircraft and boats. A second hearing is scheduled for Sunday.

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