MEXICAN LEGISLATORS FROM BORDER STATES PASS RESOLUTION TO CALL ON CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR GRAY DAVIS TO STOP THE PROPOSED WARD VALLEY NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP January 30, 1999 Tijuana, Mexico -- Legislators from Mexican border states meeting at the "Primer Encuentro De Legislaturas De La Frontera Norte" (First Meeting of Legislators of the Northern Frontier) in Tijuana passed a strongly worded resolution against the proposed nuclear waste dump at Ward Valley, California. Legislators from the five borders states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and Tamaulipas passed the resolution, introduced by State Deputy Alma Gomez of Chihuahua, which calls upon California Governor Gray Davis to stop the controversial dump project. Last week state and federal representatives from Mexico's major political parties met with leaders from the Fort Mojave and Colorado River Indian Tribes and environmental activists who expressed their concerns about the proposed nuclear waste dump and the threat to the Colorado River and sacred Indian lands. In preparation for Governor Davis' trip to Mexico City next week, Federal Deputy Carlos Camacho from the state of Chihuahua announced that he will lead a delegation of legislative representatives to meet with Davis to discuss Mexican opposition to the Ward Valley dump. Despite claims by Governor Davis that he seeks to improve relations with Mexico and protect the environment, the new governor has remained silent on the dump issue since taking office. Native American tribes along with environmental, indigenous rights, scientists and labor organizations have called upon Governor Davis to stop the dump. The resolution will add to the pressure on the Governor to take action. For the last decade, the nuclear power industry in the United States has been attempting to bury long-lasting and highly-dangerous radioactive wastes, mostly from nuclear power reactors, in shallow, unlined trenches above an aquifer, eighteen miles from the Colorado River, in critical habitat for the endangered desert tortoise and on land considered sacred aboriginal territory by the five Colorado River Indian tribes. Scientists have warned that nuclear wastes buried at Ward Valley could contaminate the Colorado River, source of water for 22 million people in California, Arizona and Mexico. Just like the recently defeated Sierra Blanca, Texas, nuclear waste dump, the proposed Ward Valley project threatens the people and environment of the border region and represents a dangerous trend of toxic and nuclear waste facilities situated or proposed for the area along the United States and Mexican frontier. "Ward Valley and the Colorado River have profound cultural and religious significance to our people who have lived along the river since time immemorial. We believe that the proposed dump is an act of environmental injustice against our people, our livelihood and our culture," said Nora Helton, Chairwoman of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe.