Rainbow Warrior Tales - Crizel, the Toxic Warrior

Video | 2010-12-20

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

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

Crizel Valencia was born on Clark Air Base, in the Philippines, and was diagnosed with leukemia when she was five, in 1999. She was part of a "cancer cluster" in the area of the abandoned U.S. military 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.