Politicians in Fuerteventura this week denounced the Ministry of Defence for preparing to carry out new large scale manoeuvres by military personnel on the coast of the Municipality of Pajara on the beach of Matas Blancas after 16 years.
In 2002, after the NEOTAPON manoeuvres, which took place in this area, caused a massacre of whales and dolphins, and protests by local residents at that time forced the Ministry of Defence to stop carrying out military exercises on the coast of Fuerteventura. This agreement has been maintained for the last 16 years, although the Government of Spain has always refused to officially sign an agreement about this.
According to local sources in Pajara, beach users have reported the presence of military personnel who have been making beacons in the area on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, which points to an area that could be used to land soldiers and materials on the coast. Other leaked sources suggest that military exercises could take place in October and November.
Over the past week, swimmers and others exercising on the beach have been forcibly removed, and told that there was restricted use of this coastal area.
Local activists are now claiming that they have sufficient social and scientific evidence that demonstrate the damage that would be caused by restarting military exercises on the coastline of Fuerteventura. Local residents now wait to learn what will happen next.
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