About the TBDC
The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium was started in 2005 by Tina Cordova and the late Fred Tyler along with other residents of Tularosa to compile data on the cancers and other diseases that plague the communities surrounding the Trinity Test on July 16, 1945.
RECA and Our Cause
Between 1945 and 1962, 200 atmospheric tests were conducted by the United States. In order to conduct these tests, thousands of uranium miners were employed to provide the necessary elements for the testing. Thousands of people were also affected living downwind of the test sites. Lawsuits were filed against the United States due to the lack of warning of the hazards associated with radiation exposure. The lawsuits were unsuccessful in providing restitution to the people harmed, so Congress working in a bipartisan fashion to pass a bill that would provide partial restitution to those harmed.
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, also known as RECA, was passed on October 5th, 1990. It provides partial restitution to a very few downwind counties in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. RECA covers pre-1971 uranium miners/workers in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, South Dakota, Washington, Utah, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, and Texas. It also covers on-site participants. There are eligibility requirements that must be met in order for people to qualify for the restitution provided through RECA.
Downwinders in other states such as New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and Guam and the remaining parts of Nevada, Arizona and Utah have been completely left out and have not been considered for restitution. Post-1971 uranium miners/workers have not been included, either.
New Mexico is the site of the first above-ground atomic bomb test, which occurred on July 16, 1945. Since then, New Mexicans have been plagued with illnesses and cancers due to their over-exposure to radiation. The communities that have been impacted the most are rural, and many people can’t afford to pay for the treatments, medications, surgeries, co-pays, hotel stays, gas, and other costs that are involved in treating illness and cancer.
The goal of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) is to amend RECA so that those that need the assistance will receive it. New Mexico was the first state to have an atomic test, and the citizens have not been acknowledged, apologized to, or cared for. Far too many people have become ill and are succumbing to their illnesses. How many people have to die before the United States pays attention and makes it right?
To learn more about what you can do to support our cause, please visit our How to Help page.
Meet our Steering Committee
Tina Cordova is a seventh generation native New Mexican born and raised in the
small town of Tularosa in south central New Mexico. In 2005 Tina co-founded the
Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) with the late Fred Tyler.
The mission of the TBDC is to bring attention to the negative health effects
suffered by the unknowing, unwilling, uncompensated, innocent victims of the
first nuclear blast on earth that took place at the Trinity site in South Central New
Mexico. Ultimately, the goal is the passage of the Radiation Exposure
Compensation Act Amendments to bring much needed health care coverage and
partial restitution to the People of New Mexico who have sacrificed and suffered
with the negative health effects of overexposure to radiation since 1945. Tina is a cancer survivor having been diagnosed with Thyroid cancer when she was 39
In her role as an advocate on behalf of the TBDC she has testified before the US
Senate judiciary Committee, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the
House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Tina has also been a guest lecturer/speaker at the University of New Mexico, New
Mexico Highlands University, Colorado College and at events all over the State of
New Mexico communicating the history of the New Mexico Downwinders.
Throughout 2020, Tina was invited to participate in webinars all over the world as people reflected on the 75th Anniversary of the Trinity Test.
Tina has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree from New Mexico Highlands University where she majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry. She is the Co-Owner and President of Queston Roofing and Construction that she founded in 1990 with her partner Russ Steward. Tina has served as a past Chair of the Board of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Past President of the New Mexico 8(a) and Minority Business Association, Pat President of the
New Mexico Roofing Contractors Association and as the past Vice President of the New Mexico Highlands University Foundation, her Alma Mater. The Con Alma
Health Foundation of New Mexico recognized Tina as the “Hero of Health” for 2022 for her work on behalf of the Downwinders and uranium workers of New
Mexico and beyond.
Tina has a son David who works with her at Queston and two grandsons
Demetrius and Marcus. Tina enjoys spending her free time participating in
outdoor recreation such as hiking, fishing, hunting and swimming.
The Reverend Dr. Holly Beaumont is the Organizing Director of Interfaith Worker Justice-New Mexico, a statewide network of People of Faith and People of conscience who advocate for economic justice and worker’s rights. She has lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico for over 35 years.
Rev. Beaumont began her work to address the nuclear weapons industry as Legislative Advocate for the New Mexico Conference of Churches. She served with Las Mujeres Hablan, a coalition of indigenous and Hispanic women activists in Northern New Mexico, who played a pivotal role in the successful 2008 campaign to limit pit production at LANL (nuclear weapon triggers) from 450 to 20 per year. Las Mujeres Hablan was recognized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative (an organization of women recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize). Members of Las Mujeres Hablan are named and acknowledged in the Introduction of LAHDRA (Los Alamos Historical Document Retrieval and Assessment).
Rev. Beaumont has served on the steering committee of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) for over eight years. The mission of TBDC is to expand and extend RECA (Radiation Exposure Compensation Act) to finally include New Mexico, now over 75 years since the detonation of the first nuclear weapon in history called Trinity.
Rev. Beaumont is responsible for producing and circulating the TBDC newsletter.
Livia Cordova is niece of Tina Cordova and has been a participant of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) since it was founded. She became a member of the steering committee in 2018.
She was not born yet when Tina battled and won against thyroid cancer, but she did witness other family members' suffering and eventual deaths from cancers. At a young age, she realized the importance and the urgency of amending the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.
Tina and Livia Cordova are the only two people that have read every health survey that the TBDC has received. Livia records these surveys and documents the family histories and testimonials that are often submitted with them.
Livia has an Associate's degree in Psychology, along with two other degrees, a certificate, and a certificate in Health, Wellness and Public Safety.
She now attends New Mexico Highlands University in pursuit of a Master's degree in Forestry.
Livia enjoys spending time outside and participating in recreational sports. Art is another passion for her. Pyrography and acrylic pouring are her favorite art types to practice.
Mary is native to New Mexico and was raised in Tularosa. Hercareer has been spent in New Mexico, primarily in the Judiciary, as well as County and State Governments and she has a Master of Business Administration from New Mexico State University. She served two terms as Doña Ana County Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer for the Third Judicial District Court, and Chief Executive Officer for the Seventh Judicial District Court. She has also served as a Grant Administrator for the Southcentral Council of Governments and retired from the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts as the Statewide Magistrate DWI Drug Court Coordinator. Mary serves on the boards of Community Service Corps, Community Action Agency, KTAL Radio, La Clinica de Familia, and the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium. She is a member of the League of Women Voters of Southern New Mexico, Resilience Leaders and the LC3 Behavioral Health Collaborative.
Bernice was born in Carrizozo, New Mexico eight days before the testing of the atomic bomb at the While Sands Missile Range on July 16, 1945. The small community of Carrizozo is approximately 35 miles from the Trinity Site. Two years after her birth, her family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. She became interested in the TBDC after seeing the co-founder, Tina Cordova, on the television news speaking about the effects that the radiation exposure from the testing of the first atomic bomb had on its residents. Her interest was piqued because of the many cases of cancer her immediate family was experiencing and after her endocrinologist asked if her family had ever been exposed to radiation after reading her medical history.
Bernice has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice and a minor in Spanish from the University of New Mexico. She worked as an adult Probation/Parole Officer, paralegal/health rights advocate, and social worker before retiring from the State of New Mexico.
She enjoys traveling to new places, reading and socializing with her friends.
Paul was born at his aunt’s home in Tularosa, New Mexico in 1954 and was raised on the Pino family ranch near Carrizozo. He volunteered for the army during the Vietnam War immediately after graduating from high school and turning 18. Paul started working with New Mexico Downwinders after he attended a presentation by the TBDC at the Peace and Justice Center in Albuquerque with three of his grandchildren. He was stunned by the evidence of radiation contamination in his hometown of Carrizozo following the world’s first test of an atomic bomb only 33 miles away. His young grandchildren were moved to tears by fear and sadness. Paul’s brother and mother died of cancer, one sister has survived thyroid cancer and one sister has survived benign brain tumors twice. Paul’s daughter has been treated for skin cancer.
Paul has a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology with a concentration in special education and a Master’s Degree in teaching and public school administration. Paul has been a mental health worker at the NM Children’s Hospital, a public school teacher, head teacher, a principal and a substitute teacher in Albuquerque Public Schools.
Currently Paul loves spending time with family, including his wife Linda, brothers and sisters, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Paul also keeps busy with his band, Paul Pino and The Tone Daddies and enjoys writing songs and providing music for people of all ages. More information is available at www.paulpino.com.