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Tularosa Downwinders working to get to DC, testify for compensation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Residents of one New Mexico town are urging Washington to help them with radioactive problems that they say have persisted through generations.

It's been decades since the world's first nuclear bomb was detonated at White Sands Missile Range, but residents at the nearby town of Tularosa say the fallout left them with rare forms of cancer.

On Sunday, the Tularosa Basin Downwinders raised money in Albuquerque via a jazz benefit concern for members to travel to the nation's capital and testify about the effects of the Trinity Test. Their hope – to receive similar compensation that others are getting.

"There has been a fund in place since 1990. So for 28 years it compensates people downwind of the Nevada test site, and that fund has paid out $2.2 billion for people who lived around the Nevada test site," said Tina Cordova of the Tularosa Downwinders. "But New Mexico has always been excluded."

The group says they never even knew the test involved a nuclear bomb until after World War II ended.

Cordova added that compensation isn't the only thing the group is searching for.

"Maybe the most important thing is that these people also get a healthcare coverage card that entitles them to the very best healthcare in any place in the world without copayments or deductibles or limitations," she said. "We just want the same treatment."

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