The opening of Camp Blaz, a U.S. Marine Corps facility in Guam, this past January is the latest example of how the United States’ unchecked militarism in the Pacific and how it hurts the Indigenous Chamorro people of Guam. Guam's status as an unincorporated territory of the United States permits its inhabitants limited political representation, with little to no control over military activities directly impacting their lives. This imbalance of power perpetuates a colonial relationship that is incompatible with the principles of democracy and human rights. This 4,000-acre military installation will house 5,000 Marines, which would represent 3% of the island’s current population.
Congress has a moral obligation to address this injustice by advocating for greater autonomy and decision-making power for the people of Guam, recognizing and respecting the sovereignty and self-determination of the Chamorro people, and limiting the military expansion that threatens their way of life.