U.S. Crimes Against Guatemala

File this under: U.S. Crimes Against Humanity

No wonder black, brown and red people don't trust U.S. Government researchers. Get this, U.S. scientific researchers infected hundreds of Guatemalan mental patients with sexually transmitted diseases from 1946 to 1948 -- a practice that only came recently to light thanks to the work of an academic researcher.

Professor Susan M. Reverby, a professor of history and women's studies at Wellesley College, discovered the shocking scientific experiments conducted by U.S. scientists in Guatemala while doing research in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Reminding many of the Tuskegee Experiments, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a formal apology to the Central American nation, and to Guatemalan residents of the United States. 

As reported by Cindy Adams at the Examiner.com, on Friday, the United States government apologized for experiments conducted in Guatemala in the 1940s, reminiscent of the Tuskegee study beginning in the 1930s, in which hundreds of African American men with late-stage syphilis were observed, but not treated for the disease. 

Nearly 400 impoverished men were recruited for the study, which took place in Tuskegee, Alabama and lasted until 1972. The men were told they were being treated for having bad blood and were enticed into participating with free medical examinations, free meals, and free burial insurance. Even after penicillin was found to be a cure for the syphilis in the 1940s, researchers failed to treat the Tuskegee participants with the drug.

In the Guatemalan fiasco, U.S. scientists infected prostitutes with syphilis or gonorrhea, who were then told to have unprotected sex with prison inmates and soldiers, later testing them in order to find possible cures.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, Wellesley College Professor Susan M. Reverby found evidence of the secret Guatemalan tests when she was examining papers regarding the Tuskegee study.

"Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health," said Clinton and Sebelius in a joint statement. "We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices."

UPDATE: According to the LA times, Guatemala condemned the experiments and said it would study whether there were grounds to take the case to an international court.

"President Alvaro Colom considers these experiments crimes against humanity and Guatemala reserves the right to denounce them in an international court," said a government statement, which also announced the creation of a commission to investigate the matter.

Guatemalan human rights activists called for the victims' families to be compensated, but a U.S. official said it was not clear whether there would be any compensation.

President Obama called Colom to offer his personal apology for what had happened, a White House spokesman said.

The experiment, which echoed the infamous 1960s Tuskegee study on black American men who were deliberately left untreated for syphilis. More HERE

AAP says:  I'm glad to hear the President Alvaro Colom considers these experiments crimes against humanity and the people of Guatemala. He is right to denounce the US experiments in an international court. The United States government should quickly make sure that the victims' families are compensated.

Read more of my opinions and observations on social and political issues at: African American Pundit


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