Guatemalan Authorities OKed Illegal U.S. Experiments

Guatemalan Authorities OKed Illegal U.S. ExperimentsGuatemala, Oct 15. -Guatemalan health authorities approved the illegal U.S. experiments carried out on Guatemalans in the 1940s, according to reports disclosed Thursday.

A report by the U.S. Public Health Service refers to an alleged agreement between high-ranking Guatemalan physicians and the former Pan-American Health Office, a new disclosure in the case.

The supposed agreement gave the green light for studies involving infecting people with venereal diseases, designed by the team of U.S. doctor John Cutler, set as a condition for opening up a research lab in Guatemala, according to the newspaper Prensa Libre.

The alleged objective was to probe the effectiveness of medicines such as penicillin to treat those diseases, as part of a project scientifically and technically directed by the U.S. Venereal Disease Research Lab.

Though some professionals supported the study on humans, the majority of the local scientific community did not know about it, the daily noted.

According to the report, Cutler first infected prostitutes as a way of infecting his study subjects, but the results were poor, so he began directly infecting his subjects without informing them or asking for their consent.

Guatemalan society reacted with great indignation at the disclosure of the story a couple of weeks ago, when the government announced an apology from the U.S. administration, signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

U.S. President Barack Obama also conveyed his apologies to President Alvaro Colom in a phone call, but the Guatemalan president called the incident a crime against humanity and demanded a thorough investigation. (Prensa Latina)