US experiments in Guatemala which deliberately infected thousands of Guatemalans with sexually transmitted diseases constitute crimes against humanity, a law expert says.
“US Department of Defense [was] a component, because the purpose of this [study] was to develop penicillin and prophylaxis for US soldiers’ kits,” Alfred Lambremont Webre, a war crimes lawyer, told Press TV on Tuesday.
Since it was a military project, “I think it qualifies as crimes against humanity,” Lambremont Webre added.
Between 1946 and 1948, American researchers intentionally infected some 1,500 Guatemalan prisoners, institutionalized mental patients and sex workers with sexually transmitted diseases including Syphilis and Gonorrhea, without their consent or knowledge.
Guatemala’s government formed a committee to investigate the experiment, the scientists who conducted the study, individuals informed about it and the victims.
Evidence of the experiments was uncovered by Susan M. Reverby, a professor of history and women’s studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, who posted the information on her website.
Reverby discovered the evidence in the University of Pittsburgh archives which detailed the Guatemalan experiments conducted by the US Public Health Service, National Institute for Health and the Pan-American Health Sanitary Bureau (now the Pan-American Health Organization) in cooperation with the Guatemalan government.
The US government confessed to carrying out the appalling study in Guatemala, and US President Barack Obama apologized to his Guatemalan counterpart Alvaro Colom for the experiment.