originally published at: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/9/2/headlines/guatemala_tests_survivors_relatives_of_us_medical_experiments

Guatemala Tests Survivors, Relatives of U.S. Medical Experiments

Guatemala has launched a new search for victims of U.S. medical experiments in the 1940s following the emergence of gruesome new details earlier this week. Under the experiments, U.S. medical officials intentionally infected Guatemalan sex workers, prisoners, soldiers and mental patients with syphilis in order to study the effects of penicillin. A White House commission has found nearly 5,500 Guatemalans were subjected to diagnostic testing — without their consent — and more than 1,300 were exposed to venereal diseases by contact or inoculations. At least 83 died over the course of the experiments. Guatemalan Vice President Rafael Espada said victims and their families are now undergoing tests toward claims for compensation.

Rafael Espada: "Up to now, we have found five people alive who underwent these experiments, and we are transporting them and their families here so they can undergo blood tests and a clinical evaluation. Naturally, they are survivors and are all upwards of 80 and 84 years old. But we want to see if they or their families have suffered any consequences."