Earlier reports said hundreds of Guatemalans were victims of horrifying US experiments involving STDs; in fact, the number of people infected during the 1940s study may be closer to 2,500, Guatemalan medical authorities say. A US report this week said that around 1,300 were deliberately infected with STDs without their consent. But a Guatemalan commission working on its own report thinks the number could be nearly twice that amount, and found that some Guatemalan officials were in on the effort.
At least nine Guatemalan doctors collaborated in the experiment, the commission found; its final report is set for release next month. The experiment occurred while the US was “judging the German doctors who had been experimenting with typhus and malaria on prisoners of war. The Nazis used Poles, Russians, and Jews, while the Americans made almost the same use of Guatemalans,” said a member of the Guatemalan commission. Excruciating details of the experiments emerged earlier this week; the US faces a lawsuit in the matter. (Read more Guatemala stories.)