Saturday, April 2, 2011

107 years of human experimentation in Puerto Rico

The following is translated from spanish. Original article can be found at
By  Marta Villaizán Montalvo, Saturday, Apr. 02, 2011

When will the U.S. he apologize to the Puerto Ricans?

The international press, on Wednesday, released news that a team of lawyers had filed suit against the United States for medical experiments conducted in Guatemala in which dozens of people were infected with syphilis in the 1940's.

With titles such as "human guinea pigs", "The dark history of medical experimentation" and even "The experiment of the devil", some of the reviews covered the front pages of newspapers from China to Patagonia.

Meanwhile, here in Puerto Rico, two major newspapers on the island spent barely 5 lines copied from the EFE News Agency.

But no one should be surprised.

The lack of interest from the media in Puerto Rico, on the discussion and analysis of the issue of human experimentation, is the result of the good job of disinformation on the use of Puerto Ricans as guinea pigs made by the United States government for over 100 years.

In Puerto Rico, the first experiment was conducted in 1904 (California State Journal of Medicine, November, 1905, p. 341), and the most recent was held TODAY. For 107 years, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans have been used for the most degrading and criminal experiments that anyone can imagine. From studying of our physiological characteristics due to being considered incapable, ("unfit"), through experimentation with radiation, insects, diseases, vaccines, chemical and biological weapons, among others,  we have been, to this day, pharmaceutical industry favorites with a total of 1.158 human experiments cited in the official page of The National Institute of Health, Clinical

Declassified documents and journals, available on the Internet, document the criminal history of the United States in Puerto Rico. Even so, (although it is absurd), almost 90% of our population "treasures belonging to" the nation that tortures us.

And the denial of that torture, I know for a fact ...

During May 2007, I decided to publish an article investigating the use of 2,000 Puerto Rican soldiers, in World War II, to observe the toxic effects of mustard gas on human skin. (See article in Spanish: El uso de los soldados puertorriqueños en la segunda guerra mundial)

As usual, I sent a copy of the article to a dear friend, a journalist, for a preliminary assessment. Then, in turn, he shared it with a friend, then a senior military official. The response was immediate: Ah, p*# boy, don't publish this information. Plus ..., all these people are already dead.

Needless to say, my friend published the article. "Let's see if gas strips," he told me.

The Guatemalan case, which this week has been circulated around the world, came into the international press in October 2010. At that time and in an act of contrition, Mrs. Hillary Clinton said she was "outraged" by the simple fact that such a project was sponsored by the public health system in the United States.

"The study conducted in Guatemala, to inoculate STD's, clearly lacked ethics," said Clinton. "We deeply regret that this happened and we apologize to all those who were affected by such an abhorrent practice," she concluded.

After 107 years of human experimentation in Puerto Rico, when will the United States apologize to Puerto Ricans?

I leave it on the table.

Marta Villaizán Montalvo,


  1. I'm Puerto Rican and I knew there were experiments in the past (my father had told me) but I never knew the extent of it. I'm speechless!

  2. And so was I when I initially learned of the same......then I began to write. Thank you.

  3. While one should never be suprised by the complete disregard for the lives of our people or any other people of color, one should however use this information to reflect on their own political views in light of information when it is given to us. One should see clearly, why it is in the best interest of the U.S. Government to keep us a colony.