Friday, October 1, 2010

Why the US Is Distrusted in Latin America

This is an ugly story:
U.S. government medical researchers intentionally infected hundreds of people in Guatemala, including institutionalized mental patients, with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or permission more than 60 years ago.

Many of those infected were encouraged to pass the infection onto others as part of the study.

About one third of those who were infected never got adequate treatment.
Of course, another reason is that irresponsible leaders with ulterior motives benefit from the US being perceived as a monster:
Venezuela VP falsely claims US behind coup attempt in Ecuador. Venezuela is playing politics rather than helping Ecuador's president.


The Mex Files said...

Actually, the Venezuelan VPs remarks may not be far off the mark... as more is learned, the more it appears it was CIA trained police officers who attempted the coup. More importantly, it's not just "lefties" saying this, but just about every commentator in Latin America.

pc said...

Everyone in LA is saying the US was behind the coup? That's not been my experience perusing the internet. Whether or not there was training by US forces, that's a pretty low bar for saying the US was behind it, because the US trains all sorts of security forces across the continent. Indeed, I read that the special forces that rescued Correa trained with the US military. For the US to be behind it in any meaningful way, you'd need to have someone from Washington actually pulling the rebellious cops' strings, so as to achieve some policy goal. I don't think anyone's saying that is what happened. Perhaps as more is uncovered, though I doubt it.