Colombia: Iván Duque confirms that the US is investigating possible cases of “Havana syndrome” in Bogotá | International


The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, speaks with the press after the meeting with the president of the World Bank, David Malpass, at the headquarters of the organization in Washington (USA).
The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, speaks with the press after the meeting with the president of the World Bank, David Malpass, at the headquarters of the organization in Washington (USA).Lenin Nolly (EFE)

A week after the visit of the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to Colombia, probable cases of the so-called ‘Havana syndrome’ are registered in the country, the strange ailment that US diplomatic and intelligence personnel have suffered since 2016 in various countries.

From New York, President Iván Duque confirmed that he knows the information about the investigations carried out by the United States embassy in Bogotá, one of the largest in the region. “Of course we have had knowledge of this situation, but I want to let the United States authorities, who are doing their own investigation, because they are dealing with their own personnel, clarify this situation,” Duque told the media. who continue their tour.

According to the newspaper The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the “Havana syndrome hits at least five American families connected to the embassy in Colombia.” The media indicated that “unexplained health incidents” have been registered since mid-September and that other additional “anomalous incidents” were reported in early October. The WSJ It also claims that at least one family of one of the embassy employees was transferred out of Colombia for treatment.

The mysterious ailments also known as sonic attacks would have affected at least “a couple of hundred people” worldwide, according to William Burns, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA investigates these events in Cuba, where the first cases were presented in 2016; Germany, Austria, Russia, China and now in Colombia.

Recently, Vice President Kamala Harris’ tour of Southeast Asia was delayed by a suspected case of this syndrome, the symptoms of which are vertigo, hearing and vision problems, pain and pressure in the head, nausea and the presence of a sound. acute.

At the beginning of this month, President Joe Biden promulgated the Havana Law, to allocate resources and specialized medical attention to members of the diplomatic service and their families who have been “victims of neurological attacks.” The legislation also allows them to pay compensation “due to brain damage suffered as a result of the hostilities.”

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The Colombian embassy in Bogotá has not formally ruled on these cases, in line with its policy of sharing medical information of any official, and it is not known whether the investigations will delay or modify Blinken’s visit, which occurs within the framework of the High-Level Dialogue between the United States and Colombia, scheduled for October 20.

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