Havana Syndrome: Colombia to leave investigation to US

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Oct 13, 2021, 05:10 PM(IST)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The so called 'Havana Syndrome' is a mysterious condition that is affecting US diplomats across the world. Cases in Colombia are latest in a long series of cases

Colombia said on Tuesday that it was aware of so-called 'Havana Syndrome' cases at US Embassy in country's capital Bogota but was leaving the investigation to Washington.

"Of course we have knowledge of this situation but I want to leave it to the US authorities, who are doing their own investigation, because it is about their own personnel," said Colombian President Ivan Duque to reporters in New York.

At least five US families associated with the embassy in Colombia have come down with symptoms associated with the mysterious affliction, which include headaches, nausea and possible brain damage, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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The cases in Colombia are latest in the series of instances of 'Havana syndrome' experienced by US diplomats in many countries of the world. The cases were seen first in Cuba then in China, Germany, Australia, Taiwan and the US capital.

US President Joe Biden on Friday signed a law providing financial support for victims of the mysterious illness.

The Havana Act provides financial compensation for members of the State Department and CIA who suffer brain injury from what officials suspect may be directed microwave attacks.

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The cause of the illnesses has not been fully diagnosed and the identity of the attacker, if there is one, has not been revealed.

The Cuban government investigated the matter and has repeatedly rejected US statements on the matter as disinformation.

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The US Embassy in Bogota, one of the largest in the world, includes a strong contingent of agents working in both intelligence and counter-narcotics operations, in addition to career diplomats and personnel.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit the country on October 20.

(With inputs from agencies)

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