The land of diversity. From the harsh plateaus of Atacama deserts, to the freezing wastes of Andese mountains, and the green wetness of the Amazons, the rippling stipa of the pampas...
The people, black, white, yellow and different shades of brown.. Their festivals and their gods as colourful and diverse as they are.
But behind the carnivals and Miceretas lies the hidden face of Latin America. Poverty and congestion lie not far behind the colourful stage curtains..
For example, Neza-Chalco-Itza in Mexico City is reputed to be the largest slum in the world, with a population density of 80000 per square kilometer. And Peru, Bolivia and Columbia are respectively the top three cocaine producers in the world.
At the other end of the spectrum, Brazil and Mexico are among the largest economies of the world.
Beginning in the 1998, the politics of the Latin American countries took a turn to the left, which the popular media termed the pink tide. Literally beneath its nose, with its anti communist sentiments bordering on paranoia, it was surprising, to say the least, that the US allowed this pink tide to take place.
Or did it??
Since a very long time ago the former Cuban president, Fidel Castro had never minced his words regarding the numerous attempts to kill him. ( 638 according to some sources) But the most interesting thing about these assassination attempts is that at least some of them were executed using biological agents. In other words, US had used biological weapons against Fidel Castro.
Most infamously the CIA used cigars poisoned with botulinum toxin, and also a scuba diving suit infected with tubercle bacilli. But Castro survived all the plots.
The attempts on Fidel Castro are about the only episodes with definitive evidence pointing to US employing bio weapons against Latin America. But lack of good evidence apart, are they the only attempts??
To find the answer, let's travel back in time to 1963 to Dallas, Texas. On November 22nd of that year, in Dealy plaza, Dallas, history was created with the assassination of JFK. Immediately, JFK assassination triggered suspicions of conspiracy. Not the least, because of the gunning down of the alleged assasin Lee Harvey Oswald, by the Texas night club owner Jack Ruby, only two days later.
Jack Ruby was duly arrested and while awaiting trial, in1966, he died from the complications of severely disseminated cancer.
He had cancer in liver, lungs, brain, lymph nodes, pancreas, ribs and vertebrae. In the brain only, there were 8 separate tumors. But he didn't have any in 1964, just two years before.
Dallas deputy Sherriff at that time, Al Maddox, claimed that Ruby had once told him, that he was injected with cancer cells.
Fantasies of a sensationalist?? Possibly, but let's go again to 1964, July.
An eminent orthopaedic surgeon and cancer researcher, Dr.Mary Sherman's brutality murdered mutilated and half burnt body was found in her apartment. Her murder was never solved and probably never will be. But in 1997, a book authored by Ed Haslam, claimed to solve the mystery. The plot summary stating that, Dr.Sherman was working in an undercover project to create a virus which causes cancer. The aim? To kill Fidel Castro.
The book has many scientific flaws and implausible theories. But the fact remains that Dr. Sherman has done research on oncology and also on polio virus.
In both the above incidents, Jack Ruby and Dr. Sherman, the recurring theme is cancer.
Ed Haslam's book has been dismissed as implausible and Jack Ruby's allegations as ravings.
But it is possible that in the light of the above two intriguing incidents in the distant past, new clues may reveal themselves about the use of biological weapons on Latin America.
In 2013, Hugo Chávez, the 64th president of Venezuela, succumbed to cancer. The cancer was first diagnosed in 2011.
Meanwhile in Paraguay, president Fernando Lugo had been diagnosed with Non Hodgkin lymphoma in 2010.
President Christina Fernandez a prominent left wing politician from Argentina, in turn received her diagnosis of thyroid cancer in 2011.
But the situation in Brazil easily suppresses anything. Dilma Rousseff its current left wing president was diagnosed with early stage axillary lymphoma in 2009. Her predecessor, Lula de Silva was diagnosed with malignant tumor of larynx in 2011. Itamar Franco, another past president of Brazil was diagnosed with leukaemia, also in 2011...
Pretty weird? Or should we be asking what's going on?
So obviously, the US didn't just ignore the pink tide. The experiments which possibly began as early as 1960s, ought to have obviously yielded some tangible results by now. And the tangible results may be those diagnoses from 2009 to 2011.
Cancer causing viruses are definitely not fiction. That much we know. For example it is a fairly old discovery that some batches of injectible polio vaccines produced in the US between 1955 and 1961 were contaminated with SV40, a monkey virus. But what is new knowledge is CDC's reluctant acceptance after decades of denial that SV40 is a human polyoma virus. I.e. That it can cause cancer in multiple tissues.
Research data shows that SV40 has been isolated from multiple human cancers. And those researches also indicate a 37% rise in ependymomas, 26% rise in osteogenic sarcomas, 34% rise in bone tumors and a 90% rise in mesotheliomas after exposure to SV40.
So harnessing the power to cause cancer is definitely not fiction.
Cancer is definitely not the only form of biological agent unleashed on south America.
A new virulent strain of HIV which can kill in something like three years was discovered only last year from Cuba. Chance mutation? Or something better than chance? Again its left to speculation.
The Haiti cholera epidemic is another unfortunate event that up to date, has claimed more than 9000 lives. The outbreak started in 2010, after the devastating Haiti earthquake. The strain was identified as originating from south asia. UN officials and the CDC were extremely reluctant to investigate the source. But in 2011, under pressure, the UN relented and discovered that the source of the epidemic was a Nepalese peace keeping force camp.
It could be the poor sanitation and waste disposal of the camp that started the epidemic. But it is equally possible that the virulent cholera strain alien to the latin America was introduced intentionally.
Viruses and diseases against humans is not the only component of biological warfare. Diseases against plant and entomological weapons are also part of the deal.
In 2000, as part of America's war on drugs it formulated a plan to release strains of the fungus 'Fusarium oxysporum' which is herbicidal against coca. The country of focus was Columbia. But the plan had to be pulled out amidst general opposition from regional countries.
As of 2015 US scientists are contemplating the feasibility of dropping certain breeds of caterpillars onto Columbian and Peruvian coca fields.
But the big problem with these agents is that nobody can be sure of their behaviour. After all they are biological organisms. They can easily mutate or even merely adapt into infesting and destroying other crops as well.
So the big brother up north is definitely not going to allow the south be......