Cases of the syndrome, first observed in 2016, are now recorded in Colombia.
Cases of “Havana Syndrome” have also occurred at the US Embassy in the Colombian capital, Bogota. Colombian President Ivan Duque confirmed a similar report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). “Of course we are aware of this situation, but I would like to leave it to the US authorities, who are conducting their own investigations because they are dealing with their own people,” he said during a visit to New York.
At least five families linked to the Colombian embassy have experienced symptoms of the mysterious illness, the Wall Street Journal reports. The representation of the United States in Bogota is one of the largest in the world. In addition to diplomats and professional staff, many intelligence agents and officials from the DEA are also stationed there.
Vienna is also affected
American diplomats in several countries suffer from this mysterious disease. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, migraine headaches, anxiety and memory loss. The first cases of “Havana syndrome” surfaced in 2016 among diplomats in the Cuban capital. Dozens of Canadian and American diplomats and their families in Cuba suffer from health problems. It only came to light a year later, when then-US President Donald Trump expelled most US diplomats from Havana in response to the events.
Cases in China, Russia and the United States were added later. In July last year, employees of the US Embassy in Vienna in particular fell victim to the mysterious symptoms. It is possible that there were less than twenty cases in Vienna – only in Cuba itself did more cases occur.
Find the reasons
Once again, there is speculation that Russia is behind the syndrome: CIA chief Burns stated that in December of the previous year a committee of the American Academy of Sciences came to the conclusion that the theory that energy packets caused the syndrome was plausible. Burns said there was a “high probability” that the syndrome was intentionally caused and that Russia could be responsible. He is still waiting for the final conclusions until further research results are available. Moscow has denied any involvement with it in the past.
On Friday, US President Joe Biden signed a law to provide financial assistance to victims of the mysterious disease. The Havana Act provides financial compensation to State Department and CIA employees who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.
(Reuters / red)
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