The theme of biological warfare has gained increasing prominence in recent times. The global pandemic of the new coronavirus has aroused interest in this matter in particular, and several speculations have arisen by experts from many countries about the possibility of an artificial origin of the virus that currently plagues the planet. In fact, it doesn’t matter if this particular virus was created in laboratory or not, but the use of biological manipulation for military purposes is a complex subject and worthy of careful study. The interest in the issue is absolutely legitimate and allows such a debate to go beyond the sphere of “conspiracy theories” to acquire an academic character.
Recently, some alleged cases of biological weapons operations have received due attention, thanks to the suspicions raised by the pandemic. This is the case for American military laboratories in the Amazon rainforest. Although little is said about this subject, the American armed forces maintain several laboratories for obscure research purposes within the Amazon territory. It is already known that many of these laboratories have or had an active participation in the drug production process by drug trafficking criminal organizations hidden in the Amazon. The most notorious laboratory is the so-called NAMRU-6, which belongs to the American Navy.
The “Observatory for the Closing of the School of the Americas” reported in a note that several bacteriological and tropical diseases researches are being carried out in the Peruvian Amazon by the NAMRU-6 base.
“In Peru, the United States has a number of military bases, some allegedly involved in drug trafficking,” said Pablo Ruiz, spokesman for the observatory, emphasizing: “This is a military base that we are monitoring, which belongs to the US Navy. … Conducts research on pathological and infectious diseases, and we are very concerned because it is close to the Amazon, and eventually on that military base they could be preparing biological weapons”.
NAMRU-6 (Naval Medical Research Unit Six) is an American Navy biomedical research center based in Lima, Peru. Publicly, Washington states that the interest of the researches carried out by the base is the identification and control of infectious diseases and the development of medications for their control, however there are several suspicions about the real nature of its activities, with the hypothesis of clandestine operations on biological manipulation being highly considered. According to the Observatory (which is a social movement that fights for the end of foreign military bases in Latin America), NAMRU is behind the creation of several biological weapons, many of which have already been used in combat by the USA.
The Observatory spokesman reported that the investigations being carried out on NAMRU suggest that this base is behind the epidemic of hemorrhagic dengue in Cuba in 1981, which caused the death of hundreds of people. The hypothesis gains even more strength now that evidence is found of the use of the mosquito “aedes eagypt” (host of the virus that transmits dengue and other diseases) as a biological weapon by the Pentagon in several regions of the planet, as described in several official documents recently revealed.
Pablo Ruiz argued that the UN bodies responsible for the control of weapons of mass destruction should work more closely with regard to biological weapons and seek greater control over the activities carried out by military laboratories. In his words:
“In the situation that humanity is currently experiencing, it would be very good if the UN body that ensures that no country produces weapons of mass destruction could visit this base and see what they are doing there with infectious diseases”.
In fact, too much attention has been paid in recent decades to the danger of nuclear weapons proliferation; however, biological weapons are almost never seriously treated, with almost all complaints on the subject being referred as “conspiratorial”. The reason for this is understandable: when used, biological weapons transmit an atmosphere of “normality”, as they deal with natural phenomena that are artificially manipulated. So, the last thing one could think about an infection is that it is a military weapon rather than a natural phenomenon. But this is exactly where the benefits of using such weapons are: they are almost never noticed and their damage can be greater than that of chemical and nuclear weapons – which clearly identify their launchers. The difficulty in understanding whether or not such weapons were used in a given event was the main reason why some countries chose to go ahead in research to develop such products.
It is increasingly difficult to deny the existence of biological weapons. It is a matter of time before publicly admitting that the biomedical field is a battlefield like any other, just as it happened recently with the cyberspace. However, until it is proved whether or not such weapons are being used, many things continue to happen, such as, for example, top-secret research by the American Navy within the Amazon Rainforest. The location is extremely strategic: far from any rich country, in remote and difficult-to-reach regions, these laboratories remain out of the international media and do not put the populations of western urban centers at risk in the event of accidents or leaks.
Indeed, Washington already has several accusations of using biological weapons. Experts from Russia, China, Iran and several other nationalities raised this hypothesis about the new coronavirus. Now, a new charge comes from South America. Above all, the US owes the world an answer. After all, what is so secret about biomedical research being carried out in military laboratories in remote areas of the globe? International society demands an explanation.
Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. This article was originally published on InfoBrics.