Archive for the ‘Nicaraguan Blood Banks’ Category

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Was the U.S. blood industry’s supply of raw plasma flowing in from Latin American and Caribbean countries in the 1970s contaminated with Hepatitis C?

February 5, 2013

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LAMB’S BLOOD is a novel based on a human blood collecting operation in Nicaragua that was exporting its product in huge quantities to U.S. blood industry facilities in the 1970s.

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a contagious liver disease caused by a virus. Those who contract the disease are at risk of developing liver cirrhosis and/or liver cancer. There was no screening test for HCV prior to the 1990s, and it was known the disease was heavily endemic throughout Latin America and the Caribbean region. Nevertheless, the U.S. blood industry was importing raw human blood products from a great many of the Latin American and Caribbean nations in the 1970s and 1980s. Other human blood transmitted diseases include Hepatitis A and B, HIV/AIDS, Chagas, Malaria, West Nile Virus, and others.

LAMB’S BLOOD is now available through Amazon.com, the Kindle Store, and through local independent bookstores.

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Cash for Blood

January 3, 2013

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About a year after the December of 1972 earthquake in Nicaragua, Dr. Pedro Ramos Quiroz, a Cuban exile, opened a “Cash for Blood” center in Managua. His company was called Centro Americana de Plasmaféresis SA, and one his partners was Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza. Nearly all of the blood plasma collected was sold to companies in the United States and Western Europe, and the only people who profited from the operation were Somoza, who had a private fortune estimated at in excess of $1 billion, the American-Cuban Ramos, and their friends.

Source: Blood: Gift or Merchandise by Piet J. Hagen, Alan R. Liss, Inc., New York, 1982, pp. 168-69.

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Somoza said to have diverted millions in U.S. foreign aid dollars to build and equip blood harvesting centers.

December 29, 2012

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In the pre-revolutionary Nicaragua of the 1960s, it has been charged, millions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid funds were diverted to construct and equip blood harvesting centers in several locations around the country. When completed they mysteriously became the private property of Centro Americana de Plasmapheresis, S.A., a Nicaraguan corporation at least partially owned by then President Anastasio Somoza.

nicaragua-burningBetween 1975, when it was licensed to collect blood for export to the United States by the U.S. Bureau of Biologics, and 1978, when it was burned to the ground by Sandinista revolutionaries, untold numbers of glass and plastic containers filled with the blood and plasma of Nicaraguan peasants found their way into the pipeline that fed the U.S. blood industry, otherwise known throughout Latin America as la sanguijuela (the bloodsucker).