Archive for the ‘U.S. Blood Industry’ 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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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).

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Lamb’s Blood by Jerry Genesio – now available through Amazon, Kindle, and local bookstores.

December 26, 2012

BookCoverImageLamb’s Blood is a novel set in Washington, D.C., Boston, and Nicaragua, 1978, during the Sandinista Revolution. American journalist Mark Marino lives with the knowledge that he allowed officials to lie to him when he was a war correspondent in Vietnam. He feels in some way responsible for the millions who died during that conflict, one of whom was his own brother. A decade later he witnesses an assassination attempt and a murder and, recognizing an opportunity to redeem himself, he resolves to bring the killer to justice. His mission leads him first to Boston, where he is reacquainted with two colleagues, Tony Rosati, and his daughter, Rina, with whom he falls in love. They discover a link between the killer, Carlos Tortue, a Vietnam veteran and former Green Beret of mixed Haitian and Nicaraguan heritage, and a Boston-based manufacturer of human blood products. Tortue kills again during an attempt on Tony Rosati’s life and then escapes to Nicaragua with Marino in pursuit.

Marino is no stranger to Nicaragua, having covered the Managua earthquake in December of 1972, and he immediately tries to find two men he met at that time: José Velasquez, a fellow journalist, and Padre Las Casas, a Roman Catholic barrio priest. Both are sympathetic to the Sandinista revolutionaries. Rina Rosati joins Marino in Managua and Las Casas arranges for them to meet with a rebel commander who allows them to accompany him and his comrades on a raid. The target is a clinic that trades in peasant blood for export, and Carlos Tortue is involved in the operation.

LAMB’S BLOOD by Jerry Genesio, CreateSpace, ISBN 9781481292191, 214 pages, Paperback $10.95, Kindle e-book $2.99