Colombia to leave ‘Havana Syndrome’ embassy probe to US

Several families associated with the US embassy in Colombia report symptoms linked with the affliction, US media reports.

Ivan Duque says his government wants to leave 'Havana syndrome' investigation to US authorities [File: Riccardo Savi/Getty Images via AFP]

Colombian President Ivan Duque says his government is aware of cases of so-called “Havana Syndrome” at the United States Embassy in Bogota, but is leaving the investigation to Washington.

At least five US families associated with the embassy in Colombia have come down with symptoms linked with the mysterious affliction, which include headaches, nausea and possible brain damage, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Of course we have knowledge of this situation but I want to leave it to the US authorities, who are doing their own investigation, because it is about their own personnel,” Duque told reporters in New York on Tuesday during an official visit to the US visit.

The Colombia cases are only the latest of dozens of instances of “Havana Syndrome” experienced by US diplomats and intelligence officials since 2016 – first in Cuba then in China, Germany, Australia, Taiwan and the US capital.

US President Joe Biden on Friday signed a law providing financial support for victims of the mysterious illness.

The Havana Act provides financial compensation for members of the State Department and CIA who suffer brain injury from what officials suspect may be directed microwave attacks.

The cause of the illnesses has not been fully diagnosed and the identity of the attacker, if there is one, has not been revealed.

The Cuban government investigated the matter and has repeatedly rejected US statements on the matter as disinformation.

The US embassy in Bogota, one of the largest in the world, includes a strong contingent of agents working in both intelligence and counter-narcotics operations, in addition to career diplomats and personnel.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit the country on October 20.

Source: AFP