PETA’s Investigation Is Victorious in Colombia; Not Even a Ripple From U.S.

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3 min read

Victory! Authorities from the Colombian environmental agency Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca (CVC) have raided the decrepit laboratory—known as the misleadingly innocent-sounding Primate Center Foundation—at the center of PETA’s damning 18-month investigation and seized more than 100 tiny owl monkeys who were being kept in horrific conditions there.

The animals—forced to live amid their own waste in rusty cages inside a makeshift outdoor pen—are now recovering at the CVC’s wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center.

And politicians are stepping in.

Terry Hurtado, a local council member, has mobilized his supporters, promoted news of PETA’s exposé in local media, and opened important communication channels for PETA’s work, including with Colombian senators.

Esmeralda Hernández and Fabián Díaz, both members of the Colombian Senate, are working to ensure that the travesty of the Primate Center Foundation won’t be repeated. Hernández is working on legislation that would move oversight responsibility of regional environmental agencies, which are currently autonomous, to the national Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development to ensure that they do their job to protect animals.

Díaz, who has filed his own complaint with national and regional government oversight entities, is also working with Hernández to propose a political control debate, which is akin to a Congressional hearing in the U.S. It’s the tool Colombian members of Congress use to hold agencies accountable. Colombian Sen. Andrea Padilla has also expressed her support for this action.

The CVC’s recent inspection of the laboratory, prompted by our investigation, found unmitigated suffering, including the filthy, apparently illegal conditions that we first exposed as well as the unexplained disappearance of 21 monkeys. While on site, inspectors discovered a dead baby monkey and a monkey who was missing an eye. (Photos are below.)


PETA continues to work with Colombian authorities, lawmakers, and primate experts to ensure that the monkeys can enjoy the remainder of their lives in peace and with dignity.

Crickets From NIH

Although Colombian authorities and politicians have rightfully taken notice of and were moved to action by PETA’s discoveries, back here in the U.S., the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has said nothing. For years, the agency has bankrolled this shameful operation with millions in taxpayer dollars, and it continues to fund the experiments that were just ordered to end.

The Colombian animal rights group Federación de Liberación Animal recently carried out a powerful demonstration in front of the Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca’s (CVC) headquarters in Cali. The group urged the CVC to rescue the monkeys and other animals—who may be slowly dying due to negligence—imprisoned at three infamous laboratories, including the Primate Center Foundation, run by the same couple.

PETA, in a new letter to NIH officials, has once again urged them to cease any association with these companies immediately. We seek the cancellation of the current National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases contracts and the return of any money paid to support them. We’re also asking for an investigation into the credible claims of lack of scientific integrity.

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