Harvard Bankrolls Closed, Disgraced Monkey-Abusing Lab in Colombia Exposed by PETA

For Immediate Release:
August 21, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health is using grant money it received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund the Caucaseco Scientific Research Center—a fraudulent Colombian organization at the center of an 18-month PETA investigation—and Harvard refuses to distance itself from the shuttered institution.

Colombian authorities closed Caucaseco’s laboratory and seized more than 100 monkeys and 180 mice, while its husband-and-wife operators, Sócrates Herrera and Myriam Arévalo, face charges on environmental crimes. Recently, the National Institutes of Health pulled its funding of the institution and Colombian authorities shut down its clinical studies, claiming that they were fraudulent.

PETA informed Harvard of the allegations in December and has updated the university about every development in the case, but the Ivy League school has declined to join at least 12 institutions worldwide in formally distancing itself from Caucaseco.

“Harvard had months to drop support for an organization caught warehousing monkeys illegally and allegedly exploiting humans in clinical trials but has apparently refused,” says PETA’s Dr. Magnolia Martínez, who uncovered the scandal. “PETA is calling on Harvard to sever ties with this cruel and corrupt institution and instead use grant money for non-animal, human-relevant research.”

Harvard has a history of turning a blind eye to serious animal welfare problems. In August 2022, while monkeys were suffering and dying at Caucaseco’s monkey facility, a Harvard professor attended a seminar on the same campus that housed the caged animals. The university has also refused to address the horrific experiments on baby monkeys performed by its own experimenter, Margaret Livingstone, who has sewn infants’ eyes shut for their entire first year of life and prevents others from ever seeing a human or a monkey face.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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