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Cuban doctors can sue PAHO for aiding alleged “forced labour” trafficking to Brazil, US court rules

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 11 April 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o962
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

A US federal appeals court has given the green light to a lawsuit by four Cuban defectors, all doctors, who allege that PAHO, the branch of the World Health Organization responsible for the Americas, helped the Cuban government to traffic them to Brazil under a contract that effectively bound them to forced labour.1

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) became a middleman in the Mais Medicos (More Doctors) programme under which Cuba sent about 8300 doctors to provide services in remote parts of Brazil. Former Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, paid PAHO because Brazil’s Congress was believed likely to reject direct payments to Cuba.

The doctors allege that of $1.5bn paid by …

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