Perera, the scorpion trapper, might worry that these advances would put him out of a job — but he doesn't. He has something more important on his mind. "My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer about a year ago," he says, choking up. The elder Perera is undergoing chemo and drinking the venom daily. His son believes the fruits of his labor are helping his father feel stronger and more energetic. "I feel proud that I can be a part of bringing the scorpions to the people who need them."


Perera, González, and their fellow Labiofam employees who supply Valdés' scorpionario aren't the only ones scavenging Cuba's woods for venom producers. Every week, informal hunters make a drop-off on a dusty street at the edge of Jagüey Grande. There's a large scorpion engraved on the door of the home and, to the left, a sign that reads, "Escozul." It lists office hours and instructions for medical consultation in English. There's no doorbell on the steel gate that encloses the porch of the nicest house on the block.

When a guest arrives, a large dog barks and a clear-eyed young woman in her 30s greets us for José Felipe Monzón. "He doesn't talk to the press," the woman says politely. It's expected. He has already turned down interview requests.

A doctor applies a mild electric shock to a scorpion to extract its venom. See also: Slide Show: Blue Scorpion Venom: Cuba's Miracle Drug.
Noah Friedman-Rudovsky
A doctor applies a mild electric shock to a scorpion to extract its venom. See also: Slide Show: Blue Scorpion Venom: Cuba's Miracle Drug.
Leandro Gonzáles, 6, has an inoperable brain tumor, but doctors have been able to reduce its size.
Noah Friedman-Rudovsky
Leandro Gonzáles, 6, has an inoperable brain tumor, but doctors have been able to reduce its size.

So a last card is played: "Do you think maybe his daughter — the one he saved with the scorpion venom years ago — might be willing to chat?"

The woman smiles shyly and apologizes: "Sorry, I don't give interviews either."

The story, though, has been told. The father began bringing back extra venom from Guantánamo. His daughter improved. Neighbors and friends were impressed with the girl's recovery, and Bordier finally taught Monzón the recipe. Monzón soon set up a home office and started calling the medicine "escozul" (a blend of the words escorpión and azul).

"Lines around the block!" says Arturo Fernández, Monzón's next-door neighbor for the past three decades. "Italians, French, Australians, people from everywhere started arriving." Locals too.

But those who don't have the time or money or health to get to the tiny island have few other options. A handful of doctors outside Cuba administer the treatment, including a California oncologist who had an integrative-medicine practice in Tijuana, where he treated several patients from the States. "At first, we witnessed remarkable recoveries," Dr. Santiago Vargas wrote in an email, noting that he discovered escozul in 2005 and that his practice closed in 2011, but he did not indicate a reason. "Still, as we continued to recommend it, we found some inconsistency in the results; apparently it worked best for [gastrointestinal] tract cancers. I was told it worked well for most other forms of cancer; this was not our experience." He obtained the venom from Mexico City, where there's another physician who travels to Cuba every three months and claims to make the venom in collaboration with Bordier's son.

Those who can't travel to see these physicians must place their faith in online third parties. Labiofam has secured homeopathic licenses for Vidatox in 22 countries: China, Albania, and several in Latin America. The company's website lists official distributors for these nations. But because neither the United States nor Canada nor any European state has cleared Vidatox through a rigorous homeopathic standards process, venom seekers must rely on the black market.

"I have organized it for people in Europe, the USA, Vietnam, China, the Arabian States, Africa, Australia," says a German man named Oliver Binnenböse, who for 950 euros (about $1,200) will travel to Cuba and then deliver to you three bottles of Vidatox. He's one of many people who offer these services on cancer-treatment chat forums. With such small quantities, he has never had any problems slipping under customs' radar.

Spiros Anagnostopoulos, who's from Greece, similarly transferred the medicine to a cancer patient he met on his first trip to Cuba in 2005 and who couldn't afford to go back for his resupply.

A more troubling black market, however, is emerging. In 2011, Italian police confiscated 236 bottles of Vidatox — more than $50,000 in resale value — being smuggled in from Albania, an easy access point of entry into Europe.

"[The confiscated material] is not a drug," Silvio Garattini, founder and director of the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research in Milan, said in a statement soon after, but rather "a preparation that has not been approved by any international regulatory agency." The Italian government's Natural Substances and Traditional Medicines Unit of the Italian National Institute of Health thought it wise to weigh in as well: "Despite the potential benefits of the registered drug, clinical trials in accordance with official protocols have not been so far undertaken, and it should be mandatory to achieve an appropriate European evaluation of this product," the 2011 statement read.

Labiofam says it laments the trafficking and is seeking approval in dozens of other countries, but it won't specify which are under way.

A plethora of websites offer to send the original drinkable formula — referred to as escozul, escoazul, or the trademarked Escozine — anywhere in the world. Some sites seem more trustworthy than others, such as LifEscozul, which claims to work in direct coordination with Monzón and Bordier's family. "We service mainly Europe," says LifEscozul's managing director, Ariel Portal, whose agency can either arrange travel to Cuba or deliver copies of the patient's medical history to the producers so they can prepare a personalized treatment for shipment.

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My Voice Nation Help
32 comments
gavigrup
gavigrup

Can you tell us how can we buy the medication,

We need help, we would like to contact and visit you, please contact us. On gavigrup@gmail.com

Thanks

Peter Paskov

Bulgaria

raul714
raul714

Where can I get this for dad

raul714
raul714

I need help getting this for my dad in phoenix arizona as he had liver cancer. Please help ? Raul714@msn.com ty

cleo4012
cleo4012

In May of this year, I was given the news that I have stage 4 liver cancer, and bone cancer that metastasized from breast cancer. My Oncologist gave me 6-8 months to live, and said there was nothing he could do for me. My bone pain was severe, and so was liver pain. On a scale of 1-10, I was a constant 81/2 to 9.  My boss heard of the blue scorpion venom, Escozine. He purchased 3 months supply. I began taking it on July 21st. By July 26th, my bone pain has reduced 50%. The cough I had from the mass in my chest subsided. It is August 16th. I have no bone pain, liver pain is very mild, about 1 1/2. No cough, high energy, I feel brand new. This really does work! I will have my scans next month, and I fully expect the doctor and staff to faint from surprise when they see my condition has greatly improved and I am on the way to being fully cured of this cancer. Really.

rci8719
rci8719

Even though this treatment has not worked for every person who tried it, that's not to say

in certain types of cancer & in individual cases it does not work.

I know Cuban scientists and doctors are some of the best in the world.

If they say it works I believe it.

 I only wish I knew about some of Cuba's cancer treatments 15 years ago when my

Father was sick with leukemia. My Father might still be here today had I tried this

amazing miracle treatment on him.


 Bruce.


 Toronto. Canada. 

snow
snow

To all you naysayers - there are studies that show it does work on pubmed.  For anyone that doesn't believe in homeopathy, tell that to the water testing lab that is looking for lead in  your water at parts per million.  I'm sure it's not going to work for everyone, which is exactly why you shouldn't shoot it down & possibly make someone pass it up who it can save.  

marcy
marcy

Anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of snake oil as a cure is of zero value.

Feeding off desperate suckers is a time honored principal of quack medicine.


LPHastings
LPHastings

Why is everyone bashing this article? Good read, thank you!

Robertson Adams
Robertson Adams

That and some mint leaves, sugar rum and an iodine tablet....

Lon Allen
Lon Allen

Hey, if it worked for Chavez... Oh wait.

Josephine Del Papa
Josephine Del Papa

The answer lies in nutrition, not a miracle venom. Do the research.

Kzm Ufc
Kzm Ufc

May be it can be used to correct some people's grammar!!

Richard Advocat
Richard Advocat

Did you not get the memo Miami New Times? Nothing positive can happen in Cuba, so long as Castro is in power.

Juan Bermudez
Juan Bermudez

Must of worked wonders on Hugo Chavez. He is dead.

rodriguez_francisco_
rodriguez_francisco_

Although I  agree that nutrition is very important to prevent cancer. Those that already have it can benefit from both a good healthy diet and new medical treatments.

lexluthor
lexluthor

@Richard Advocat THEY ARE CIGAR HATERS IN THE CLOSET,YOU KNOW....!

lexluthor
lexluthor

@Beatrice I. DiGirolamo NOBODY SAID TO TEASE THE SCORPION, SIR----nor drink the worms in the Mexican Tequila bottles, either.....

rodriguez_francisco_
rodriguez_francisco_

And how do you explain "chemotherapy, the most effective cure for cancer" it only 2.1% effective. what does that mean; out of 100 people in chemotherapy only 2 will survive the treatment. Meaning the treatment it self didn't kill them and the cancer it self is in decline. Not very good now is it, if you were  sold a medication for pain relief and it only worked 2 times out of the 100 time you took it you wouldn't buy it again now would you.


There are many other issues with chemotherapy such as:


-It causes permanent damage throughout the body

-It destroys your immune system, which is the most critical component in getting well.

-It is a highly toxic carcinogen that can cause secondary cancers throughout the body


So don't be to quick to dismiss other types of treatments just because they're not approve in your country. A country who's Drug and Food Administration is ran by people who often times still on the payroll of some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. I guess its no coincidence that they dismiss other treatments and still keep Chemotherapy as the best option. 


Guess which treatment Hugo selected, I'll give you a moment to think about it................


"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez undergone surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment" - Huffington post


- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/hugo-chavez-cancer-treatment/


Please do your homework next time before you try and put down a person just because his views aren't in par with your current governments.

hlain9152
hlain9152

@Juan Bermudez Dammit! You beat me to it! Good point.

raul714
raul714

Where can I get this ?

raul714
raul714

Hey there I seen what you been posting and need to get a hold of that treatment for my dad.. He is very advanced in his cancer and needs a liver transplant but they won't do anything since he is too advanced please help? Raul714@msn.com

rodriguez_francisco_
rodriguez_francisco_

@raul714 Hi raul714, the best place to get it would be directly from the Manufacture website other people sell it online but they might over charge for it and you have no guarantee your getting the real or original product. Vidatox 30CH is the original product made in cuba.


The following link is of the Pharmaceutical company LabioFam who makes this product.


http://www.labiofam.cu/en (the Vidatox 30CH is under the title products)


(direct link to the product)

http://www.labiofam.cu/en/productos/vidatox-30ch.html


there's a list of distributor and pharmacies that carry the product at the bottom of the page, you can contact them for instruction on purchasing the product.


hope this helps you.



 
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