VX, el agente nervioso con el que se asesinó a Kim Jong-nam

Una pequeña cantidad de este líquido puede causar la muerte en cuestión de minutos

 

Es un líquido viscoso, similar al aceite de motor, de un ligero color ámbar pero sin olor ni sabor, por lo que sus víctimas pueden morir sin sospechar que han entrado en contacto con él. El VX, un compuesto con el nombre químico de etil-S-2-diisopropilaminoetil metilfosfonotiolato, está considerado un arma de destrucción masiva por la ONU y su fabricación está prohibida bajo la Convención de Armamento Químico, excepto para usos de investigación, médicos o farmacéuticos.

 

Se trata, apunta Tong Zhao, analista del programa de Política Nuclear del centro Carnegie-Tsinghua en Pekín, “uno de los agentes nerviosos más tóxicos del mundo”. Según los Centros de Control y Prevención de Enfermedades de EE UU, es una sustancia más potente que el gas sarín, la sustancia empleada por la secta Aum Shinriko en un ataque contra el metro de Tokio en 1995 que mató a doce personas. Aum Shirinko empleó VX contra un oficinista en Osaka (norte de Japón) e intentó atacar a otras dos personas en 1994. El régimen sirio cuenta con ese arma química, según un informe de los servicios secretos franceses filtrado en 2013.

Inventado en los años 50 en el Reino Unido y posiblemente empleado durante la guerra Irán-Irak de los años 80, el VX puede matar en cuestión de minutos incluso en cantidades muy pequeñas, inhalado, ingerido o absorbido por la piel. Actúa sobre el sistema nervioso, de tal manera que obliga a las glándulas y los músculos a trabajar excesivamente, causando convulsiones y dificultando la respiración.

Entre sus síntomas se encuentra la visión borrosa, alteración de la presión sanguínea, sudor excesivo, confusión, dolor de cabeza y náusea. Una intoxicación grave genera convulsiones, pérdida de la conciencia, parálisis y fallo respiratorio. “Sus víctimas mueren por asfixia”, explica Zhao. Las imágenes de un vídeo emitido por la cadena japonesa Fuji TV y que parecen recoger el momento del ataque muestran cómo Kim Jong-nam se frota los ojos y necesita ayuda para llegar, trastabillando, a la clínica del aeropuerto. Al denunciar lo que le ha pasado, según la policía, mencionó un fuerte dolor de cabeza y mareo.

El VX no se evapora con facilidad, y una vez esparcido puede permanecer en la superficie con la que haya entrado en contacto durante un largo tiempo. Los asesinos que planearon la muerte de Kim Jong-nam en el aeropuerto de Kuala Lumpur “han demostrado su irresponsabilidad”, en opinión de Zhao. “Hubiera sido muy posible afectar a los viajeros a su alrededor, incluidos los médicos que atendieron a Kim”, señala el experto.

Es una opinión que comparte el ministro malasio de Medioambiente, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, que en declaraciones que recoge France Presse ha señalado su indignación por el hecho de que los asesinos emplearan un material tan peligroso en un espacio público: “Podían haber causado daños masivos a mucha gente, o incluso la muerte”. Este agente nervioso no es una sustancia sencilla de fabricar. “Requiere un cierto nivel de capacidad científica, no solo para producir el material y manipularlo sin ser afectado, sino también para almacenarlo o transportarlo sin peligro para uno mismo”, explica Zhao.

No obstante, aunque los Estados son los principales agentes con la capacidad y los conocimientos para la producción de esta sustancia, “no es descartable que otros actores que no sean Estados” puedan contar con el material, apunta el experto, al recordar el atentado de Tokio.

 

Safor Press

Periódico Digital plural, libre. Defensor de los derechos humanos y fundamentales. Director: Ricardo Sánchez

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