From - Sat Aug 31 10:28:58 1996
Approved: firstname.lastname@example.org (a31fcbe8e7f727ba2227ce41bbe621a2)
From: email@example.com (b)
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 96 16:02:19 GMT
Subject: Unusual Drug
Exerpt from Wall Street Journal Article, July 3, 1995
Dateline Bogota, Colombia
If you thought cocaine was bad news, wait until you hear about Burandanga.
Burundanga is a kind of voodoo powder obtained from a Colombian local
plant of the nightshade family, a shrub called barrachera, or "drunken
binge". Used for hundreds of years by Natie Americans in religious ceremonies,
the powder when ingested causes victims to lose their will and memory, sometimes
for days. (This drug is also known as Nightshade or "CIA drugs).
When refined the powder yields scopolamine, a well-know drug with
legitimate uses as a sedative and to combat motion sickness. (Mengele of
Nazi fame also had and experimented with scopolamine as a truth serum).
But in Colombia, the drug's most avid fans are street criminals. Crooks
mix the powder with sedatives and feed the Burundanga cocktail to unsuspecting
victims whom they then proceed to rob - or worse.
Doctors here estimate that Colombian hustlers slip the odorless,
colorless and soluble Burundanga (pronounced boor-oon-DAN-ga) in food or
drink to about 500 unwitting victims in the city each month. About half of
the city's total emergency room admissions for poison are Burundanga
"It is a very serious problem," says Fernando Botero, Colombia's defense
minister. Adds Camilo Uribe, the doctor who runs the city's formost toxicology
clinic and who is in charge of toxicology for all of Bogota's public hospitals.
It seems that everyone in Bogota knows someone who has been victimized by
the drug, Burundanguiado, as the say in Spanish. In one common scenario, a
person will be offered a soda or drink laced with the substance. The next
the person remembers is waking up miles away, extremely groggy and with no
memory of what happened. People soon discover that they have handed over
jewelry, money, car keys, and sometimes have even made multiple bank with-
drawals for the benefit of their assailants. Because Burundanga is often
given at seedy bars or houses of prostitution, many victims are reluctant
to come forward.
"The victim can't say no; he has no will and becomes very open to
suggestion. It's like CHEMICAL HYPNOTISM," says Dr. Uribe. "From the
moment it's given, the victim remembers absolutely nothing of what happened."
He adds, "From a criminal point of view, it's got a lot of advantages".
Architect David Neneses says he was Burundanguiado twice in one week
last December. Mr. Meneses' first encounter with Burundanga took place on a
Friday night when he stopped at a pharmacy to buy antacid. Two well-dressed
men approached hes car. Teh last thing Mr. Menses remembers is one of the
men unwrapping a piece of candy. "I woke up the next day at noon at my
house." he says. He had no memory of how he got there, though the doorman in
his building told Mr. Menseses he saw him com in at 7 a.m. looking nervous
On Monday, Mr. Meneses checked with his bank, where he was told that
his ATM card made 13 withdrawals for a total of about $700 on that lost
Friday night. Concerned that he might have unwittingly been involved in
criminal activity, or that his car had been used, Mr. Meneses went to the
local prosecutors office where he made a sworn statement saying he wasn't
respon- sible for anything that had happened during the hours he was under
the influence of the drug.
Three days later, the luckless Mr. Meneses noticed that he had a flat
tire. Two men on the street approached him and offered to change it. "I
remember they gave me something to drink, which I can't imagine why I
drank." he says. Police found him asleep in his car six hours later. He had
been robbed of his radio and about $125.
These days, Mr. Meneses is careful to drive with the windows rolled up.
He doesn't venture out much at night anymore. "Burundanga is a very dangerous
weapon in the hands of the underworld" he says.
Not all cases of Burundanga involve theft or robbery. Sometimes victims
have been used as mules to carry cocaine, says Dr. Uribe's brother Manuel, a
neurologist practicing at the clinic. In one incident, says Manuel Uribe, a
well-known Colombian diplomat disappered shortly after leaving a function in
Bogota, only to reappear in Chile under arrest for cocaine smuggling. Medical
tests showed he had been under the influence of Burundanga, and no charges
Camilo Uribe said that in a minority of cases Burundanga is used to lure
young women who are then abused sexually. When they are found days later,
they have no memory of what has happened to them. "You see that a lot with
university coeds." he says.
Camilo Uribe is often called by companies and embassies to talk about the
perils of Burundanga. One diplomatic mission that takes the problem very
seriously is the U.S. Embassy. Its orientation manual warns freshman
diplomats never to visit bars or nightclubs alone. "Druggings in group
situations are far less common" the manual says, adding that food and drinks
should never be left unattended. At the Colombian unit of Dow Chemical Co.
(now there's an organization that knows about drugs!) security officials
periodically tell employees how to avoid getting Burundanguiado "There have
been many cases." says Oswaldo Parra, the company's legal officer. "It's a
very common practice in Colombia."
Curiosly, just next door in Ecuador, where the plant is grown commercially
for medical purposes, its criminal use is unknown. Instead, the plant is the
subject of poetry and myth. If one sleeps under the plant in Ecuador, he
will be able to tell the future, legends say.
Here, however, Pedro Gomez Silva, a forensic chemical expert, tells police
cadets that for fear of Burundanga, Colombians shouldn't accept food, drinks
or cigarettes from strangers, nor buy them from street vendors.
What's more, to be on the safe side, Colombians shouldn't help when asked
for directions or the time of day. And forget sidewalk romances. The way things
go with Burundanga, flirting with a stranger could lead to a really lost
NOTE. THIS SUBSTANCE CAN BE GIVEN BY LIQUID, CIGARETTE OR INHALANT. IT IS
TASTELESS AND ODERLESS AND CAN GIVEN WITH A DRUG THAT MAKES THE VICTIM
TEMPORARILY BLIIND. THE VICTIM UNDER THIS DRUG, WITH AN EXPERIENCED OPERATOR,
WILL TELL THE TRUTH TO ANY QUESTION ASKED. THE VICTIM MAY HAVE NO MEMORY OF
THE EVENT, OR MAY REMEMBER THE EVENT AS A DREAM. MEMORIES OF EVENTS WHILE
ON THIS DRUG MAY COME INTO CONCIOUSNESS MANY YEARS LATER. THE CIA/FBI/NSA
AND MOST POLICE DEPARTMENTS KNOW ABOUT THESE DRUGS. THIS DRUG IS USED BY
SECURITY FORCES TO "MAKE PEOPLE FORGET" OTHER EVENTS. VICTIMS OF THIS DRUG
OFTEN REPORT DISTORTED VISION, ESPECIALLY THINGS BEING MADE WIDE AND SMALL,
OR THE GIVER'S HEAD STARTING TO STRETCH.
- Go on to the next story.
- Go back to the Burundanga Alert Page.
- Go to the Rohypnol Alert Page.
- Go to the Love Espionage & Weird
Federal Dope Page.
- Go to the Earth Operations Central Homepage.