Scopolamine | Yet another reason to avoid Columbia
In small doses, the drug scopolamine is legally used to help control motion sickness or even combat Parkinson’s Disease, among other legal uses. However, this tropane alkaloid can have “muscarinic antagonist effects” in larger doses, according to Wikipedia. What this means is that scopolamine (aka burundanga on the streets of Columbia) can cause dizziness, disorientation, loss of short term memory, hallucinations, stupor, heightened suggestibility and at the right dosage, death. It is commonly administered in a patch in its legal pharmaceutical forms (for motion sickness and anti-Parkinson’s), but on the fields of the Columbian drug war, larger doses of scopolamine can be slipped into a drink or blown into a potential victim’s face. In light of alleged crimes committed with “zombifying” scopolamine in burundanga form, VBS.TV reports that it may be no surprise that one in three kidnappings worldwide occur in Columbia.
Scopolamine inhibits nerve impulses in the brain and muscles
Obtained through chemical refinement of the flowers of the borrachero tree and seeds of the cacao savanero (sabanero in some spelling variations), scopolamine in its burundanga form is also viewed as a kind of “truth serum,” as the victim’s inhibitions are removed. If victims were told to hand over their checkbooks and credit cards or take out payday loans for their captor, they would likely comply. There are numerous American urban legends surrounding burundanga, such as the burundanga business card myth, but sources indicate that such things are unlikely, as the scopolamine derivative must be ingested via mouth or nose in a sufficient dose to produce the feared will-deadening effect.
But in Columbia, scopolamine as burundanga is no myth
That’s what VBS.TV found when they traveled to Bogota, Columbia to investigate. Tales of prostitutes administering the scopolamine derivative so they could rob helpless clients, thugs using it to kidnap victims and extort money from their families and even a case of someone who allegedly committed murder under the influence of burundanga sounded like a most horrible fiction, but medical and law enforcement officials confirmed the nightmares. By the time he tracked down a local dealer named Demencia, the VBS.TV reporter wondered whether he and his videographer would be taking out a personal loan or two they wouldn’t remember later – or at least forking over their expensive video equipment.
However, Demencia didn’t take advantage of the VBS.TV crew – so far as they can remember.