Burundanga dangers

Colombia is the center for another type of drug crime. Burundanga, a relative of the sedative and motion-sickness drug scopalamine, has been implicated in date rapes and robberies. Its effect is to block the victim’s memory and reduce willpower.

In November ’05 my sister-in-law, Sally Mejia, who lives in Bogota, was approached by two women and somehow they caused her to inhale the Burundanga. As a result, she told them how much she had in her bank, went with them to an ATM, emptied her account for them and also gave them all the jewelry she was wearing. Fortunately, nothing else happened to her.

Morgan Hill, CA

Editor’s note: ITN does not usually publish secondhand accounts, but, in researching this letter, enough sources were found backing up the use of Burundanga in crimes to make printing this warning worthwhile. One frequently cited source is an article in the July 3, 1995, issue of “The Wall Street Journal,” which quoted then-defense minister Fernando Botero as saying, “. . . it is a very serious problem.” The article also said there were 500 victims of Burundanga crimes in Bogota each month. The drug can be given to victims in food, drink, chewing gum or cigarettes or dusted on paper. ITN spoke with Ms. Mejia, who said that Burundanga crimes are still frequently reported in Colombian newspapers. She suggests not wandering alone in the city.