Can't wait to visit South America or the Philippines?
Are you brave, or do you consider yourself lucky. Are you adventurous ?
Besides the issue of the potential for Altitude Sickness from traveling up into the mountains, there is one particularly interesting and dangerous phenomenon that according to the reports, can potentially happen in Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.
About that adventurous trip of the lifetime to South America... has one been advised of the potential issues by your "tour guide"...
From Ecuador News
‘Scariest drug in the world’ gives criminals total control of victims, including some tourists and expats
It’s the perfect crime. The victims are awake, articulate, and appear normal.
But they have no control over their decisions and actions and do anything the criminal asks.
(did you give over your credit cards, paypal account, checking account and totally followed the wishes of someone?)
Victims have regained consciousness to find they’ve been robbed or raped. Reports range from stolen cash, jewelry to cut-out organs. And the victim has no memory of any of it happening.
The victims are under the influence of scopolamine.
Scopolamine is a drug that comes from the large droopy flower of the Brugmansia plant, also known as “angel’s flower.” If you live in Ecuador, you’re probably familiar with it. The flower is beautiful—like a white upside down trumpet—and has a very pleasant smell, but when a correct amount of the toxic alkaloid is given, the drug incapacitates a person’s reasoning abilities and allows criminals to control the victim. It can render a victim unconscious for 24 hours or more, but the initial effect is to render a person complacent and unaware of their surroundings. If the dose is too large, as in a recent case in Guayaquil, it can cause respiratory failure and death.
Scopolamine has some medical uses including the treating of motion sickness and postoperative nausea. Some indigenous Ecuadorians use the plant to help young children and babies sleep well, and you can find it the medicinal plant aisles of some Cuenca mercados. Though it’s not common, scopolamine is also sometimes used recreationally for its hallucinogenic properties.
But it’s becoming more common in the Andean nations of Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru as a tool of crime.
Approximately half of emergency room admissions for poisoning in Bogota, Colombia have been attributed to the drug. By far the most cases of both recreational and criminal use of the drug are in Colombia, particularly Medellin, Bogota, and Cali.
The drug has no color, taste, or odor, so the most popular delivery method is to slip it into the victim’s drink. Though some claim that its use in crime is an urban legend that lacks evidence, victims have also claimed to have had small amounts blown into their face, only to become “mindless zombies.”
A drug dealer in Colombia said in an interview for a documentary, “Scopolamine is a drug like no other. Nothing can compare.”
Speaking about blowing the drug into victims’ faces, he said, “For example, with this you could be walking right here and suddenly [he blows in his hand]. You have your back turned, watching a girl go by, and I walk up and go [he blows in his hand again]. Just like that. In a flash, the person is drugged.”
The perpetrator, he said, only has to “wait a minute and when you see the drug kick in, then you know that you totally own that person. You can guide them wherever you want. It’s like they’re a child,” he said.
One Ecuadorian says he was waiting for a bus to go to work, and the last thing he remembers was someone blowing dust in his face. He was later found unconscious and helped to safety. But he’d been robbed of everything he had.
Often, criminals take victims to banks and ATM machines to withdraw cash. According to police, the drug is also used to take tourists back to their hotel rooms where criminals take cash, computers, cameras, documents, and anything else of value. In most cases, the victims appear to be functioning normally.
In Colombia, one man was taken back to his apartment by his assailants. He woke up the next morning in an empty apartment, confused. He asked the doorman why his place was empty. The doorman told him he had brought everything out of his apartment with three of his friends and loaded it into a van. When he asked the doorman why he allowed it to happen, the doorman explained that he told him the three men were friends and not to bother them.
Two years ago in Cuenca, an expat lost $9,000 under the influence of scopolamine. She wasn’t sure how she was drugged, but she accompanied the thieves to her bank and told the teller she was helping out friends. While she was drugged, she saw a couple of her real friends on the street and introduced the thieves as new friends she had just met. When she talked to her real friends the next day, after the drug had worn off, they told her that she appeared perfectly normal. She remembers none of it.
Although some question the mind-control quality of the the drug, Ecuadorian police insist that it is no urban legend. They say that the thieves are very skilled at knowing the correct dosage to give a victim. “There are usually a few minutes as the drug takes affect when the victim knows something is wrong,” says police captain Jorge Avila. “It is during this time the victim should get away, go into a nearby store or office, or approach someone on the street, and ask for help.”
According to police, men are more often victims than women. In Guayaquil, men frequently report meeting women in hotel bars who apparently put scopolamine in their drinks. They wake up the next day with all their belongings gone.
Sometimes, men who are perceived to be wealthy are targeted in crimes of opportunity. In one incident, an Ecuadorian man says he was lured into a dalliance with a pretty young local woman, took her home, and woke up with all his valuables missing, including the wedding ring of his deceased wife.
In another case, a woman picked up a man at a nightclub, and after he was allegedly drugged, took him to her home while her gang cleaned out his house. She also led him to various ATM machines to withdraw cash. Since he was in a trance state, he readily complied.
In Ecuador, crimes involving scopolamine are most common in Guayaquil, with the number of cases in Quito running a distant second. But there have also been a handful of cases reported in Cuenca, Salinas, Baños de Ambato, Montañita, and Manta.
According to some, including the U.S. Department of State, scopolamine can also be absorbed through the skin from residue on handouts from supposed street vendors. Others argue that it is impossible for enough of the drug to be absorbed through the skin to produce the zombie effect.
Blowing the powder is simple as heck..
Feel safe? going to a place where such chemicals are in the hands of anyone who wants them?
Angel's trumpet is one of the plants which can provide Scopolamine.
Got about 35 minutes to watch a youtube on the use of this interesting mind-rape drug?
VICE's Ryan Duffy went to Colombia to check out a strange and powerful drug called Scopolamine, also known as "The Devil's Breath." It's a substance so intense that it renders a person incapable of exercising free will. The first few days in the country were a harrowing montage of freaked-out dealers and unimaginable horror stories about Scopolamine. After meeting only a few people with firsthand experience, the story took a far darker turn than we ever could have imagined.
Burundanga- another name for this.. Duffy describes it in the intro as the worst roofie one can imagine, times 1,000,000 (one million).. Duffy describes its use in Colombia. This tree though is prevalent in many areas.
Duffy is very seasoned writer and explorer who has traveled the world to understand and then present interesting topics.
Duffy describes this substance as highly dangerous, and he has an interview with dealers who describe its use.
In various countries in South America (Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela) the plant grows ornamentally along side driveways for instance. It is a pretty ornamental plant. Apparently extraction isn't difficult as the substance in it's crude form is sold in the markets. The reported legitimate uses of such are as a sleep aid for one's children. How can dosing one's children with such a substance be considered safe??
Some of the most insidious methods happens when one is just innocently taking a look at paper saturated with the substances.. That section is also described in the youtube..
It is an interesting watch.
Innocent trusting people, well to do, just having this substance used on them..
And they end up loosing everything to the perpetrator, who could seem so sweet, so re-assuring.
I just think about when one is told one must go and attend something, that everything is fine and safe, to not do the research one can be surprised.. Probably if it feels odd, trust your higher self, your inner guidance.
Brugmansia have also traditionally been used in many South American indigenous cultures in medical preparations and as an entheogen in religious or spiritual ceremonies.
Medicinally, they have mostly been used externally as part of a poultice, tincture, ointment, or where the leaves are directly applied transdermally to the skin.
Traditional external uses have included the treating of aches and pains, dermatitis, orchitis, arthritis, rheumatism, headaches, infections, and as an anti-inflammatory.
They have been used internally much more rarely due to the inherent dangers of ingestion. Internal uses, in highly diluted preparations, and often as a portion of a larger mix, have included treatments for stomach and muscle ailments, as a decongestant, to induce vomiting, to expel worms and parasites, and as a sedative.
Several South American cultures have used Brugmansia as a treatment for unruly children, so that they might be admonished directly by their ancestors in the spirit world, and thereby become more compliant. Mixed with maize beer and tobacco leaves, it has been used to drug wives and slaves before they were buried alive with their dead lord.
Searching further, Terence McKenna one of the world's leading psychonauts explains the "tropane" of which comes from the Datura, or of Solanaceae Plant Family. There is even mention about having the plant growing near one's house, the bedroom window for instance, where the effects can be regulated to just "wif's" of the poisons, to elicit extremely bizarre or "out of this world" and out of touch with reality "dreams".. The emphasis is on the "out of this world" type of hallucination, which Terence points out can end up being shared by others...
I've wondered about the unbelievability incredulous realities being perpetrated - to find such substances in the backyards so to speak of some of those espousing "wild off the wall beliefs" (in my opinion) that to me hold no basis in "reality" from my experience I find curious.. I am reminded of a time when visiting some "dolphin researchers" in Hawaii, big Island, in the town of Captain Cook... Datura trumpets were growing all over the back yard.. Stories abounded about dolphins being ambassadors, able to take us to higher realms if we would just reach out.. Their workshops into datura land never panned out and possibly many never ever succumbed to the fragrant Datura, although I commented to them how come there is this strong overpowering aroma at night, when sitting out on their Lanai (porch).. They let me go out alone the next day into K-Bay, without a sea kayak to go "swim with the dolphin" alone.. Amazing but highly dangerous an food for another story...
I frequently challenge things which don't match my scientific background.. And when I find something that doesn't match the science, and what I found by learning myself, not being taught by professors nor by reading cultish hearsay, I ask why? Does this fit some thing that hasn't been discovered? Or is it a mass hallucination or group "think" being presented to people to get them to be lead in a direction.. (sheep or free-thinkers)..
Terence's youtube video is only about 8 minutes, and it is very fascinating to watch and hear his firsthand experiences about the tropanes..
McKenna pointed out the vapors can have the hallucinogenic content, the delirium.. One in other words need not ingest if it is close enough that one will be inhaling the vapors (over time for instance)..
In the Northern Peruvian Andes, shamans (curanderos) traditionally used Brugmansia for initiation, divination and black magic rituals.
In some Latin American countries such as Colombia and Peru, members of the genus Brugmansia are reportedly used by malevolent sorcerers or "bad shamans" in some ayahuasca brews in attempt to take advantage of tourists.
The species that are typically used for these purposes include Brugmansia suaveolens and Brugmansia arborea among others.
19) de Feo, V. (2004). "The ritual use of Brugmansia species in traditional Andean medicine in Northern Peru" (PDF). Economic Botany. 58 (Supplement 1): S221–S229. doi:10.1663/0013-0001(2004)58[S221:TRUOBS]2.0.CO;2
25) Campos, Don Jose (2011). The Shaman & Ayahuasca: Journeys to Sacred Realms.
These hallucinations are often characterized by complete loss of awareness that one is hallucinating, disconnection from reality (psychosis), and amnesia of the episode, such as one example reported in Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience of a young man who amputated his own penis and tongue after drinking only 1 cup of Brugmansia tea.
you may recognize the plant as Angel's Trumpet, for it's often planted ornamentally in the US South. The plant is DATURA ARBOREA, or BRUGMANSIA ARBOREA, depending on your expert, a member of the Nightshade Family (tomatoes, potatoes, tobacco). The species is originally from the Peruvian Andes but now is spread worldwide through the tropics and subtropics, thanks to its striking blossoms.
In fact, the species has had its genes juggled by so many gardeners and horticulturalists for so long that it's fractured into any number of varieties. The one in the photo is a double-flowered variant. You can see a second corolla or a kind of crown emerging from the center of the main flower. The wild form just has a simple tubular corolla.
Since one of the plant's genus names is Datura, and Datura is the Jimsonweed genus -- you may remember Carlos Castinada's Don Juan making his hallucinogenic potions with Datura -- you might guess that Angel's Trumpet has other than angelic properties. On the Internet I find one report of a German youth who under the influence of Angel Trumpet cut off his penis. [..] a poisoning of someone who simply touched an Angel's Trumpet leaf. People into tripping out shouldn't fool with the Daturas.
Both Brugmansia & Datura are in the same family of Solanaceae.
Brugmansia grow into trees, produce brown wood and are perennial in warmer climates. 99% of their flowers point down and are usually called Angels Trumpet. They produce green bean like seed pods.
Datura are annual bushes (except in climates with no frost) and do not produce brown wood. Their stems and trunks are almost always green. Their flowers point up and are mistakenly called Angels Trumpet but are acutally Devils Trumpet. They produce round, spikey or bumpy seed pods that can literally explode when ripe throwing seeds all over the place if the pod is not well hydrated.
All parts of both are extremely toxic. The roots, stems, flowers, leaves and seeds contain the chemicals atropine, scopolamine and hyoscyamine in varying concentrations. If you have toddlers or pets that like to sample plants you must take special care to make sure they cannot come in contact in anyway with either plant. If ingested it could kill them.
When handling either, make it a point not to touch your face, eat or handle food until you have washed your hands. There have been a few posts in the last few months describing the symptoms of Solanaceae poisoning. If you have ever experienced headaches, confusion or vision problems after working with your Brugs or Dats, you have inadvertantly poisoned yourself. Most of the time you will not connect the two. I have poisoned myself unknowingly harvesting Datura seeds when I had open cuts on my fingers or neglected to wash my hands right after harvesting the seeds.