Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Cases for Zombie Awareness
Real Live Zombies
Real Live Zombies
Andrea Fernandez was on a bus in Bogota, Colombia, holding her newborn son. Three dates later she was picked up by police walking topless in the street, talking to herself, no child, "When I woke up in the hospital, I asked for my baby and nobody said anything. They just looked at me." Sadly, authorities believe that her son was abducted by human traffickers.

According to Colombian hospital personnel, this happens to hundreds of people each month. The U.S. State Department's travel advisories for Colombia warn tourists to beware that criminals in that country are, "using disabling drugs to temporarily incapacitate tourists and others. At bars, restaurants, and other public areas, perpetrators may offer tainted drinks, cigarettes, or gum. Typically, victims become disoriented or unconscious, and are thus vulnerable to robbery, sexual assault, and other crimes. Avoid leaving food or drinks unattended at a bar or restaurant, and be suspicious if a stranger offers you something to eat or drink." Their disabling drug of choice? Scopolamine: odorless and tasteless, it is slipped into drinks and sprinkled onto food. Scopolamine is distilled from the borrachero tree into a powerful alkaloid drug that, legend has it, caused the wives and slaves of fallen chieftains to allow themselves to be buried alive.

Today, in what is described as a zombie state, highly suggestible victims help thieves to rob their homes, steal their money, even take their children, never remembering a thing. According to Reuters, an embassy official recalled the case of an American that had been drugged and robbed, "He says to his doorman 'Why did you let them walk out with my stuff.' The doorman says, 'Because you told me to.'"

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