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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: World's Scariest Drug (Documentary Exclusive)

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[INTRO PLAYING]

RYAN DUFFY: Welcome to Bogota, Colombia.

We're here chasing after the most dangerous drug in the

world, burundanga.

Burundanga is the source of scopolamine, which is

basically like the worst roofie you can ever imagine

times a million.

You're at the whim of suggestions like, hey, take me

to your ATM.

Hey, come with me to the hotel room--

while you're completely conscious and articulate.

Apparently there is a lot of different parts of the plant

that are a bit dangerous, possibly a bit fun, depending

on what you're into.

So we're going to be looking for the tree, talking to

people who've had experience with it, and seeing if we can

find some of the actual drug ourselves.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

RYAN DUFFY: So the deal with burundanga is that it pretty

much eliminates your free will.

So you're awake and you're articulate.

And to anyone else watching you, it seems like you're

perfectly fine.

But you've completely lost control of your own actions.

So you're at the whim of suggestions.

And that's how people take advantage of you.

I've heard a bunch of different stories really

running the gamut.

Some of them sound like campfire horror stories you're

told when you're growing up.

Stuff like, waking up in a bathtub with an organ cut out

and a sign saying, you have five hours

to get to the hospital.

We've of course also heard that it's used

as a date rape drug.

We heard one particularly chilling story where a guy was

taken back to his apartment, woke up the next morning in an

empty apartment completely confused as to what happened.

Went down and said to his door man, you know, why is my

apartment empty?

What happened?

The doorman said, well, you brought it out with two of

your friends last night.

All your stuff, you loaded it into a van.

And the guy was like, why in the hell would

you let me do that?

And he was like, because you told me to.

So that's kind of the stuff we're dealing with here,

complete elimination of free will while still acting which

is pretty much the scariest shit I can imagine.

[PLAYING MUSIC]

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: Columbia's basically fucked.

They had the longest running guerrilla war in

all of Latin America.

They've essentially been at civil war for 60 years.

And really if you think about it, they've never not been at

war since they gained their own independence.

Other fun facts about Colombia, definitely not from

the Board of Tourism, include the fact that one in every

three kidnappings in the world happen right here in Colombia.

And as we all know, it's the cocaine

capital of the universe.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: Now the borrachero tree, which by the way roughly

translates to drunken binge tree, is indigenous to the

Northern Andean region.

That includes Colombia, and Ecuador, Venezuela.

But the scopolamine is really only used by the criminal

element here in Colombia.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: So despite the insane homicide rates, the

kidnapping, the narco trafficking, the civil unrest,

and everything else going on in here in Columbia, we can't

seem to find a Colombian who's more scared of anything than

falling asleep under the borrachero tree.

[MUSIC PLAYING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: So far I'm really into Columbia.

I showed up.

Beautiful women ordered me dinner.

And it's fantastic.

And they ordered a bottle of whiskey to the table.

I might not go back.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: So it's not something that is popularly

done down here then?

RYAN DUFFY: Really?

Not at all?

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: Do you know people that have been given

burundanga?

Do you have a cousin of a friend of a cousin?

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: We're here at the Botanical Gardens on the

outskirts of Bogota.

We're going to go see if we can figure out what this plant

actually looks like.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

RYAN DUFFY: Those right there are the flowers that we've

heard a lot about.

And you can kind of put those in a tea and you'll

hallucinate.

You can also take the root down there, put that in a tea.

And again, you'll hallucinate.

And then there's the cacao, which kind of looks like the

mini coconut of sorts.

That has the seeds inside.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: They actually just crack the thing right there.

And then this is where the seeds are.

I mean, that's where everything comes from, right?

SANTIAGO STELLEY: Yeah.

That's what they use to actually make the scopolamine.

RYAN DUFFY: You're in business.

The most dangerous drug in Colombia and

arguably the world.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: The coke, at the end of the day, I mean, with

its obvious pitfalls and dangers, is recreational.

SANTIAGO STELLEY: Yeah.

RYAN DUFFY: Whereas there's nothing at all recreational

about what can be made with this.

It's a distinctly criminal element.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: The irony of sorts is that it's beautiful.

It's a very nice plant.

And smells very nicely.

I'm enjoying this right now.

SANTIAGO STELLEY: Seems quite Colombian all-in-all, very

beautiful and very dangerous.

RYAN DUFFY: This is pretty much the symbol of

Columbia isn't it?

If you didn't know what you were looking for, you'd walk

right by and go, that's a pretty flower.

Maybe I'll pick it and give it to my mom.

But that would be a real bad idea.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

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RYAN DUFFY: So now we're here at the National

University of Columbia.

And we're going to go talk to Dr. Miriam Gutierez who heads

up the toxicology department here and apparently is an

expert on scopolamine.

We're going to try and chat with her a bit about what

actually happens when someone's exposed to the drug.

And try and figure out what this whole zombie

thing really means.

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[MUSIC PLAYING]

RYAN DUFFY: Scopolamine is by no means a modern revelation

here in Columbia.

The indigenous people in this area have had a whole bunch of

uses for the drug.

For example, when a chieftain died, all his assorted

females, wives, mistresses, what have you, they

had to go as well.

Now that could be a bit of a dicey process.

But what better way to shore things up than to slip them

some scopolamine and suggest they walk into a grave.

When they did, they were buried alive.

In modern times, there's a whole litany of fucked-up

people who've been using scopolamine for their benefit.

For example, in the 1930s and '40s, Josef Mengele had the

drug imported from Columbia to Germany to use in some of his

interrogations.

More recently, the CIA tried to use the drug in the '60s

during the Cold War as sort of a truth serum.

The problem with all of this is that in addition to a whole

lot of truth, there's a good bit of hallucination involved.

We're in a cab right now heading over to the southern

part of the city.

We're going to meet with officials at the Bogota City

Police Department.

What we're hoping to figure out is a little bit more about

how the burundanga gangs work.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

[MUSIC PLAYING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: So it seems like a lot of the worst scopolamine

stories that we've heard start and end at

places just like this.

And the next thing we're able to get from someone is, I woke

up on a park bench day and a half later, without my clothes

on, without any money, whatever it is.

This drug has always been kind of inextricably linked to sex

in some way or another.

From its earliest uses, to eliminating a lingering

mistresses, to fallen chieftains, to its eventual

use in easing the pain of childbirth, to the stories

we're hearing on the streets today about prostitutes giving

it to unsuspecting johns, or about men turning women into

prostitutes by suggesting they go and earn some cash.

It always seems to come back to sex in one way or another.

And it always seems to start at places like this.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

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[MUSIC PLAYING]

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RYAN DUFFY: So, so far we've heard a lot of stories about

burundanga.

But we'd like to get a little bit closer.

So we've asked some of our Colombian friends to put us in

touch with someone who has an experience with burundanga.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

RYAN DUFFY: No idea.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

[MUSIC PLAYING]

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[MUSIC PLAYING]

RYAN DUFFY: Oh, my God.

That better be the scariest drug I ever see in person.

RYAN DUFFY: Don't let go of that fucking thing.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

[MUSIC PLAYING]

SANTIAGO STELLEY: Are we done with it?

RYAN DUFFY: I'm fucking over it, dude.

After all this--

SANTIAGO STELLEY: Into the sewers?

RYAN DUFFY: Anywhere but here.

Not bummed to see it go, I'll tell you that much.

Like when I first got here I was super interested in it.

And it was like this novelty thing.

I've heard enough stories, man, that I'm just not

fucking into that.

It's not funny at all.

FEMALE SPEAKER: Make sure you throw away those gloves before

you put them around anywhere.

The Description of World's Scariest Drug (Documentary Exclusive)