The borrachero tree, which is marked by beautiful white and yellow blossoms that droop ever so innocuously from the plant’s slender branches, holds a secret that few people outside northern South America know about. The tree’s seeds, flowers, and pollen possess hallucinogenic chemical substances that, when inhaled or consumed, are capable of eliminating a person’s free will, and turning him or her into a mindless zombie that can be fully controlled without any inhibitions.
Back in May, the U.K.’s Daily Mail ran a report on the borrachero tree, also known as the “drunken binge” tree, explaining how a substance derived from it, scopolamine, blocks a person’s ability to form memories, and temporarily inhibits his ability to make free will choices. When inhaled or consumed, in other words, scopolamine can turn any person into a robot that will do whatever another person tells him to do, even if it means robbing his own house.
“The drug … turns people into complete zombies and blocks memories from forming,” wrote the U.K.’s Daily Mail about scopolamine, which is technically a refined, chemically-altered version of the natural, mind-altering substances found in the borrachero tree. Scopolamine is often used in Colombia and elsewhere by criminals to mind-control others for the purpose of committing crimes.
“Scopolamine is a drug like no other. Nothing can compare,” said Demencia Black, a Colombian drug dealer, to Vice’s Ryan Duffy during an interview that was later compiled into a full-length, investigatory documentary. “You could be walking … and suddenly ‘poof’ (implying that you quickly blow scopolamine powder in someone’s face) … with just that flash the person is totally drugged.”
“You wait a minute and when you see it kick in, then you know that you own that person. You can guide them wherever you want. It’s like they’re a child. You say, ‘Take me to your house, give me your checkbook, take out your savings, give me your credit card numbers,’ just like that.”