Beware of Burundanga on Business Cards-Truth! & Unverified!
Summary of eRumor:
A viral warning claims that a drug called burundanga on a business card poisoned a woman and advises people to beware of what has become known as “the zombie drug.”
Burundanga is a real drug, but a story about a woman poisoned by burundanga on a business card that has been circulating the web for years is unverified.
First, let’s start with what’s true about this viral email warning.
Burundanga is derived from trees that grow in the jungles of South America. It’s also called Devil’s Breath, scopolamine or simply “the zombie drug.” It has been used in the medical community to prevent vomiting and motion sickness, but it has become known as “the world’s scariest drug” in the underworld drug trade.
In a Vice documentary, a drug dealer in Columbia described how burundanga could be blown into someone’s face and within minutes, “you can guide them wherever you want. It’s like they’re a child.” That’s because the zombie drug blocks the brain’s ability to form memories and strips its victims of free will and reason for days at a time.
Reports of burundanga poisoning aren’t uncommon in South America. Criminals often use the drugs to sexually assault or rob their victims. The South American publication El Mundo reported in 2013 that a criminal group had used handwritten notes laced with burundanga to poison four victims — which sounds a lot like burundanga on a business card email warning:
(An unknown woman) approached insistently with a small paper with handwritten text while following her as she continued to walk in the company of her two minor children. About 100 meters from the first contact, the affected relates, “I felt something in my head, I began to feel dizzy, legs weighed me while asking me where I was, whether he was married or how many children they had.”
We can confirm that burundaga is a real drug used by criminals to leave their victims in a zombie-like trance for days, but we have not been able to verify the specific account of burundanga on a business card poisoning a woman.
In fact, we weren’t able to find any accounts of burundanga being used on victims in the U.S. So, many of the details about burundanga from the warning email are true, but we cannot confirm any cases of the drug being used outside of South America.