STREET kids as young as six are becoming hooked on the world’s cheapest drug – which contains acid, petrol and even VOLCANIC ash.
Bazuco – from the Spanish word for base – is a highly toxic mixture of cocaine paste, brick dust, volcanic ash, sulphuric acid, and kerosene or gasoline.
The killer narcotic causes irreversible long-term damage to the brain, heart, liver and lungs[/caption]
It can sell on the streets of Bogota for just 20p a hit -and has quickly become known as Colombia’s own version of crack cocaine.
The deadly mix is far removed from the tonnes of pure cocaine being peddled across the world by the country’s deadly cartels.
However, that is why it has become so popular as it is a drug even desperate street kids can afford – often with dire consequences.
Ernesto Mojica, a chemist at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, said:“Bazuco is a profitable drug for many people because of its peculiarity, as it is not a pure drug, like marijuana or cocaine.
Addicts smoke bazuco in an outlying area in downtown Bogota known as ‘Calle del Bronx’[/caption]
Cops arrest an 18-year-old suspect in connection with the seizure of 90 packets of bazuco[/caption]
“In other words, the percentages needed to make bazuco don’t go beyond one gram, at most 1.5 grams if it’s good quality. But in the end, (it’s the use of ) solvents that makes this drug so cheap.”
The killer narcotic causes irreversible long-term damage to the brain, heart, liver and lungs.
Users are known for the aggressive and uncontrollable behaviour and have been known to kill to get their hands on the drug.
The main reason bazuco is so addictive is that someone has to take several doses to feel its effect – and they are hooked before they know it.
Because of its two-minute highs, users often retake the drug chronically, resulting in binges that leave little time for eating or sleeping.
More potent than crack cocaine,it is typically smoked through a pipe, although it is sometimes rolled in cigarette papers with tobacco or cannabis.
It is so addictive that families tell of relatives who become dependent after just 15 days of repeated consumption.
Julian Quintero, director of Colombian non-governmental organisation Technical Social Action (ATS), calls bazuco “the diabolical son of narcotrafficking”.
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He told the Lancet that “much like Colombian coffee, the best product leaves and the worst stays”.
Bazuco has flooded the streets because dealers can carry a high quantity divided into packets. And since it’s so inexpensive to make, it’s attractive to gangs of all sizes.
“The main problem with bazuco is that it is a drug created specifically for micro-trafficking,” said Brig. Gen. Luis Eduardo Martínez, commander of the Bogotá Metropolitan Police.
“There are no big cartels involved, rather small groups distributing the drug. That causes the authorities to have to invest more resources in breaking up so many gangs.”