The “devil’s breath,” or scopolamine, is considered one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. It’s derived from the seeds of borrachero trees, which flower with otherwise gorgeous wedding bell flowers.
Tasteless and odorless, this powder can be slipped to the unsuspecting, putting them in a trance-like zombie state. The mind offers less resistance under scopolamine, making the victim highly susceptible to persuasion. It also creates short-term memory loss, which is why its nefarious users have so often gotten away with their misdeeds.
Since the 1970s, the devil’s breath has been used in Colombia by criminals to lift wallets off tourists or convince people to let them hollow out their apartments. There have been incidents of rape and even kidnapping. More recently, there have also been reports of devil’s breath attacks in France, where attackers blow the drug into people’s faces in an attempt to put them under the spell. Large doses of the devil’s breath are considered lethal. One gram could kill up to 25 people.