US Emigrant Sedated and Burglarized in Colombia: A Worrisome Pattern

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Romantic Violence Targeting American Expats On The Rise in Colombia

The charm and serenity of Bogota, Colombia, is gradually becoming tainted with a disturbing trend of violence against American expatriates. These incidents often revolve around the use of dating applications and have surged dramatically in recent times. The most recent unfortunate incident involves an American expat, Carlos, who fell victim to a drugging-and-robbing assault in his own home. This pressing problem is increasingly casting a dark shadow over the reality of dating violence in Colombia.

The Disturbing Incident Involving Carlos

Carlos’s encounter began innocently on a dating app where he met a woman. Wanting to pursue the relationship, he invited her to his apartment to enjoy a football match together. As they shared a bottle of wine, Carlos suddenly blacked out. The next morning, he woke up disoriented and foggy-headed, soon to discover that he had been robbed. Many of his personal items, including passports, had been stolen. The horrific realization that he fell prey to a robbery in his own house underscored the dangerous landscape of online dating in Colombia.

An Escalating Trend of Dating Violence

However, Carlos isn’t the only victim. The US State Department report has documented a serious pattern of such violent episodes in Medellin. From November to December 2023 alone, the department recorded at least eight suspicious deaths of American citizens. Some of these fatal episodes stemmed from encounters set up via dating apps. The distressing circumstances prompted the US Embassy in Bogota to issue a serious warning to American citizens, emphasizing the urgent need for strong personal security measures, and continual vigilance while using dating applications.

Scopolamine: The Preferred Drug for Perpetrators

In the alert notice, the embassy also pointed to the noticeable surge in the use of a specific drug that perpetrators use to subdue their victims: scopolamine. The occurrence of such criminal acts have rapidly risen. Therefore, the advice leans towards meeting potential dates in public areas to reduce such risks. Columbian authorities, in response, have taken measures against those involved in these crimes. Medellin’s Mayor has advocated for a shift in tourism, from those associated with drug and sex tourism to more positive activities.

The intertwining of our digital and physical worlds has highlighted the potential risks associated with online platforms. The accelerating trend of online dating-related crimes in Colombia serves as a call for not only a need to enhance personal security measures but also an international collaboration that can effectively control such incidents.


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