Carlos Efrén Álvarez Rosas, 39, on Friday died after two of the eight capsules of liquid cocaine inside his stomach burst.
The Mexican fainted before going through security at Alfonso Bonilla Aragon Airport of Palmira in the Valle de Cauca department in the southwest of Colombia. He was taken to Valle university hospital in Cali, where he passed away. His body was taken back to Mexico.
In 2013 in the department of Cauca there have already been four cases of people risking their lives as drugs mules, including three foreigners, one from Mexico and the other two from Spain.
Valle police arrested 20 drug mules in 2012. 6 of those arrest were non-Colombians: two Venezuelans, one Spaniard, one North American, a Brit and a Portuguese.
According to the department’s police commander, narcotraffickers sometimes take advantage of unfortunate situations that foreigners may find themself or even threaten them to get them to transport drugs abroad.
A police anti-narcotics investigator said that those arrested are often alike in the respect that they agree to act as drug mules due to their economic situations. The investigator claims that foreigners may be paid between $2700 and $5500 for one trip.
An expert on security, Mario Valencia, stated that narco-traffickers use foreigners as mules because they believe it is easier for them to get through boarder security unnoticed and that if they get through Colombian security, they are very likely to get through other countries’ controls too, because they are distracted by the threat of terrorism.
Valencia went on to explain, “The members of the drugs groups have experience in transporting drugs. On a day when one drug mule is arrested in Palmira Airport, two or three other could be walking through security undetected.”
According to authorities, the Mexican’s death marks the first recorded case of liquid cocaine transported inside a person’s stomach this year.
“Liquid cocaine is the same is the same alkaloid disolved, which means they mix it with substances like acetone to camoflage it. It is very hard to detect, undetectable by sniffer dogs and can cause animals harm, as they emit harmful gases,” an anti-narcotics official at the airport explained.
Other ways of trafficking cocaine include attratching the alkaloid to items of clothing or concealing it inside genitals or in a suitcase with hidden layers.
Last week police arrested a Spaniard found with 8869 grams of cocaine in his suitcase.