Some time back LTW looked at 5 new underclass drugs from around the world
one of which was ‘Paco’ from Argentina, a drug produced from cocaine paste, a substance that was once seen as waste. This low cost and very toxic cocoa paste is currently ripping through the countries of South America. These countries (e.g. Peru and Columbia) had, for a long time, argued that the U.S were chiefly to blame for cocaine consumption but ‘cocoa paste’ is changing that assumption. Below Carl Stanley acquaints us with some of these drugs.
Very much like the low budget Paco comes ‘Basuco’ from Columbia, similar in effect to its more expensive relative crack-cocaine, its estimated to be smoked by up to 100,000 users in a country of 31 million people and commonly used among the street kids of Bogota who smoke it from make shift pipes. Again like Paco its effect is a euphoric high at a lower price than other street drugs like heroin or cocaine which all started from traffickers selling the by-product at such a minimal cost. The story goes that the use of cocoa paste originated in Columbia when the cocaine cartels of the 80’s first released the ‘paste’ to the dealers which in the end found its way to the street dealers of the El Cartucho area of Bogota where its said this low-grade high was first made available. Basuco,
From Brazil another new street drug derived from the manufacture of cocaine paste is ‘oxi’. Similar in appearance to crack cocaine it offers a ridiculously mad high for a fifth of the cost of crack (R$2 a rock compared to R$10 for a rock of crack) and is again made up from the dangerous by-products left over from cocaine production which contains kerosene or gasoline, acetone, battery fluid and other chemicals.
Oxi is a highly addictive, hallucinogenic and absolutely devastating to the human body with users experiencing rapid weight loss, yellowing of the skin, chronic liver problems and ultimately death in as little as a year with constant use. Originally starting out in the state of Arce which borders the Amazon Oxi has started spreading across the northern states so rapidly it’s estimated it’s only a matter of time until it ends up on the streets of Rio. Which has already caused the Brazilian authorities to start tracking down and destroying makeshift labs and arresting those involved in its production. .
Over in Lima the cocoa paste is being mixed with seaweed, which is in turn smoked with weed and tobacco to produce the drug ‘Tristo’, coming from the dark backwaters of Lima the cocaine derivative is blended with a dried seaweed giving users a hit described as a ‘peaceful, happy and ‘trippy’ hallucinogenic rush. Details on its origin’s are not fully known but it is believed that the ‘Paracas’ culture among the people of South Lima first used the seaweed in their ceremonies. This itself has raised issues over the toxicity levels of the Lima Ocean where the seaweed is found.
All words by Carl Stanley. More features by Carl on Louder Than War can be found here.