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  • When it came to drug kingpins like Pablo Escobar, they had one way of making sure that nobody

  • cheated or narc'ed on them: the Colombian Necktie.

  • No one would doubt that some horrific murders have happened during the endless battle that

  • is the war on drugs.

  • We all know about those terrible videos that gangs have posted online, with men kneeling

  • on the ground before being executed.

  • You've likely heard of a victim in the Mexican cartel wars that ended up in pieces, and his

  • face sent as a warning gift to another cartel attached to a football.

  • You might have even heard of EnriqueKikiCamarena Salazar, an FBI agent who was tortured

  • and killed by Mexican drug traffickers.

  • And it goes without saying that the infamous shower scene in the movie Scarface was inspired

  • by the acts of the Medellin cartel.

  • So, if you're familiar with what we've just said, you'll know that literally, anything

  • goes in the drug war.

  • It's all very gruesome, and bad things definitely happened, but the Colombian necktie is a different

  • kind of beast.

  • The question is, how many stories that refer to it are true?

  • Was it really exported to the USA?

  • Where did it even come from?

  • The obvious answer to the last question is of course Colombia, but head over there, and

  • it's likely many people have not heard of it.

  • They'll probably laugh at you and tell you that you've watched too many movies.

  • It's real.

  • Its origins are from a terrible period in Colombian history.

  • So terrible, this Civil War is calledLa Violencia”, “The Violence.”

  • This period ran from 1948 to 1958.

  • In short, it was a bloody feud between Liberals and Conservatives.

  • Around 200,000 died, which was close to two percent of the entire nation.

  • Most of these victims, and the killers, lived in the countryside.

  • Looking at descriptions of what happened during that decade you can read things such asbrutal

  • inhumanityandextreme cruelty,” andspectacular violence.”

  • The acts of violence became more savage as time went on, with each side upping the ante

  • after seeing what the other side had done.

  • People were crucified, hanged, and even quartered in the style of the Medieval Europeans.

  • The message was, “This is what you'll get, if you mess with us.”

  • We have a name for this: psychological warfare.

  • In a paper written for the Colombia Journal, the psychological warfare that happened during

  • those bloody years is discussed.

  • The author wrote, “The foremost purpose of killings and massacres is to send a sharp

  • message to survivorsrelatives, acquaintances, neighbors, even entire villagesthat the

  • armed actors can and quite possibly will strike with unrestrained severity.”

  • Sometimes it's not always how the victim or victims were killed, but what they looked

  • like when their bodies were discovered.

  • The grizzlier the murder scene, the more significant statement was made.

  • It was the same back in the day in England, when after someone had been hanged, drawn,

  • and quartered, their head, or other body parts, would be displayed for the public to see.

  • In this case, the authorities made the statement.

  • That's why enemies on both sides during the Colombian strife sometimes engaged in

  • what's calledpost-mortem mutilation.”

  • Another researcher explained it like this, “The point, of course, was not just to kill,

  • but to communicate.

  • The blood-splattered tableau mort was meant to demonstrate that there were absolutely

  • no limits to what would be done.”

  • Historians say people inventedingenious formsof killing, so much so that they

  • got their own names.

  • One wasel corte de mica (monkey cut), which consisted of leaving a person's head

  • on their chest.

  • Another act of brutality was called the flower vase (el corte de florero), which meant making

  • the headless and limbless dead person into a kind of human flower vase.

  • You can imagine how that was done.

  • There was the necktie, “el corte de corbataamong many horrific things that were done.

  • In short, a cut was made into the person's neck below the jaw.

  • His or her tongue was then pulled out, so it stretched downwards.

  • The effect was that the deceased person looked as though they were wearing a tie.

  • According to the author of this paper, these acts were well-known to combatants.

  • He said theColombian necktieand theflower vasebecame part of their vocabulary.

  • A Colombian anthropologist named María Victoria Uribe also documented such cases.

  • What we're saying is this kind of death, and post-mortem mutilation is not a myth.

  • Still, we had a look at some forums to see if any Colombians talked about the necktie.

  • Here is what one person said: “It was a technique used by the conservative

  • 'Chulavitas' to assassinate the 'mobsters' or liberals, (and also communists) and thus

  • simulate the red tie that they wore as an identification of their sympathy with the

  • liberal party and ideologies contrary to the conservative party.”

  • That sounds one-sided.

  • From what we can see, both sides committed horrors.

  • Now let's look at how it would feel to die this way.

  • Before the tie thing was done, the victim had his throat slit.

  • You can die from two things if this happens.

  • The first is when the trachea is cut, but somehow, the arteries are not.

  • The cause of death would be lack of oxygen or and basically, your lungs drowning in your

  • own blood.

  • It's unlikely you would die this way, though, instead you'll probably just bleed out..

  • You all know that you have really big veins in both sides of your neck, called carotid

  • arteries.

  • When those are severed, it's pretty much game over.

  • Lack of blood to the brain will make you pass out, and then your heart will stop.

  • How long it takes to die, though, can change.

  • It's all about the cuts.

  • This is what someone wrote in a paper published by the US National Institute of Health:

  • The length of time it takes to die following an incised wound of the neck depends on several

  • factors.

  • They include whether the venous or arterial systems are severed and whether there is air

  • embolism.

  • In some instances, victims with a single carotid artery cut have moved for about 10 minutes.”

  • As for pain, a US doctor wrote that thesurge of endorphinsand utter shock at what is

  • happening will likely block out the pain.

  • If the windpipe is cut, the person will be struggling to breathe, rather than thinking,

  • ouch.”

  • If the carotid arteries are totally severed, there will be shock, but the person should

  • pass out quickly.

  • Either way, it's not a nice way to go, but it would be a better way to die if the cut

  • went right through the main arteries.

  • It would be over in seconds.

  • A shabby cutting technique would prolong the torture.

  • So it looks as though this was indeed a thing back in those dark days, but what about more

  • recent times?

  • We found an article written in Spanish, and since this writer's Spanish is about good

  • enough to order a beer and ask for directions, he used an online translation tool.

  • The necktie was written ascorbata Colombiana”, but we're sure that's the same asel

  • corte de corbata.”

  • The article explains that in 2009, in Ayacucho, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, police discovered

  • a murder scene in a hotel.

  • The article said, “He had a cut in his throat with the extraction of his tongue, according

  • to the DDI of that town, who reported to the person in charge of the investigation.”

  • After two months, police identified the victim as Iván Andrés Telles, a man with links

  • to drug trafficking.

  • Besides that case, we can't find any more recent cases, although we read a translated

  • news story which said a person had been fined for threatening to give someone a Colombian

  • necktie.

  • That happened in Spain in 2017, and the fine was 180 Euros ($213).

  • Ok, so now let's move over to the USA, where on occasions the media has talked about this

  • vile act.

  • In 1995, AP news published the headline, “Colombian Necktie' a Grisly Fate for Drug Snitches.”

  • This was the first paragraph, “In Colombia's drug underworld of the 1980s, snitches met

  • with a gruesome fate: Their throats were slashed and their tongues pulled out through the wounds,

  • according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.”

  • If the DEA said so, then it must be trueyou would think.

  • A spokesperson for the DEA said it's what drug cartels did to folks who'd talked to

  • the police or even the DEA.

  • That's something we'll come back to.

  • One reason why the Colombian necktie was talked about back then is that it was brought up

  • at the trial of O.J. Simpson, perhaps the biggest circus event the American justice

  • system has ever put on.

  • Simpson's defense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. talked about the murders Simpson was on

  • trial for, which involved a very brutal knife attack.

  • Cochran said such deep wounds looked like the work of Colombian drug traffickers who'd

  • attempted to do what he called a “Colombian Necklace.”

  • In linguistics, his mistake is called a “malapropism.”

  • He used the wrong word, but it sounded close enough.

  • No one was really buying into this far-out theory, which was about a believable as saying

  • Jason Voorhees had committed the murders.

  • A law professor would have agreed with that, at the time stating it was like saying, “Martians

  • might exist and then asking if it is possible that Martians committed this crime.”

  • Even the head of Colombia's anti-narcotics police said it was balderdash, stating that

  • he'd never come across cartels doing this, and it was only something that existed during

  • the period ofThe Violence.”

  • He said, “Colombian traffickers have killed many people, but they do not use this method.”

  • Simpson, by the way, wasn't convicted of the murders during that trial, so maybe it

  • was Martians, or Jason Voorhees, that did it.

  • We can find no news items which state that anyone in the US has been killed and had their

  • tongue splayed on their chest.

  • We can't even find an instance of cartels doing it in Colombia, so that story of the

  • Argentinian murder is quite original.

  • Even that isn't written about in English, and we struggled to find any more information.

  • However, in 2018, US news reports talked about a woman named Priscilla Ellis.

  • She was apparently a proponent of the necktie type of mutilation.

  • The authorities heard her asking a hitman to kill someone who had testified against

  • her in a fraud trial, telling the guy she wanted the mother of another witness to receive

  • a Colombian necktie.

  • Ellis's 40-year prison sentence got much longer.

  • She later apologized, saying no neckties would really have been done.

  • This is the thing with the Colombian necktie.

  • It's talked about a lot in the US, but there isn't much to show for all the chatter.

  • You have to ask when did it first enter the American lexicon?

  • In 1985, The Washington Post discussed it briefly, but only in reference to a Chuck

  • Norris movie calledCode of Silence”.

  • In one scene, a Colombian drug trafficker wearing a very smart suit walks up to Norris.

  • With evil written all over his face, he says, “One day, I would like to give you a gift

  • of a Colombian necktie.

  • It's very special.

  • You slit the throat, you pull out the tongue, and you, hahaha, will look beautiful.”

  • Norris doesn't look phased at all, and smiling, he replies with his typical bravado, “Why

  • don't you give it to me right now.”

  • Suffice to say, he kicks everyone's behinds in the end.

  • So, movies like that, plus the O.J. Simpson thing, put the word on the street that gangs

  • were doing this kind of thing.

  • But, from what we can see, they didn't.

  • As far as organized crime is concerned, Colombian Neckties are apocryphal.

  • Now you need to watch, “Scientists Agree THIS is the Worst Way to Die.”

  • Or, have a look at...

When it came to drug kingpins like Pablo Escobar, they had one way of making sure that nobody

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Is This The Worst Way to Die?

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    Summer posted on 2021/09/16
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