I spent 15 years with Colombia’s most vicious drug cartels – I met hitmen who ‘kill for God’ & ‘demonic’ witch doctors

A BRIT who spent 15 years with Colombia’s most threatening drug cartels has described a world of blood, cocaine and a wierd mixture of black magic & “holy” hitmen.

He additionally described the second a narcos gunman threatened to kill him as he coated the nation’s bloody drug wars.

Brit journalist Toby Muse spent 15 years covering Colombia's drug gangs


Brit journalist Toby Muse spent 15 years overlaying Colombia’s drug gangsCredit score: Instagram/@tobysmuse
Members of Colombia's deadly Clan del Golfo drugs cartel


Members of Colombia’s lethal Clan del Golfo medication cartelCredit score: AFP
Soldiers from the Clan del Golfo - one of Colombia's largest drug cartels


Troopers from the Clan del Golfo – one among Colombia’s largest drug cartels

Examine journalist Toby Muse gained the belief of key cartel members, providing him unparalleled entry to the bloodthirsty gangs who run Colombia’s cocaine commerce with military-like effectivity and brutal violence.

Toby, whose e book Kilo: Contained in the Deadliest Cocaine Cartels was revealed in 2020, instructed The Solar On-line how he received near the women and men at each stage of the medication gangs, from the bottom coca farmers to the cocaine kingpins, and the cold-blooded assassins who perform their hits.

Within the course of, he additionally gained an perception into the “tsunami” of cocaine flooding the world, from the jungles of Colombia to the streets of London.

And he described how the killers have a wierd mixture of spirituality and black magic, typically utilizing witch docs to summon “demons” to assist them struggle rivals – and with hitmen typically believing they’re doing God’s work.

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Describing his most terrifying experiences, he recalled the time he was out in a distant space of Colombia close to the Venezuela border with a bunch of narco militia gunmen.

“We had been the Catatumbo River on Friday night time,” he mentioned. “This is likely one of the locations the place they develop the coca. The entire native economic system revolves round it.

“All people had cracked open the beers and had been on their fifth or sixth ones. We had been sitting within the dust exterior somebody’s home round a fireplace, the music was blaring.

“Out of the blue, one of many militia gunmen, who was drunk, shouted out: ‘Screw it, I will kill that gringo son of a b****.’

“He wasn’t taking a look at me however was shouting loud sufficient that he knew I may hear.

“I believe he was saying that they would not essentially kill me proper now, however that they may kill me tonight.”

On the time, the group had been in such a distant and inaccessible space of the nation that if that they had determined to kill Toby, it is unlikely he would ever have been discovered.

The closest city of Tibu, dwelling to simply 30,000 individuals, was solely round 30km away, however to achieve it might have taken round six hours, together with strolling, hitching a carry on the again of a bike, crossing a river in a truck, after which catching a taxi alongside the ultimate stretch of freeway.

To at the present time, Toby says he does not know why they did not kill him.

“It could have been exhausting for them to justify killing me,” he mentioned. “I used to be there with a group organiser who had invited me, they needed me to see the truth of the scenario confronted by Colombia’s coca farmers.”

Like standing in a on line casino the place everyone seems to be earning money and intercourse is on supply to everyone, however at any level, somebody may step up and put a bullet in your mind

Toby MuseWriter, Kilo: Contained in the Deadliest Cocaine Cartels

He added that vacationers won’t ever see this world and that if he hadn’t had individuals who may vouch for him, it is probably he would have been turned again or kidnapped earlier than he ever reached the coca farms.

On one other event, the cartel he was overlaying had been organising a welcome celebration for a bunch of foreigners who had been coming to Colombia as a part of a serious cocaine deal.

They instructed Toby the nationality of the foreigners and the subsequent day, coincidentally, the group had been arrested and paraded on TV information.

“If you end up round these individuals as a journalist, you do not need to hear about any future plans,” he mentioned.

“If something goes unsuitable, they are going to have a look at you as a snitch.”

Within the days following the arrest, Toby mentioned he tried to keep away from the cartel members as a lot as attainable till he was contacted late at night time by a long-time buddy within the underworld, who mentioned he wanted to see him.

“I assumed he was coming to kill me,” he admitted. As an alternative, he helped him escape.


One of the crucial weird options of the Colombian drug cartels was their obsession with spirit faith, together with black magic.

The Clan del Golfo, by far the nation’s largest and strongest cocaine syndicate, commonly employed witches and warlocks to forged spells for the cartel.

One notably darkish spell would “hang-out” rival cartel members or legislation enforcement officers main them to commit suicide.

“It could be like having a demon in your again telling you to ‘kill your self, kill your self’ all day,” he mentioned.

One other spell described to Toby was a so-called “invisibility” incantation.

“The witch would take mud from the bone of a cat which had been killed in a particular approach,” he mentioned.

“That mud could be put in with the cargo of medication and supposedly the port inspectors won’t discover them.

The Virgin of the Assassins shrine in Medellin, Colombia


The Virgin of the Assassins shrine in Medellin, ColombiaCredit score: Tripadvisor/Gaby
Guns and ammo seized in a drug bust in Colombia


Weapons and ammo seized in a drug bust in Colombia
Blocks of cocaine wrapped with mocked up cash and strange eye symbols seized from Clan del Golfo


Blocks of cocaine wrapped with mocked up money and unusual eye symbols seized from Clan del GolfoCredit score: Justice Division

Unsurprisingly, in a world the place loss of life can come at any second, faith performs a serious position within the lives of many narcos.

For his e book, Toby interviewed a person named Alex, a cartel hitman who prayed to the Virgin Mary earlier than every contract killing.

He would journey to the infamous shrine in Medellin which Pablo Escobar’s males would go to forward of a mission.

It’s known as the Virgin of the Mystic Rose, however it goes by a darker nickname – the Virgin of the Assassins.

Toby requested Alex how he squared his religion along with his job as a assassin for rent.

“He instructed me, ‘If God actually does not need me to kill somebody, he’ll cease me. So once I kill somebody, God needed them punished as a result of he did not defend them. If I fail, then he did not need them punished.'”

Colombia's coca farms are the first step in the process of making cocaine


Colombia’s coca farms are step one within the course of of constructing cocaineCredit score: AFP
The late Pablo Escobar is the most notorious of Colombia's drug kingpins


The late Pablo Escobar is essentially the most infamous of Colombia’s drug kingpinsCredit score: Getty
He had an affair with Colombian newsreader Virginia Vallejo


He had an affair with Colombian newsreader Virginia VallejoCredit score: AP

Describing the way it felt being on the planet of the drug cartels, Toby mentioned: “It’s like standing in a on line casino the place everyone seems to be earning money and intercourse is on supply to everyone, however at any level, somebody may step up and put a bullet in your mind.”

He added: “You may’t separate intercourse from the cocaine commerce. When younger males in Colombia need to get into it, sure they give thought to the cash, but additionally the fashions and actresses.

“For younger individuals in slums run by the drug gangs, cartels are their Hollywood.”

Within the Nineteen Eighties, Colombia’s most outstanding newsreader Virginia Vallejo had an affair with Pablo Escobar, subsequently writing the e book Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar about their relationship.

It was was a movie in 2018.

Lots of Colombia’s main fashions have had very public affairs with narcos.

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Trying again on his time with the drug gangs of Colombia, Toby described what he known as “a continuing sense of dread, like an anchor round your neck.”

He added: “Dying is all the time close by. There’s a very darkish ambiance, with violence by no means greater than a finger click on away.”

Toby's book Kilo was released in 2020


Toby’s e book Kilo was launched in 2020

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