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A true story.

The events occurred 25 years ago and culminated in the

Colombian capital city Bogotá

in early June 1994.


If you’re interested in any of the events or subjects mentioned within

3 Seconds in Bogotá

I’ve collated these following references to help kick start your research.

‘Paseo Millonario’

The Taxi Scam updated

The ‘taxi scam’ that has continued on and been adapted since the early 90s.

This report contains a modern warning about the airport. Even with CCTV in operation and with people having mobiles enabling them to call for help and take and send incriminating photos – the robberies continue.

Even in 2013,  they refer chillingly to the ordeal as "under the best of circumstances resulting in armed robbery." 


The City Paper 2013

“…In Bogotá, security is an important aspect of daily life, and one of the most notorious methods of robbery known as ‘paseo millonario,’ involves pirate taxis orchestrating a route, which under the best of circumstances results in armed robbery…”

“…even passengers arriving on flights into the new El Dorado Airport should be very cautious only to take licensed cabs, even if the lines are long at the taxi dispatch. While El Dorado has CCTV, the best guarantee for a safe ride is to wait curbside in the official line…”

Special Agent Watson Killed

Bogotá 'Paseo Millonario' murder of US DEA agent gains international attention

DEA website Sept 2014

“…Gracia Ramirez admitted that he and his conspirators agreed to conduct a “paseo milionario” or “millionaire’s ride” in which victims who were perceived as wealthy were lured into taxi cabs, kidnapped and then robbed. Gracia Ramirez admitted that he targeted Special Agent Watson and picked him up outside a Bogotà restaurant in his taxi. Soon after, two conspirators entered Gracia Ramirez’s taxi, and one used a stun gun to shock Special Agent Watson and the other stabbed him. Special Agent Watson was able to escape from the taxi, but he later collapsed and died from his injuries….”


Officer Down Memorial page

“…Special Agent Terry Watson was stabbed to death in Bogota, Colombia…"

Read more



Expat chronicles 2014

“…Several police were killed there, and on some occasions grenades were thrown by the mafia soldiers. When police were no longer willing to enter El Cartucho, they erected roadblock barricades and guarded the borders. Laws inside were dictated by the traffickers.While there are no statistics given homicide victims were internally disposed of, the murder rate in El Cartucho was higher than in Iraq or the former Yugoslavia during their respective wars. In enforcing the gangs’ street code, there were murders every day. The mafia soldiers were an integral part of life in El Cartucho as they maintained order in the kingdom of thieves and addicts. Stories abound of bodies being quartered with chainsaws and buried under the blocks of El Cartucho…"

Documentary film ‘Cartucho’

Ex-resident and body collector says 100o’s buried under the new park where Cartucho was before demolition. Below is the trailer for the film festival documentary.

Trailer - Documentary film ‘Cartucho’

Cartucho on Camera

Stanislas Guigi

If you didn’t see these before, to get a sense of Cartucho and the other police no-go areas, check the superb collection of black and white photos by Stanislas Guigi.

Haunting images of Cartucho by Stanislas Guigi
Haunting images.jpg

The Bronx

Bronx - the New Cartucho

When Cartucho was demolished in the last nineties the area reformed itself nearby in the smaller area known as the Bronx. Since this was in existence recently there is more material available for research.

The City Bogotá Paper - June 2017

“…The truth is, that for most of Bogotá, El Bronx, was the ghoulish “Independent Crime Republic” as Mayor Peñalosa referred to it, where drug dealing and child prostitution went unchecked. Then, evidence of torture, murder and dismemberment in so-called ‘chop houses’ in which the dead were fed to starving dogs, or buried under the concrete floors. Despite the fear, the mere mention of El Bronx generated in the minds of Bogotanos, the horror filled just four streets…”.




“…When around 2,500 heavily armed police and soldiers recently raided a warren of crack dens in a notorious Bogota neighborhood to tackle drug trafficking, they also found two hundred children being used as sex slaves…”

Chop Houses
Las Casa De Pique

News paper reports

Colombia Reports 2016

“…Evidence of torture chambers found blocks away from Colombia’s presidential palace…the discovery of so-called “chop-up houses” in the port city of Buenaventura, similar torture and dismemberment chambers have been found in Medellin, and now in Bogota. The first reports on homes that had been abandoned and converted into torture and dismemberment chambers….were used to dismember homicide victims after which the remains were thrown in the Pacific Ocean.The gruesome practice hit the international headlines again in 2015 when Medellin police found evidence of similar horror homes inside government-financed housing projects in the Urabeños-controled west of the city and in abandoned warehouses downtown….”


The Guardian 2014

“..The criminals recruit children, extort businesses, force people from their homes and dismember live victims, scattering their remains in the bay or surrounding jungle. Dozens of wooden huts balanced precariously on stilts over the bay have been abandoned by terrorised citizens and taken over by the gangs for use as casas de pique, or chop houses, where they torture and murder their victims….”


Chop Houses in the Bronx

City Lab 2018

“…Described as “a living hell” by Colombian newspapers, as many as 3,000 people lived in the streets, which were controlled by a heavily-armed gang of micro-traffickers known as “Sayayines,” who sent anyone who crossed their path to the Casa de Pique [chop house].

Bodies were disposed of by crocodiles kept in basements; a 100-meter long underground tunnel was used to smuggle drugs, weapons, and kidnap victims in and out; underage girls were kept as sex slaves; and torture rooms were equipped with the most macabre of instruments…”.

Bronx on film 1

The Bronx raid of 2500 police on camera 2016

Video using body cam footage of the police.

This video is in Spanish.

Turn auto-translate on to your language.

• They found the chop houses.

• Victims fed to dogs and crocodiles.

• Footage shows the rescue of one boy before he was to be killed.

• The journalist says the mafia controlling here had infiltrated the police and were paying high bribes.

• They offered huge bounties for the bodies of dead police.

See the raid here:

The Bronx raid of 2500 police on camera 2016

Bronx on film 2

3 minute expose in The Bronx

Kidnapping,Torture and Satanism

• Evidence of chop shops.

• Body parts in concrete.

• Rooms where people have clearly been shot against wall.

3 minute expose in The Bronx - Kidnapping,Torture and Satanism

Bronx on film 3

Los Sayayines, el comando armado ilegal que por años sembró terror en el Bronx.

• The Sayayines, the illegal armed gangs that for years controlled the Bronx with terror.

• Surveillance videos show people dragging dead bodies in broad daylight

Los Sayayines, el comando armado ilegal que por años sembró terror en el Bronx.

Street Kids

Murder of Street Children

Street Kids looked after by charity. 2019


“…Most children living in Bogotá’s sewers do not want to leave. They grow accustomed to the waist-deep feces, the stench, the darkness, the water and the rats. As frightening and dangerous as the sewers are, the children feel safe there…”


LA Times: The Sewer Kids of Bogota

“…Underground : Hundreds of young vagrants live desperate, stoned lives in the storm sewers under Colombia’s capital. They gather there for protection from the elements, and from vigilante hit squads who threaten their very lives….”


CNN - Sewers home to vagrant Colombian kids


“…The sewage system running under Bogota's streets was filled with packs of kids living waist-deep in human waste and taking in copious amounts of glue and crack in order to cope.

This was at the height of Colombia's Dirty War, and the whole reason street kids had moved into the sewers in the first place was to get away from the violence above ground. But then the paramilitary death squads who had chased them off the street started coming into the pipes and shooting them or dousing them in gasoline or raping them.

The sewer kids became a fairly big humanitarian story in the media for a while, with networks in America and Europe sending in TV crews to cover it and folks setting up charities abroad. Then, as happens with news stories, it fell off the radar, and I guess people kind of thought the problem had been resolved, if they thought of it at all.

But what had actually happened was, about six months after all the stories aired, the death squads went in, armed with the whereabouts of the sewer-kid hot spots, and carried out massive reprisal killings. There was some talk in the government about cracking down on the death squads, but by all accounts, soldiers and off-duty cops made up a good part of most squads. So the situation just stagnated while the world turned its attention elsewhere…”

Desperation & Cannibalism

Modern cases of Cannibalism within the west

Flight 571 Crash Andes 1972



“…During the next 72 days, 13 more passengers died. The remaining survivors reluctantly resorted to eating the dead..."  Read more



Picture History


“…Many instances of cannibalism by necessity were recorded during World War II. For example, during the 872-day Siege of Leningrad, reports of cannibalism began to appear in the winter of 1941–1942, after all birds, rats and pets were eaten by survivors. Leningrad police even formed a special division to combat cannibalism. Following the Soviet victory at Stalingrad it was found that some German soldiers in the besieged city, cut off from supplies, resorted to cannibalism…”


The Nazino Affair & the Cannibals of Death Island

“…Shortly after the settlers arrived on Nazino, Stalin finally rejected the idea of the labor settlements. However, on May 27, a further 1200 deportees joined the original settlers on Nazino. By this time order had well and truly broken down, with death, disease, and chaos in charge. Those settlers with a flour ration found that without utensils and bread ovens, there was no way they could bake bread. In desperation, they mixed their flour rations with river water and quickly contracted dysentery. Many, already weak died. However, some managed to escape illness. For them, there were just two choices.

The first choice was to escape. Some of the more able settlers constructed makeshift rafts and tried to escape by the river. Many drowned when the rafts came apart midstream. Others who survived the water found themselves hunted down like animals for the sport of the guards. However, anyone who made it across the water was left unmolested. This was because the terrain was so harsh and the escapees so ill-prepared for survival that they were deemed as good as dead.

The second choice was to stay on Nazino and survive whatever the cost. Murder became frequent as the survivors fought over the meager and ever diminishing resources. The guards were unable to control the gangs, which roamed the island and so left them to their murderous rampages, contenting themselves with punishing minor offenses amongst the weaker individuals. However, by the end of the first week, the starving settlers had already turned to cannibalism. The signs were first noticed by health officers who observed five corpses with body parts missing…”

Murdered for Uni Studies

Modern cases of Cannibalism within the west

AP news 1992

“…Twenty-two bodies found in a university morgue appear to be the gruesome harvest of a ring that kills homeless people to sell their cadavers to medicine, police say…”

Enter reference section for
3 Seconds in Bogotá

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