Early on Monday morning, doctors from Cali’s “Valle del Lili” Hospital, Colombia, found 104 cocaine capsules inside an 11-year old girl. In the end, they were able to remove nearly 1.2 lbs of cocaine from her body.
The schoolgirl was brought to the hospital by her father in critical condition. The man is nowhere to be found, and the police-officers suspect he was “using his daughter as a drug mule”.
The Colombian police have also said the unnamed girl was four hours away from taking a flight to Madrid with her father. From there they would have ended their trip in the Canary Islands. But these plans changed when one of the 104 cocaine capsules her father forced her to swallow exploded in her stomach.
The girl was immediately rushed into the emergency ward by her dad and another relative, as CCTV hospital cameras show. After a few minutes the adults vanished.
“In 30 years of service I’ve seen all kinds of strategies to smuggle drugs but nothing as reprehensible as this,” Gen. Hoover Penilla, commander of the Cali police, told The Associated Press.
Last night, detectives extensively investigated the little girl’s mother to find the man’s whereabouts. The woman told the police she was long time separated from her husband, but evidence in her apartment showed that they were still living together.
The Colombian Family Welfare Institute will now take temporary custody of the child.
“A case like this is horrific because it puts the life of an 11-year-old girl at risk. We are going to take steps to offer her protection and remove her from her harmful family environment,” Jhon Arley Murillo, a spokesman for the institute, said.
For the time being, the girl remains in the intensive care unit, although she isn’t at risk anymore.
Drug muling is a method the drug lords employ to traffic the drugs across the border by using real people. The drug mules are mainly poor Colombians who choose to risk their lives for a fresh start in another country. They often carry between 18-25 pellets. These pellets are mainly latex balloons (usually condoms or rubber gloves fingers) that the mules swallow with the assistance of Chloraseptic which loosens and numbs the throat. The drugs they ingest sometimes explode in their stomach and they die of an overdose.
Other methods of trafficking cocaine are by sewing it into the underside of wigs, hiding inside false plaster casts, and by stashing it inside the arms of wheelchairs, but drug muling is on of the favorite method used by traffickers.
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