My 2nd Time Bribing Cops in Colombia

This story happened a day or two after I published the story of my first time bribing cops in Colombia. Although that story occurred months before publishing it, I delayed writing this one because I felt like a dumb shit getting caught twice.

I quit drinking for over six months in Colombia. Toward the end, I started smoking weed every day. My smoking started to stink up the apartment building, annoying the neighbors. One day somebody said something and I decided not to smoke in the apartment anymore.

I started smoking on short bike rides around the neighborhood. One night, the same week as publishing the last bribery story, The Mick and I walked across Septima to burn one in Chapinero Alto. We each had one lit as we were passing a small park on Calle 61.

UPDATE: The Mick’s memoir is published. See

colombian-cupid-buttonA cop on a motorcycle pulled up, seeming pissed off and motioning us to stop. I threw my joint as far as I could into the park and The Mick dropped his. The cop got off the bike and frisked us. He picked up The Mick’s joint and asked if I had one. I told him I didn’t. He called for backup.

A pickup truck with two cops pulled up. The windshield of the truck was smashed as if someone had beaten on it with a baseball bat. The motorcycle cop ordered us into the bed of the pickup, and he jumped in with us.

They drove us to a station somewhere around Carrera 4 or 5 and sat us down on the bench. They went into the station and did … I don’t know what the hell they were doing. There was nothing preventing me from taking off in a sprint besides knowing these cops work just a few blocks from my apartment and I’d certainly see them again.

We waited around for fifteen minutes or so. This time I had the 20,000 peso note, which I slipped to The Mick. He was in a bad mood and said a few times he didn’t care if they took us to jail. Fortunately, one of the young coppers came out and made some small talk while The Mick slipped him the money. We were free to go.

We went back to the park to find the joint I’d thrown, and smoked it on the way back to my apartment. Then I swore off smoking weed forever because it was getting to be a pain in the ass. That was my last dance with Mary Jane to date – except for a couple times while drunk after the bars, which don’t count, and a couple times with family, which don’t count either 🙂

Kick-ass song by Tom Petty, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”:

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  1. Only 10 USD to bribe a roomful of cops? *Everything’s* cheaper in Colombia…

    I’ve been told, by people far more streetwise than myself, that generally it’s better to try to complete the transaction in the street, before they take you back to the station (fewer people to pay, hence it’s cheaper).


  2. @ Mike Mackenna – thanks for the article link! However, However, while it seems legal to have a personal amount, I doubt it’s OK to smoke it on the street.


  3. I had to bribe a Lima cop once. I was on the way to the airport to catch a flight to Miami. I friend was driving me and we took the side roads to avoid the cops. As luck would have it, we were pulled over. Seems the auto registration wasn’t in the computer. The usual. My friend begged and pleaded. It was embarrassing. When I heard the cost was 5 soles, I thought what the hell, that’s a $1.87 in the USA. Get me the hell out of hell. I have a frigging flight to catch.

    Moral of the story is always have small bills in local currency until you leave the country.


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