Colombian necktie

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First attested in 1981: Colombian, from its frequent use as a method of intimidation during La Violencia (circa 1948–1958) + necktie, from the resulting macabre resemblance of the victim's tongue to that of a necktie as it dangles over the chest.


Colombian necktie (plural Colombian neckties)

  1. A method of execution in which the victim’s throat is slashed vertically, then his tongue is pulled out through the gaping wound toward the sternum, after which the victim usually dies of asphyxiation or blood loss.
    • 1981: David Thoreau, The Santanic Condition: A Novel, page 132 (Arbor House; →ISBN, 9780877952749)
      Guillermo’s long body was sprawled across the double bed. It took him a minute to realize what had been done. He had read reports of the “Colombian necktie” but had never expected to see one, […]
    • 1988, August 15th: New York Magazine, volume 21, № 32, page 22
      In Jackson Heights, according to New York Newsday, the favored method of execution is now the “Colombian necktie”: The throat is cut and the tongue pulled through the slit to hang down upon the chest. The drug gangs are not misunderstood little boys.
    • 1990: Douglas Terman, Enemy Territory, page 331 (Bantam Books; →ISBN, 9780553286137)
      His body had been found two weeks earlier by the DEA on the MacArthur Causeway leading over to the Beach, the concrete beneath his crumpled body soaking up blood, his tongue hanging out in a Colombian necktie.
    • 1994: Ronald K. Siegel, Whispers: The Voices of Paranoia, page 276 (Crown; →ISBN, 9780517592397)
      If you betray them, they kill your family and give you a “Colombian necktie.” First they spread-eagle you on a vertical board and slit your neck vertically, from the chin to the collarbone. This severs the larynx and prevents you from screaming. Then they pull your tongue through the slit and watch as you slowly strangle.
    • 1997: Felicia Okeke-Ibezim, O. J. Simpson: The Trial of the Century, page 36 (Ekwike Books & Publishing; →ISBN, 9780966159806)
      Supporting this, they claimed that Nicole must have borrowed money from one of Colombian drug Lords and so fell victim to Colombian necktie or necklace?
    • 2000: B. J. Whalen, Justifiable Homicide, page 243 (Ballantine Books; →ISBN, 9780345432025)
      A young girl, age eleven, had been slashed across the throat and had her tongue pulled through the cut, reminiscent of the Colombian necktie.
    • 2002: Betty Bradford Byers, The Big Payback, page 109 (iUniverse; →ISBN
      His accomplice rushed in behind Angelo, jerked his head back and slashed his neck. Blood gushed from the severed artery, and he slumped to the ground. The first assailant decorated Angelo’s chest with the proverbial “Colombian necktie” in which his tongue was pushed down through his gullet and pulled through the slash in his neck — a popular mobster tactic. They disappeared into the night, leaving him dead, just a few feet from the door of Giovanni’s.
    • 2003: Robin Kirk, More Terrible Than Death: Massacres, Drugs, and America’s War in Colombia, page 26 (Public Affairs; →ISBN, 9781586481049)
      There was the Colombian necktie (corte de corbata), when the killer cut a deep groove under the jawline of the victim and pulled the tongue muscle down and through it, so that it lay like a necktie on the chest.
    • 2007: Howard Silverstone and Michael Sheetz, Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation for Non-Experts, page 95 (Wiley-IEEE; →ISBN
      Ruling their territory through unprecedented violence, the Colombian Cocaine cartels turned the streets of Miami, New York, and Los Angeles into a new “wild west.”²⁵ Bringing with them horrific phrases such as the “Colombian Necktie,”²⁶ the narcotraficantes of the late 1970s and 1980s revolutionized the way in which desertion and infidelity to the organization were punished.
    • 2009: Stephen Schneider, Iced: The Story of Organized Crime in Canada, page 504 (John Wiley and Sons; →ISBN
      Not only was murder frequently used, but the methods were often quite sadistic, such as the carte de corbata, the notorious “Colombian necktie” in which the victim’s throat is cut longitudinally and the tongue is pulled through to hang like a tie.

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