PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. While that seems like a shocking number, please keep in mind that the Riviera Maya is … Last summer, the Dominican Republican and Costa Rica dealt with similar deadly tainted-alcohol situations, with toxic levels of methanol being reported in liquor. My husband and I leave for Secrets Akumal in a week and now I am a bit nervous. It was sent to Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, last month by the State Department's Office of Inspector General. As the Secretary continued to deny any evidence of tainted alcohol in Mexico, Ms. Caruso-Cabrera moved onto the raids at 31 resorts that were announced by the Mexican Government on August 14, 2017. Abbey Conner drowned in a … As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Washington (CNN)Nearly two years after receiving an inquiry from Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Ron Johnson, the State Department is finally revealing details about its investigation into multiple deaths and illnesses that occurred shortly after Americans drank alcohol at Mexican resorts, CNN has learned. The website was created to make travelers aware of the many unknown dangers that await you when traveling to Mexico, and so victims and their families have a place to tell their stories. According to The New York Times, at least 70 people have died since mid-April, with their causes of death believed to be due to drinking tainted alcohol purchased on the black market. But tainted … Abbey was found face-down in the shallow end of the pool, nearly drowned, and died days later after being airlifted to a hospital in Florida. Counterfeit alcohol had been eyed as a … New findings from the State Department’s Office of Inspector General are putting a spotlight on the difficulties Americans can face when they get sick and need help in other countries — especially if that illness might be the result of a crime. The ‘My Mexico Story’ area has stories submitted by victims detailing incidents of tainted alcohol… New York Times Reports “At Least 70 Dead” from Tainted Alcohol As the Coronavirus continues to devastate countries across the globe, a new headline emerged. The deaths come after some parts of Mexico implemented laws against purchasing spirits to try to squash citizens from gathering for parties and spreading the coronavirus. For more information or to donate, click here. This led to an underground industry of alcohol in Mexico that has had deadly consequences. Yet despite recording the summaries of various reported cases, OIG did not express an opinion as to whether extensive handling of alleged cases of tainted alcohol in Mexico falls under the State Department's area of responsibility. She and her brother Austin lost consciousness soon after consuming alcohol at the pool bar in the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar on the first day of their family's vacation. In the letter, the inspector general’s office also outlines the steps the State Department has taken to address the tainted-alcohol complaints in Mexico. “Bottles may be sold in shops, markets and bars, often at a ‘bargain’ price.”. In one case, a man had to wait until the next day for assistance filing a police report, despite reporting he was drugged and sexually assaulted after drinking tainted alcohol. Coronavirus closures hit beer supply, driving tainted alcohol deaths in Mexico May 18, 2020 / 11:06 AM / AFP Puebla, Mexico — Scores of Mexicans … —–Article Update as of December 2019—–. The State Department pressured the Mexican government to inspect 30 bars, restaurants and hotels. It's a huge source of revenue.". About 20 of the deaths presumed to be from methanol poisoning were in Puebla, according to The Guardian, and authorities closed the stores thought to be distributing the tainted drinks. Methanol — which is typically found in antifreeze, varnishes and fuels — is often added to counterfeit or informally made alcoholic drinks, according to the World Heath Organization. "There have been reports of individuals falling ill or blacking out after consuming unregulated alcohol.". If you would like to opt out of browser push notifications, please refer to the following instructions specific to your device and browser: At Least 70 People Dead in Mexico After Drinking Tainted Alcohol: Report. Two bars -- including one that served Abbey and Austin Conner -- have been shut down as a result. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. More than 100 people have died of tainted alcohol in Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of deaths in Mexico have been linked to unregulated alcohol after many areas of the country have implemented drinking bans to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). | RELATED: Coronavirus Has Been Devastating to Americans’ Mental Health — Here's What to Do. An FBI investigation has ruled out tainted booze as the cause in three mysterious US tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic, according to a report. Per the U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Americans heading to Mexico, there have been reports of people "falling ill or blacking out" from drinking the homemade alcohol. The response makes no mention, however, of multiple incidents reported in various media outlets that Mexican officials had, in other raids, seized hundreds of gallons of alcohol allegedly tainted with methanol, a toxic form of alcohol that is used in fuel, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid and solvents. The response, obtained by CNN, said that two bars were ultimately shut down by Mexican authorities after the State Department pressured them to inspect a number of establishments. Some beer-making plants were also deemed nonessential during the global health crisis, according to Reuters, reducing the breweries' output in recent weeks. By Michelle Kosinski and Zachary Cohen, CNN. RELATED VIDEO: Streets in Spain and Italy Surge with People as Coronavirus Restrictions Are Eased, RELATED: U.S. Coming 'Perilously Close' to Meat Shortage Due to COVID-19 Closures, a Major Supplier Warns. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. At times families were told by State officials that they could not help them navigate the Mexican law enforcement or healthcare process. An official with the inspector general's office told CNN their investigation is now closed. The response explains, "OIG faced several challenges in completing this review, including the fact that victims often did not report incidents of unregulated alcohol to the department, which significantly limited the number of cases on which OIG could base any generalizable findings," it states. Lydia Birt. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories, "If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill," the advisory reads. The family of a young woman who died after possibly drinking tainted alcohol is now suing the Mexican resort that served her. To reiterate, no tainted or adulterated alcohol has been found anywhere on the premises of any of the Iberostar-flagged properties in Mexico, as confirmed by Mexico authorities last month. Officials seized about 50 gallons. Johnson first wrote to enquire about the cases involving allegations of tainted alcohol in October 2017. You'll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications. I will be blunt when I say tainted alcohol is a real thing. T he U.S. State Department has warned tourists visiting Mexico about “tainted” or “substandard” alcohol that can cause illness and blacking out. Introducing ... PEOPLE's Products Worth the Hype, Coronavirus Has Been Devastating to Americans’ Mental Health — Here's What to Do, U.S. Coming 'Perilously Close' to Meat Shortage Due to COVID-19 Closures, a Major Supplier Warns. View Comments. And it did put a lot of pressure on the Mexican government to do thorough inspections. Coyote Ugly Turns 20: Where Is the Cast Now? Mexico is currently grappling with its own COVID-19 outbreak and response. A man looks for a soda following the shortage of beer, after breweries countrywide closed production due to the coronavirus in Monterrey, state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, on May 5. "According to Ms. Connor's family, and other victims who have since come forward, the consumption of allegedly tainted alcohol at Mexican resorts has led to violence, physical abuse and even death," Johnson's letter to the State Department states. The New York Times is reporting “At Least 70 Dead in Mexico from Drinking Tainted Alcohol.” This is not the first time the country had reports of alcohol poisoning people, … Tainted Alcohol Kills in Mexico Read More » Those difficulties range from failure to issue police reports, … The OIG's response did detail some of the difficulties American families of victims faced in getting help from the State Department while in Mexico, which some families described as "insensitive," "bureaucratic," or virtually nonexistent. Authorities also temporarily shut down Fat Tuesday, a bar located in Cancun, and took a total of 90 gallons of alcohol from both bars. Only days ago, on May 13, 2020 the New York Times first broke the story with a headline that read, “At Least 70 Dead in Mexico from drinking Tainted Alcohol”. However, the lengthy response does detail the inner workings of how this inquiry was handled as a result of pressure on the State Department, and details some of the actions that were taken as a result of the review. "I respectfully ask the Office of the Inspector General to examine how the Department monitors, records and reports overseas incidents involving physical abuse or death after the consumption of potentially tainted alcohol. Yucatán, Mexico On May 15, 2020 Yucatán Expat Life, a local news source reported that there have been over 100 deaths from tainted alcohol from black market purchases. "In addition, OIG's review was complicated by the fact that the guidance for consular personnel who face these types of situations is general and sometimes advisory, mainly because of the complex and variable nature of the incidents themselves.". US warns about tainted alcohol in Mexico (2017), US agencies investigating hack of government networks, CDC approves Covid-19 vaccine for use in the US, First batch of Covid-19 vaccine ships out for distribution, NYPD commissioner says 'shots rang out' after Christmas caroling, Bill Gates: Presidential transition complicating vaccine efforts, FedEx exec shows off 'guardian angel' tracking technology, Jake Tapper wants to thank Trump. Do you think there is any merit to these stories and have any of you experienced anything like this? A warning in Mexico after 100 die from drinking tainted alcohol amid coronavirus shortages, bans A shortage of beer, bans on sales and the state of … The majority of the resorts reached by the Journal Sentinel said they were aware of the incidents, investigated them but could find no evidence of tainted alcohol or foul play. UPDATE 8/15/2017: Mexican authorities have seized 10,000 gallons of illegal alcohol. "We were really limited by our jurisdiction, in what we could look at," the official said. "OIG cannot draw definitive conclusions about any individual consular officer's compliance with Department policies in these cases," their response to Johnson's letter says, since State Department guidance on this issue remains vague. A shocking report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel alleges that multiple all-inclusive resorts in Mexico may be serving tainted alcohol, leading to the death, or harm, of several guests. In this year of 2017, the publication, Euromonitor International reported that as much as 36% of all alcohol served to the tourist trade in Mexico can be severely contaminated. Credit: And the State Department's work led to the Mexican government opening an office staffed with bilingual attorneys to help American tourists file police reports. Some states in Mexico have partially or fully banned the sale of alcohol. After raiding 31 resorts, nightclubs, and restaurants in Cancun and Playa del Carmen suspected of serving tainted alcohol, the government was led to a liquor manufacturer supplying the illicit substances. "There have been reports of individuals falling ill or blacking out after consuming unregulated alcohol," the U.S. State Department says in its Mexico travel advisory. The Republic | azcentral.com. In several of those cases, families have alleged that the victims became ill just after consuming alcohol, leading the FBI to look into whether tainted alcohol might be a factor there as well. Gary Davidson, an attorney for the family of Abbey Conner, continues to seek answers and compensation for the family's loss. Mexican officials say they've seized 1.4 million gallons of tainted alcohol, a toxic mix of cheap ingredients from Mexican businesses in the past seven years including tourist hot spots like resort, clubs and bars. Stories of tainted alcohol being served at Mexican all inclusive resorts have been spreading like wildfire on social media today. It can cause blindness and death. The attorney for the family of 20-year-old tourist Abbey Conner, who drowned after drinking alcohol at a Mexican resort, said Thursday that the alcohol was “tainted” … Those findings are included in the Conner family's wrongful death lawsuit against Iberostar, filed last year. Ultimately, the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs did provide OIG with a list of 15 complaints that it has received since 2017 related to the consumption of unregulated alcohol by Americans in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, the most visited by tourists from the US. Raquel Rutledge has been investigating this story for the past six months. In January, a 20-year-old from Wisconsin died after allegedly ingesting tainted alcohol and then drowning in a resort pool in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. A number of deaths in Mexico have been linked to unregulated alcohol after many areas of the country have implemented drinking bans to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). About 10,000 gallons, or 37, 854 litres, of tainted alcohol has been found at resorts in Mexico following a series of raids.. "We mostly had to focus on the actions of the State Department. JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/AFP via Getty Images. The government of Mexico has said that there is illegal production of alcohol in Mexico. Raids were conducted by Mexican authorities that did end up finding "a significant amount of alcohol of 'undetermined origin'" and led to the identification of one supplier of questionably-sourced alcohol. 10,000 Gallons Of Tainted Alcohol Seized From Mexican Resorts. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which has. (CNN) The United States is warning travelers to Mexico about tainted or counterfeit alcohol following the death of a Wisconsin woman. Get push notifications with news, features and more. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which has reported extensively on the Mexican cases, reports that it has heard from more than 200 people who believe they encountered tainted alcohol in Mexico… Hear his message, Bill Gates: Next 4 to 6 months could be worst of the pandemic, FDA commissioner's advice on taking the vaccine if you have allergies, Trump takes aim at allies, lashing out at Attorney General Barr, FDA commissioner assures public that science guided vaccine decision, Videos show packed crowds at Mexico art festival, Supreme Court rejects Trump's bid to overturn election, Head of Operation Warp Speed: There is no reason for pressure on FDA, Americans are far more likely to be killed in the US than in the Dominican Republic, US warns travelers about tainted alcohol in Mexico. The U.S. State Department has warned travelers in Mexico about possible tainted alcohol, leaving many to wonder if it’s safe to indulge in their vacation margaritas. 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