Tainted Alcohol Kills 100 People In Mexico Amid COVID-19 Restrictions
Mexico is currently grappling with its own COVID-19 outbreak and response. Some states in Mexico have partially or fully banned the sale of alcohol. This led to an underground industry of alcohol in Mexico that has had deadly consequences.
More than 100 people have died of tainted alcohol in Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Puebla has been the most affected state with 40 deaths reported from the tainted alcohol. Twenty of those fatalities in Puebla took happened in Chiconcuautla, which has a population of about 15,000 people. Bootleg alcohol is growing in popularity because the sale of alcohol has been partially or completely banned in different municipalities and states.
Police are starting to round up the illegal liquor.
Mexican authorities are seizing gallons and gallons of unmarked alcohol. The alcohol, according to some reports, is a popularized moonshine available in Mexico. However, the batches contain a toxic and highly flammable ingredient that is causing the fatalities.
“It’s possible to begin to speculate that with a smaller supply of regulated alcohol, there’s a larger supply of unregulated alcohol,” Gady Zabicky Sirot, the director of the National Commission Against Addictions in Mexico, told The New York Times.
Mexican authorities have found methanol in the illegal alcohol that has been seized.
Mexican police have discovered methanol in the seized illegal alcohol. Methanol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “is a toxic alcohol that is used industrially as a solvent, pesticide, and alternative fuel source.”
The CDC website further states: “Most methanol poisonings occur as a result of drinking beverages contaminated with methanol or from drinking methanol-containing products. In the industrial setting, inhalation of high concentrations of methanol vapor and absorption of methanol through the skin are as effective as the oral route in producing toxic effects.”
More than 40,000 people in Mexico have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Mexican president was criticized early in the outbreak for not taking the virus seriously. More than 4,200 people have died of the virus in Mexico and the number keeps climbing. Mexican states implemented bans on alcohol to prevent social activities that could lead to an increase in COVID-19 infections.
Part of the alcohol shortage is in part because of the Mexican government labeling breweries as nonessential.
The Mexican government forced breweries and distilleries to shut down production as part of their COVID-19 lockdown measures. The sudden shut down of these production facilities has forced some Mexicans to go without their alcohol unexpectedly.
Some of the bootleggers have been arrested by Mexican authorities.
According to The Yucatan Times, authorities allegedly arrested a person in Acanceh who was providing the illegal alcohol in the municipality. The alcohol in the area killed six people who drank it.