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Costa Rica Is Warning Everyone To Stop Drinking Alcohol As 19 People Have Died Due To Tainted Alcohol

Costa Ricans are on edge after 19 people have been died because of tainted alcochol. According to authorities, each of the victims died after drinking alcohol with toxic levels of methanol.

So far 14 men and five women, in several cities across the country, have died.

As of now, there have been 19 deaths across Costa Rica related to tainted alcohol.

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At least 19 people have died in Costa Rica after consuming alcohol contaminated with toxic levels of methanol, officials said.

The victims, who ranged from 32 to 72 in age, consumed the tainted alcohol in various cities across the country dating back to early last month, the country’s Ministry of Health revealed over the weekend.

They each died from what appeared to be methanol poisoning. The fatalities occurred in San José, Cartago, Limón, Guanacaste and Heredia.

“It is important to emphasize that this information is preliminary since the investigations continue,” the statement said. “The Ministry of Health continues to carry out operations throughout the national territory in order to reduce the exposure of consumers to adulterated products.”

The government is so concerned they’ve started confiscating huge amounts of alcohol from restaurants, bars, and clubs.

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Government officials confiscated more than 30,000 bottles of alcohol suspected to be tainted, the ministry said in a statement on Friday, warning residents to avoid several brands that tested positive for contamination.

They’re also telling people to avoid consuming alcohol from a number of specific brands until they’re sure it’s safe.

Until authorities can figure out exactly what is going on and which brands or types of alcohol are affected, the government is urging all people in Costa Rica to hold off from consuming alcohol for now.

Though the government did release a list of suspected brands (which you should definitely avoid) and they include Molotov, Timbuka, and Aguardiente.

Alcohol poisoning, particularly from methanol, can make people feel really drunk really fast, not giving them time to realize something might be wrong.

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Adulterated liquor often contains methanol, which can make people feel inebriated. Adding methanol to distilled spirits enables sellers to increase the amount of liquid and its potential potency, according to SafeProof, a group that lobbies against counterfeit alcohol.

Methanol poisoning can cause confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches and the inability to coordinate muscle movements. Even small amounts can be toxic. According to the World Health Organization, outbreaks of methanol poisoning are usually linked to “adulterated counterfeit or informally-produced spirit drinks.”

Costa Rica isn’t alone Outbreaks have happened around the world.

Outbreaks have hit countries around the world in recent years, each ranging in size from 20 to over 800 victims, WHO reports. This year, at least 154 people died and more than 200 others were hospitalized after drinking tainted alcohol in India. The victims consumed unregulated moonshine, known as “country-made liquor” in the northeast state of Assam.

Twitter was quick to start jumping to conclusions.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

Many on Twitter started linking the news out of Costa Rica to the recent string of suspicious deaths in the Dominican Republic. Although some victims families (of those who have died in the DR) have speculated that their deaths were caused by alcohol poisoning, authorities haven’t yet confirmed that. So it’s definitely too soon to connect the dots here.

So how do you stay safe when you’re traveling but want to enjoy that tasty tropical cocktail or the local specialty?

Credit: @MeriAssociates / Twitter

So how do you stay safe when you’re drinking abroad and living out that vacation fantasy? First, pay attention to what you’re buying. Look at the price (is it too cheap?) and packaging (is it sealed?) of the product. If it tastes bad, don’t drink it. Additionally, according to the U.S. Overseas Security Advisory Council, follow these guidelines:

  1. Don’t drink homemade or counterfeit “booze.”
  2. Don’t overdo it.
  3. Don’t compete with locals and their brew.
  4. Don’t let your drink out of sight.

Costa Rica Just Became The First Central American Country To Make Same-Sex Marriage Legal

Entertainment

Costa Rica Just Became The First Central American Country To Make Same-Sex Marriage Legal

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The country of Costa Rica just got a whole hell of a lot more bright and colorful.

On Tuesday, the Central American country became the first to legally recognize same-sex marriage. In a post to his Twitter account, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada wrote in celebration of the day saying, “Today we celebrate liberty, equality, and our democratic institutions. May empathy and love be the compass that guide us forward and allow us to move forward and build a country that has room for everyone.”

The decision to ensure marriage equality came at the hands of an August 2018 ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court.

The decision ruled that laws preventing same-sex marriage were incongruent with the country’s constitution and therefore unconstitutional. After officially recognizing same-sex marriages, Costa Rican couples celebrated by holding weddings overnight.

“Costa Rica is celebrating today: marriage equality has become a reality in the country – the first one in Central America!” the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA World) wrote in a Twitter post. “We rejoice with you: congratulations to all those who worked so hard to make it happen!”

The Human Rights Campaign also celebrated the ruling while highlighting the need to ensure marriage equality around the world.

“Today, Costa Rica has made history, bringing marriage equality to Central America for the first time,” HRC President Alphonso David about the new lin in a statement according to CNN. “Costa Rica’s LGBTQ community has worked tirelessly for years to make today a reality. This victory is theirs, and it inspires the entire global LGBTQ community to continue fighting to move equality forward.”

Tainted Alcohol Kills 100 People In Mexico Amid COVID-19 Restrictions

Culture

Tainted Alcohol Kills 100 People In Mexico Amid COVID-19 Restrictions

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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.

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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.

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