Things That Matter

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.

Credit: @ABC / Twitter

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.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

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.

Credit: @NYDailyNews / Twitter

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.

Legendary Mexican Wrestler La Parka Has Died And Social Media Is Mourning A Lucha Libre Icon

Things That Matter

Legendary Mexican Wrestler La Parka Has Died And Social Media Is Mourning A Lucha Libre Icon

MrLuchaMX.com

Wresting or lucha libre is a cornerstone of Mexican popular culture. The ring is a symbolic battlefield where issues such as morals (good vs evil, rudos contra tecnicos!), gender identity, sexuality and class are solved through punches, kicks, voladoras and plenty of melodrama. Legends such as El Santo, Blue Demon and Tinieblas have become important icons in Mexico and overseas, and lucha libre remains a multi-million dollar business. Luchadores come out of every corner of Mexico and often travel as far as Japan to showcase their athletic prowess and histrionic skills.

So when a beloved luchador passes away thousands, if not millions, of fans mourn him or her, remembering all the high drama that they gifted us. So when news broke that popular wrestler La Parka passed away, many were left brokenhearted. 

La Parka, aged only 54, died as a result of injuries sustained in the ring.

His real name was Jesús Alfonso Huerta Escoboza and he was a force of nature full of charisma. He adopted a ring persona that resonates with millions of Mexicans: he personified Death itself, with whom Mexicans have a peculiar relationship that verges on the religious. La Parka reminded us of the religious figure of La Santa Muerte, patron saint of many in the most vulnerable sectors of the population.

La Parka sustained injuries in the ring back in October 2019 and these injuries ultimately led to his untimely death. The fall was horrific, as TMZ reminds us: “La Parka — aka Jesus Alfonso Escoboza Huerta — did a leaping dive through the ropes at an opponent in Monterey, Mexico … but tragically hit his head on a guard rail before falling to the ground.”

La Parka was born in the northern city of Hermosillo in the state of Sonora. He had a long and successful career, as CNN reports: “He won titles including the Triplemanía Cup and Antonio Peña Cup. He was also the top winner of King of Kings, an annual tournament produced by Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide.” Rest in peace, legend! 

There needs to be a serious discussion about combat sports and potentially deadly injuries.

Credit: Wrestler Deaths

His kidneys failed. He was put on assisted breathing when he started presenting issues, and he died the next day when his lungs and kidneys failed. The wrestling association for which he worked, Lucha Libre, AAA said on Twitter.  “We are very sad to report that our friend and idol of Mexican wrestling Jesús Alfonso Escoboza Huerta ‘LA PARKA’ has passed away. We extend our support and condolences to his whole family and raise our prayers so that they may soon heal from this.”

There are some who think that wrestling is not dangerous, but fighters often end up disabled in their old age or, as in the case of La Parka, die as a result of injuries sustained in the ring. There has to be some serious debate around the risks involved in professional wrestling and in other contact sports such as boxing. It is a long, difficult conversation that needs to be had sooner rather than later.

Wrestler Latin Lover, who retired while still in good health, released a social media message lamenting his friend’s passing and saying that he left wrestling to avoid a similar fate: “They don’t know how it hits me that this happened, so I retired, so I wouldn’t end up dead. I quit that job because the only way I could be home was to be hurt.” Professional luchadores often fight well into their 50s even though reflexes deteriorate, which can lead to fatal injuries. Lucha libre is like a well-coordinated dance with the only difference that a misstep can leave you disabled for life or even dead. 

People are sharing their memories of him.

Thousands of fans enjoyed his work inside the ring for more than three decades, so whole generations saw his evil antics and funny moves unfold. He was one of those luchadores that people love to hate. 

And even pictures of his actual face, which was hidden under the now iconic mask.

Wow, he looked totally badass even without his mask on. He was a sort of rock and roll cowboy biker dude kinda guy! This photo was released by his family by mistake, but now fans are using it to honor the man who dared to become Death.

From Nipsey Hussle To Jose Jose, This Year We Had To Say Goodbye To Many Icons—Here’s A Roundup Of Celebrities Lost In 2019

Entertainment

From Nipsey Hussle To Jose Jose, This Year We Had To Say Goodbye To Many Icons—Here’s A Roundup Of Celebrities Lost In 2019

Jose Jose / emilyhartridge / Nipsey Hussle / Instagram

With 2019 ending in just a couple weeks, we’re taking a look back at the stars we lost in 2019. Learning of the death of a childhood hero, or an icon you look up to is always a sad experience, and unfortunately, 2019 was a year when we had to say goodbye to too many of them. From political big-hitters, to rappers, reggaeton artists and dancers, many icons passed away this year, and all will be greatly missed. Here’s to them:

Jose Jose

The Mexican musical icon died this year after battling pancreatic cancer. “El Príncipe de la canción” (Prince of Song), had tweeted in June that he was undergoing therapy and thanked his fans for their support. He was known for romantic ballads like “La Nave del Olvido,” “40 y 20,” “Gavilán o Paloma” and “El Triste,” and many more songs that became hits throughout his career of more than half a century.

Shelley Morrison 

twitter @deanrichards

The actress best known as Rosario Salazar, Karen Walker’s maid and confidante on “Will & Grace” — died on Dec. 1 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from heart failure following a brief illness, publicist Lori De Waal told People magazine. She was 83. “Shelley’s greatest pride as an actress was in playing the indomitable Rosario, in a comedy series that furthered the cause of social equity and fairness for LGBTQ people. 

Alicia Alonso 

twitter @luis81710730

Legendary Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso passed on October 17 at the age of 98 in a hospital of La Habana. She was the first western dancer to perform in the Soviet Union in 1957. She was the Cuban government’s highest artistic figure. 

Edith Gonzales

twitter @olivercampox

The Telenovela star lost her battle with cancer at 54 on the 13th of June, after two years fighting against the disease. There was a public homage in honor of her at the Jorge Negrete Theater in Ciudad de Mexico.

Carolina Bittencourt 

instagram @fofocalisany

Brazilian model Bittencourt died in São Paulo at the end of April after she drowned in an attempt to rescue her dogs who fell out of the sailboat she was on with her husband, Jorge Sestini. She was 37.

Nipsey Hussle

twitter @1johnpapi

The rapper Nipsey Hussle died in April after a shooting in Los Angeles near a clothing store he owned.

Fabio Legarda

twitter @actualidadrt

The Colombian reggaetonero died on February 7 during a shooting in Medellin. The musician was in his car, where he received a shot to the head which caused severe damage. Fellow Colombian artists like Juanes, Maluma and J Balvin expressed their condolences for the loss of this young talent.

Fernando Gaitan

twitter @mrintruso

The writer and producer of the world’s most famous telenovela ‘Betty La Fea’ passed away at 58 years of age. His iconic telenovela is considered to be the most successful in the world. He also worked on the adaptation of Betty, for US audiences ‘Betty en Nueva York’, coming to Telemundo on February 4, 2020.

Silver King

twitter @milenio

Professional lucha libre wrestler and actor King died after collapsing from a heart attack during his performance in London on May 11, The Guardian reported.

Kevin Fret

twitter @reggaetonxgata

The Latin trap singer was murdered this January. He was the first openly gay trap singer and debuted in 2018 with his single “Soy Asi.”

Juice WRLD

twitter @marshmellomusic

The Chicago-born artist, whose real name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, died after reportedly having a seizure at Chicago’s Midway Airport. 

Sulli

twitter @ecpv1

The former member of the popular K-Pop girl group f(x) was found dead in her Sujeong-gu apartment on Oct. 14. She was 25. 

Carl Ruiz

@luis81710730

The beloved Food Network star died on Sept. 21 at 44. His official cause of death has not been announced but Ruiz’s family confirmed the sad news by creating the Twitter account, @wemisscarlruiz.

Emily Hartridge 

twitter @thepophub

The YouTube star died on July 12, at the age of 35, in an electric scooter collision. An announcement was made on her official Instagram account on Saturday.

Cameron Boyce 

twitter @misslu96

The star of the Disney Channel franchise Descendants and the television series Jessie died on July 6. He was 20.

Gabriel Diniz

twitter @jubzinha

Brazilian pop star Diniz died in a plane crash in Brazil in late May, his record label confirmed. He was 28 years old. The singer was reportedly flying from Salvador to his girlfriend Karoline Calheiros’s birthday party in Maceió on May 27 when the small plane he was a passenger on crashed in the town of Porto Do Mato, Estância, on the southern coast of Sergipe, Brazil.

Doris Day

twitter @peterkidder

Day, the beautiful blonde whose sunny screen presence and singing voice guaranteed box-office and record-chart hits in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, died on May 13, her rep confirmed. She was 97.

Max Azria 

twitter @thestyledeskco

Azria, founder of the iconic American fashion brand BCBGMAXAZRIA, died on May 6 in a Houston hospital, WWD reported. He was 70. According to the outlet, the legendary Tunisian-born designer died of lung cancer.