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.

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COVID-19 Deaths Among Young Latinos Are Skyrocketing And It’s Having Major Impacts On Our Community

Things That Matter

COVID-19 Deaths Among Young Latinos Are Skyrocketing And It’s Having Major Impacts On Our Community

In what seems like a never ending saga and yet a blink of an eye at the same time, 2020 has been a devastating year for so many. The Coronavirus pandemic has snaked its way through the lives of Latinos across the country, leaving illness, sorrow, pain, and death in its wake.

Few communities have been as impacted by the pandemic as the Latino community. As of Dec. 23, Covid-19 had killed more than 54,000 Latinos, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Tracking Project, which acknowledges that its numbers are incomplete.

So many of our tíos and primos, even our own mothers and fathers, work in jobs that are considered essential and they’re bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s toll on workers.

Meanwhile, the virus has destroyed the foundations built by our families through hard work to give us – the younger generation – a better future.

Young Latinos are being hit particularly hard by the latest surge in COVID-19 deaths.

It was obvious from the beginning of the pandemic that those already worse off were going to be most impacted by the virus. And that’s exactly what happened. Covid-19 thrived on many Latinos’ roles as “essential workers” and it exploited the long-standing gaps compared to white Americans in income, education and access to health care.

The virus immediately had an outsized impact on our community, since so many of us suffer from higher rates of diabetes, hypertension and higher rates of obesity while having less savings and lower wealth, as well as limited business capital.

Meanwhile, the virus has worked to undo generations of progress made by our families in making sure that younger Latinos have strong foundations to work toward a better economic standing.

Gabriel Sanchez, of the University of New Mexico Center for Social Policy, told NBC News that “The only state where Latinos are not overrepresented in cases and casualties is in New Mexico, and that is because Native Americans have been hammered.”

An even more shocking truth is that Covid-19 has been more deadly for young Latinos than other racial groups. Latinos have the greatest share of deaths in age groups under 54, according to CDC data, while among whites, the greatest share of deaths has occurred in age groups over 65.

So many young Latinos work in jobs that are now considered essential and can’t stay home.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, young and working-age adults were hit hard. Covid-19 spread like wildfire in many of the fields that os many young Latinos work in: service industries, farm work, meat plant workers, grocery stores, and healthcare. This grim reality is reflected in the data.

Among Americans who are 35 to 44, almost half (48.9 percent) of those who died were Latino, compared to 27.3 percent of Black people and 15.5 percent of whites, according to an analysis of 226,240 deaths using CDC data.

By contrast, in the 65-74 age group, 45.3 percent killed by Covid-19 were white, 24.7 percent were Black and 23.1 percent were Latino.

For many families, the pandemic has turned back the progress made by earlier generations.

Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The pandemic and the death it’s brought along with it, has undone so much of the valuable progress made by our families. Before Covid-19 hit, our community had bounced back from the economic blow of the Great Recession.

In fact, between 2016 and 2019, wealth among Latino and Black families grew faster than that of other groups, though they still had far to go to catch up to white families, whose median family wealth last year was $188,200, compared to $36,100 for Hispanics and $24,100 for Blacks.

Before the pandemic, Latino unemployment was at 4 percent, but then soared to 19 percent in April. It fell back to 8.4 percent in November, but it’s still double the pre-pandemic rate.

Latino businesses were the engine driving small-business growth, and some had been adding jobs until the pandemic hit. Now, more jobs have been lost in several industry sectors with disproportionately higher rates of Latino-owned businesses — such as food services — than in the private sector overall, according to the Urban Institute.

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Maluma And J Balvin React To The Loss Of Armando Manzanero, Who Lost His Battle Against COVID-19

Entertainment

Maluma And J Balvin React To The Loss Of Armando Manzanero, Who Lost His Battle Against COVID-19

As if 2020 and Coronavirus haven’t taken enough from us, just days before we usher in a new year, the world is forced to say goodbye to Armando Manzanero.

The famed Mexican-Mayan artist lost his battle against COVID-19 and as news of his death began to circulate, reactions from stars all around the world have started to pour in.

Manzanero died like so many in 2020 – fighting the dangerous Coronavirus.

One of Mexico’s most iconic and beloved artists has passed at the age of 85 from complications related to COVID-19. Armando Manzanero had tested positive for the virus on December 17 and put into critical care just a few days later.

The Society of Authors and Composers of Mexico (SACM), of which Manzanero was president, announced his death, saying: “The romantic soul of Mexico and the world is in mourning.”

His family told Mexican newspaper El Universal that he was set to be extubated in the coming days, after his lung health had improved, but he then died by cardiac arrest.

Maluma took to social media to share his sadness over the immense loss.

Losing a man who is considered a symbol of Latin American music has left many artists shocked and in mourning. Reactions and memories from around the world quickly poured in to remember the man who helped put his country and culture on the global map.

Maluma shared to Instagram an emotional post, where he expressed his sadness for the departure of maestro Manzanero, “💔😭 RIP MASTER,” the post reads.

In the description, Maluma said “one of my greatest inspirations” had died but that he’d forever treasure the memory of having met Manzanero. The video shows when Maluma, visibly moved, meets Armando Manzanero for the first time. “A pleasure to meet you,” says the reggaetonero; Immediately afterwards, the Mexican singer hugs him while patting him on the back.

J Balvin also shared his condolences while also condemning COVID-19.

Another of the many celebs who showed their sadness over the death of the star was J Balvin. In his Instagram stories, Balvin posted a photo of Manzanero and wrote “Rest in peace, Armando Manzanero.” In addition, he wrote what so many of us are feeling after such a devastating year: “FUCK COVID.”

And Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, addressed Manzanero’s death during a press conference, per CNN. “Armando Manzanero was a sensitive man, a man of the people. That’s why I lament his death,” he said. “He was also a great composer.”

Manzanero was a famed Mexican-Mayan artist who helped bring visibility to his culture and community.

Credit: Medios Y Media / Getty Images

Manzanero was a romantic crooner who was often covered by artists from around the world. In fact, many of his tracks were translated into English and performed byartists including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Perry Como, and he was awarded a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2014.

He has since written more than 400 songs and released more than 30 albums, including nine since 2001, as Manzanero collaborated with a younger generation of Spanish-language romantic pop singers such as Alejandro Sanz, Luis Miguel and Lucero.

Manzanero’s impact on Latin music, especially romantic “bolero” songs, was widely recognized during his lifetime. He received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Latin Grammys in 2010 and the Grammys in 2014. Earlier this year, the Billboard Latin Music Awards recognized him with a Lifetime Achievement Award, with musicians including Luis Fonsi and Pablo Alborán performing a medley of hits as Manzanero accompanied on piano.

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