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July 27, 2017
The U.S. State Department Warns Tourists
About Tainted Alcohol in Mexico Resorts


The U.S. State Department recently updated the Safety and Security guidance regarding travels to Mexico upon the release of an investigation surrounding a U.S. citizen’s questionable death at a resort in Mexico. 

Last January, a 20-year-old woman from Wisconsin and her older brother were found unconscious in the pool after drinking at the resort swim-up bar. They were immediately taken to a local hospital, but the woman died a few days later. A recent investigation shows that tainted alcohol or low-quality drinks might be one of the causes for her death and her brother’s injuries.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reports on other tourists who affirm they experienced blackouts, sickness, and injuries after drinking at resorts around the Cancun and Playa del Carmen area in recent months. In some cases, the tourists were victims of a crime, but in others there was no apparent motive. There is also no pattern to these incidents which have happened to men and women, young and old, single and married tourists. 

According to the Mexican National Health Authority, over 1.4 million gallons of impure alcohol have been seized since 2010. Tainted alcohol is liquor that is infused with grain alcohol or dangerous concentrations of methanol which are cheaper alternatives to producing ethanol. The mixture can make people extremely sick.


As per the U.S. State Department website, “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.” 

It is also suggested that you contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Other safety measures when drinking on vacations are: 

•  Choose quality over quantity: don’t hesitate to request a well-known, high-quality brand 
•  Beware of unfamiliar drinks
•  Watch while the bartender is making your drink
•  If buying a bottled drink, ask for it to be open in front of you or to open it yourself
•  Always pay attention to your drink and don’t leave it unattended
•  Always be with someone you trust
•  Make sure you eat and drink water while drinking
•  Know your limits

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The content of this edition of AssistAlert is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace further investigation or personal observations. If you are planning travel, or are traveling in or proximate to the locations identified in this newsletter, you are encouraged to contact SecurAssist for additional information.

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