Tainted alcohol deaths in Costa Rica rises to 25


COSTA RICA (KRON) – Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health says the death toll linked to tainted alcohol has risen to 25.

A total of 59 people have been affected overall, according to the agency.

19 deaths linked to tainted alcohol in the tourist destination were reported back in July.

A statement released from the country’s Ministry of Health says 19 men and 6 women between the ages of 32 and 72 have died since June.

Officials said nearly a dozen businesses have been shut down and more than 55,000 containers of alcohol they said was laced with methanol – a colorless, toxic alcohol found in antifreeze – has been recovered.

The list of affected alcohol brands include:

  • Guaro Chonete
  • Guaro Cuerazo
  • Guaro Sacheto
  • Red Star Brandy
  • Brandy Red Barnacle
  • Brandy Timbuka
  • Brandy Molotov
  • Guaro Montano
  • Guaro Gran Apache
  • Aguardiente Estrella
  • Aguardiente Baron Rojo
  • Aguardiente Timbuka
  • Molotov Aguardiente

Adding methanol to distilled beverages allows sellers to increase the volume of liquid, as well as its potential potency, according to SafeProof, an organization that lobbies against counterfeit alcohol.

According to the CDC, symptoms of menthanol poisoning include drowsiness, confusion, headache, and dizziness.

Health authorities in Costa Rica have called on the public to exercise caution when consuming alcohol.

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