Beware tainted alcohol. Beware of counterfeit booze.

US warns travellers about tainted alcohol

Reports of travellers falling ill at Mexican resorts trigger warning

The United States State Department has made a slight modification to its Mexico travel information by warning visitors about tainted or substandard alcohol.


The change was made as a result of recent media reports of travellers suffering blackouts or illness after drinking at tourist resorts in Mexico, particularly in Cancún and the Riviera Maya.

One visitor, a 20-year-old woman from Wisconsin, died in January at a resort near Playa del Carmen.

The State Department advisory reads, “There have been allegations that consumption of tainted or substandard alcohol has resulted in illness or blacking out. 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.”

A department spokesman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which carried out an investigation into the young woman’s death, that information about Mexico was updated following media reports and in consultation with its offices in Mexico.

Another factor for some travelers interviewed by the newspaper was the demand for large cash payments by hospitals and clinics.

The State Department alert says, “U.S. citizens have lodged a large number of complaints about unethical business practices, prices, and collection measures against some of the private hospitals in Cancún, the Maya Riviera, and Cabo San Lucas. Travellers should make efforts to obtain complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care in these locations.”

The Journal Sentinel reported yesterday that its initial report on vacationers becoming sick brought new accounts from more than three dozen people who reported similar experiences after drinking limited amounts of alcohol at Mexican resorts.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (en)

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  • Mike S

    Read about the Wisconsin girl who died at Spanish owned resort in Cancun and how sick her brother became after drinking at pool bar in article on MSN. Facts surrounding her death are very vague. Apparently there was no autopsy or toxicological tests. Was her death from a fall, drowning, or poison? Mexican shots of liquor can be “doubles” by US standards. Proofs can be higher too. An inexperienced 20 year-old drinker who weighs a 100 pounds can get really really drunk on 4 or 5 rapid shots. If the family thinks hospital fees are high in Mexico, go to a US hospital for a life or death emergency like this without insurance…your bill might cause sudden cardiac arrest and they will collect.

    • kcjmc

      But like every illegal in the U.S. knows, the hospital emergency rooms cannot refuse service with or without payment.

      • Mike S

        Every other first-world industrialized country in the world except the US has universal health care. Those countries spend HALF what we do on health care. Our health care system is ranked 17th in the world.

        Emergency rooms used as a health care system for poor uninsured people is grossly inefficient. Here is a clearer picture of illegals and emergency room use:

        • Vakar Tektutar

          Hey Mike: Who do you think has time to be bothered with facts? What a waste of time!

  • Three score and ten

    And the physical evidence to support claims made by drunks?

  • frankania

    A few years ago, I was building a house here in Veracruz and a wall fell on me. A worker called an ambulance of a non-government hospital, and they took me in,, x-rayed, bandaged, and medicated me. Total cost $90 including the ambulance. I was very pleased and gave them an extra 50 bucks or so.
    My niece recently went to a Seattle hospital with a broken wrist… charge $14,000! No kidding. The USA has the worst healthcare system in the world, these days, due to govt/cronyism.

    • Vakar Tektutar

      Excellent. Thank you.

    • BETOXELA2015

      And it is going to get worse once singlepayer health insurance kicks in.

      • Mike S

        Obviously you know nothing about Medicare which is a single payer system. Private insurers skim 30% off the top for “overhead” and fat salaries for upper management and dividends for stock holders. Medicare operates with 3% overhead. 90% of people on it love it. It negotiates fair prices with doctors, clinics and hospitals. Until Obamacare, the people who most desperately needed insurance with pre-existing conditions could not get insurance. Private insurance makes money by finding excuses for denying claims. The US health care system is grossly expensive and doesn’t deliver for much of America.. It’s for the wealthy and healthy only and an awful burden on business.

        • Dave Earle

          Single payer will bring the cost down. Because the government is the single payer.

  • Vakar Tektutar

    I wonder how many locals have been poisoned by this tainted alcohol scam. If you consider the ratio of tourists to general population, my estimates come about 1000 locals dying per day. Those Mexicans sure know how to do a cover up because I have not heard any reports on 1000 locals perishing per day due to alcohol scam.

  • Cam Nante

    I was not able to find this ‘advisory’ through any of the links in the article….is this BS or what?