Last month, we learned of the tragic death of a 20-year-old Wisconsin woman Abbey Connor who died while staying at an all-inclusive hotel near Playa del Carmen, Mexico in January. Her brother also was hospitalized after having a few drinks at the Mexican resort. Abbey’s death grabbed headlines back in the United States. Soon after, fellow tourists came forward and shared similar stories of going to resorts in Mexico and having unusual and debilitating reactions to consuming alcohol while on vacation. In June alone, there have been more than three dozen reported incidents of tourists blacking out because of alcohol, some were even robbed and sexually assaulted. Many were hospitalized and forced to pay local clinics huge sums of cash before getting treatment. The Mexican government has seen the reports and have taken action by seizing 10,000 gallons of tainted alcohol.
Authorities have confiscated illicit liquor from 31 resorts, nightclubs, restaurants, and tourist hot spots in Mexico. The sweep targeted locations in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. During the crackdown, two places were cited for unsanitary alcohol and temporarily shut down. One of the locations included the swim-up bar in the Iberostar Paraiso Maya resort, which is the same place as where Conner was knocked unconscious and drowned to death in a shallow pool.
All the tainted alcohol that was seized reportedly came from one company. Mexican officials have since condemned the distillery for “bad manufacturing practices,” but did not name the company. “It’s important to emphasize that our vigilance is long-lasting,” said Alvaro Perez, Mexican commissioner of sanitary operations at a press conference on Friday. “We will continue to enforce these sanitary measures and will continue to be vigilant to make sure our tourists are confident that the alcohol they are drinking is safe … and they can have a safe and healthy family vacation.”
In July, the U.S. State Department issued a warning to Americans traveling to Mexico because of the reports of tourists getting sick from the bootleg liquor. The U.S. government urged vacationers to avoid excessive alcohol because of the substandard alcohol. So please exercise caution when drinking in Mexico.