Bootleg Alcohol in Ecuador

Since early July, there have been many deaths and illness caused by tainted alcohol sold in Ecuador. Forty-eight deaths have been reported so far.

Alcohol sold in many provinces by operations that do not conform to local health regulations is blamed. The alcohol is contaminated with methanol, an industrial strength alcohol not for human consumption.

In addition to the deaths, permanent blindness and kidney damage has been reported. At least 500 people are said to have been affected in the provinces of Los Rios, Azuay and Tungurahua.

Several days of prohibition were ordered and a state of emergency was declared in an effort to round up the tainted alcohol. Suspected brewers have been arrested. An offer to buy the tainted alcohol is now in effect. The government hopes that store owner will turn it in instead of hiding it for fear of loosing their investment.

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