Travel and Security is a hot subject these days, whether it be deaths related to tainted alcohol or theft, rape and murder at hotels, or terroristic shootings at tourism venues.
Today, the focus is again on the Central American tourist destination of Costa Rica where it appears that tainted alcohol has claimed more lives, bringing the total to 25 this summer alone, as confirmed by the Costa Rica Ministry of Health.
In July, 19 deaths had been reported in the country due to alcohol poisoning, with 59 people affected overall.
Ministry officials reported that close to 12 businesses have been shut down and more than 55,000 containers of alcohol were found to be laced with methanol – a colorless and toxic alcohol found in automobile antifreeze.
Is adding methanol some sort of sabotage from a disgruntled employee or is it an act of terrorism? It is neither.
It is about the bottom line, the cash in the drawer, the profit margin. Adding methanol to distilled beverages allows sellers to increase the volume of liquid, as well as its potential potency, says SafeProof, an organization that lobbies against counterfeit alcohol.
Recently in the Dominican Republic, alcohol poisoning may have contributed to the deaths of several American tourists .
Says Dr. Peter Tarlow, head of safertourism.com: “Educating security officials and hotel officials about how to deal with the danger of alcohol poisoning is a focus point at training sessions we do all over the world.
The FBI is running toxicology analysis on at least 2 of the 10 Americans confirmed to have died in the Dominican Republic, another popular vacation destination stricken with a rash of deaths of hotel guests, to see if tainted alcohol played a role. The Hard Rock Hotel chain has also removed liquor dispensers from rooms at its properties in the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms of methanol poisoning include drowsiness, confusion, headache, and dizziness. Health authorities in Costa Rica have called on the public to exercise caution when consuming alcohol.
The Costa Rica Ministry of Health released this list of affected alcohol brands:
Red Star Brandy
Brandy Red Barnacle
Guaro Gran Apache
Aguardiente Baron Rojo