Mexicans Dying from Tainted Alcohol As Shutdown Hinders Brewers

In Mexico, it’s not just the water that can make you sick and kill you. Now you have to be careful with the cerveza as well.

More than 100 Mexicans have died from drinking tainted alcohol during the past two weeks, apparently after drinking bootleg hooch because the government declared brewers such as Heineken and Grupo Modelo as non-essential.

Bootleg alcohol can contain dangerous substances such as methanol. Local authorities have launched investigations to identify the suppliers and urged citizens not to consume alcoholic drinks of unknown origin, which is really hard since the government has ended production of alcohol of known origin.

Authorities in the municipality of Chiconcuautla said they had confiscated 200 liters (352 pints) of a local alcohol known as “refino” and was conducting studies to determine its contents.

In Yucatan, where local media reported a wave of deaths from the drinking of adulterated alcohol, the state government in April restricted alcohol sales to prevent domestic violence as more people stay home during the pandemic.

In its earnings call last month, Mexican conglomerate Femsa, which owns the popular Oxxo convenience store chain, said it had about 10 days’ worth of inventory of beer.

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