As mentioned in The Indian Express, dated 9 Jun due to the Corona-virus pandemic, sale of adulterated alcohol has increased exponentially and has claimed hundreds of lives in Mexico.
The government of state of Guerrero issued a statement saying “the latest 18 deaths occurred in and around the mountain township of Tlapa de Comonfort, after inhabitants drank a tequila-type drink from little-known brands. called “Rancho Escondido.” Another 16 people were hospitalized for poisoning symptoms; four remain in serious condition. This area is known for its poverty-ridden farming villages.
The Guerrero Health Department said the liquor was labeled as “distilled agave,” the cactus-like plant from which both tequila and mescal are made. Because tequila production is strictly limited to certain regions, drinks made outside those areas are sometimes labelled “agave liquor.”
The department said at least three brands were implicated in the poisonings: “Rancho Escondido,” “Jalón” and “100 Años. The victims were admitted to hospitals in such serious condition that they rapidly died. Authorities seized 505 bottles of the liquor from four stores in the area.
Due to the pandemic, the sale of legitimate alcohol had been banned across several towns in the country, resulting in people turning to cheaply-made alcohol. Many having also had lost their job and were unable to afford name brands anymore.
According to the authorities as many as 40 people have died in two states alone , during the month of May after drinking Methanol, which is a poisonous cousin of the ethanol alcohol , which is used in normal liquors. It can’t be smelled or tasted in drinks, and causes organ and brain damage, and its symptoms include chest pain, nausea, hyperventilation, blindness and even coma.
This is one of the more serious examples of how a disaster brings out the worst in some people, where they are willing to endanger the lives of those who are desperate, just to profit off of them.