The State Department has a new warning for travelers headed to Mexico: Beware of the alcohol there.
“There have been allegations that consumption of tainted or substandard alcohol has resulted in illness or blacking out. If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill,” the statement says.
The move came after investigative stories by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel detailed examples of travelers becoming suddenly incapacitated after drinking alcohol at Cancun and Playa del Carmen area resorts.
Abbey Connor, a 20-year-old Wisconsin woman, died after she drank shots with her brother at a swim-up bar at an Iberostar resort near Playa del Carmen. Her brother had blacked out, waking up in a hospital with a lump on his head and a severe concussion. The two had been found unconscious in the pool.
After the initial report about Connor, the Journal Sentinel ran a subsequent story about others’ experiences. There were the Minnesota brothers who woke up covered in mud, their wallets, cellphones and shoes gone. And the Bayport, Minn., woman who blacked out after only two post-lunch drinks. A Cedar Rapids, Iowa, woman drank “something special” from the bartender and woke up vomiting and disoriented in a hospital.
Read the first investigative report by the Journal Sentinel with links to subsequent stories here.
The State Department’s new warning is noted in its general information on Mexico — in the “safety and security” section — not part of its Travel Warning, which focuses on drug-related violence in certain parts of the country.
Spain-based Iberostar told the Journal Sentinel that the company purchases only “sealed bottles that satisfy all standards required by the designated regulatory authorities.”