Tainted Alcohol Kills 19 in Costa Rica

30,000 bottles of alcohol were seized after toxic methanol was found in some.

19 people have died in Costa Rica from drinking tainted alcohol.

The Ministry of Health confirmed that 14 men and five women were killed due to methanol poisoning in the space of just five weeks.

All of the victims were aged between 32 and 72; seven died in San José, four in Cartago, three in Limón, two in Guanacaste, one in Heredia and two are pending investigation.

Government officials seized 30,000 bottles of the suspected contaminated brands, including Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Star Welsh, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka and Aguardiente Molotov.

Methanol is sometimes used by bootleggers to dilute alcohol to increase its potency as well as profit margins.

According to the Ministry, a fatal dose of methanol depends on the concentration, if it is mixed with other alcohols and the weight of the person consuming it.

It warns that generally a dose of just 0.2 milliliters of 100% methanol per kilogram of the consumer's weight is toxic.

Tainted alcohol was one of the suspected causes behind the recent wave of suspicious deaths in Costa Rica's Caribbean neighbor, the Dominican Republic.

This week the DR government announced a range of new safety standards after at least 11 US tourists died there, even though statistically there was no uptick in foreigner fatalities.

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