December 17, 2017 – Washington D.C.
Three days after the United States Inspector General’s Office announced a probe into the State Department protocol for tracking reports of tainted alcohol incidents in Mexico, the procedures will change. The U.S. state Department will now begin tracking reports of blackouts and injury related to tainted alcohol reports by U.S. Citizens in Mexico. After years of U.S. Tourists reporting alcohol related blackouts while visiting the all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, the problem of tainted alcohol was brought to National attention after the investigative reporting by Raquel Rutledge for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel into the death of 20-year-old Abbey Conner, a Wisconsin resident.
The timeline of this U.S Department of State decision to begin tracking reports of suspicious alcohol related blackouts and deaths begins with the death of Abbey Conner in January 2017. As investigative reporter Raquel Rutledge worked the Abbey Conner story other instances of suspicious alcohol related blackouts and deaths were brought to light. During the investigation, Ms. Rutledge became aware that The U.S. State Department did not maintain a data base of reports, injuries or deaths of U.S. Citizens in Mexico, instead relying on the reports of the Mexican Government, The Mexican Government classifies these reports as accidental deaths in almost all instances.
In August 2017, The Mexican Government announced a raid throughout the Tourist areas of Cancun and Playa del Carmen. On August 14, 2017, the Mexican authorities announced that 10,000 gallons of “tainted” alcohol had been seized from 31 Resorts, Bars and Nightclubs throughout the tourist enclaves. After the raids by Mexican Authorities, the U.S. State Department issued its first warning to U.S. tourists visiting Mexico in the region of Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The warning, however, never mentioned “tainted ‘Alcohol. At the August 14, 2017 announcement, Mexican Officials promised a follow up on the confiscated alcohol, which has yet to happen.
In October 2017, Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican Representing Wisconsin, interest was piqued by the investigative series of reports by Raquel Rutledge. Senator Johnson who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs contacted the U.S. Inspector General concerning State Department response to the reported tainted alcohol problems in Mexico.
In early December 2017, The Secretary of Tourism for Mexico, Enriaue de la Madrid Cordero, began making the rounds of U.S. Media outlets, claiming that Mexico did not have a tainted alcohol problem. In an effort keep the Holiday tourism season rolling in profits, the Secretary clarified that the August 2017 raids confiscated “untaxed” alcohol, not “tainted” alcohol as had been reported. When questioned about reports of blackouts and death after Tourist consumed Alcohol in Mexico, Mr. de la Madrid Cordero claimed that all such reports were “sadly” the result of binge drinking by U.S. Tourists. Although most reports of blackouts and death had been reported after a relatively few drinks, the Secretary continued to claim that Mexico did not have a tainted Alcohol problem.
In the second week of December 2017, Senator Ron Johnson’s Office announced the U.S. Inspector General would begin a probe into the response by the U.S. State Department in Mexico to the reported alcohol problem. Three days later the U.S. State Department reacted and announced that they would begin tracking these reports, claiming that they are already aware of twelve reports.
Just recently SafeProof.Org received another tip from a couple who were guests at a resort in Mexico. The tip described having one margarita and one shot at the pool on November 4, 2017 at the Riu Santa Fe resort in Cano, Mexico, and she blacked out while her companion became violently ill. In deference to Enriaue de la Madrid Cordero, Secretary of Tourism for Mexico, this report does not sound like the result of ‘untaxed” alcohol.
The mission of SafeProof.org is to raise awareness for Fake or Counterfeit alcohol and to keep liquor safe Report any illicit alcohol activity in Mexico to us using our secure form or by calling (833) SAFE-TIP . SafeProof.org will rely these tips to the U.S. State Department.