December 8, 2017 – New York City, New York

In an all-out publicity campaign aimed at the busy holiday resort season, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Enriaue de la Madrid Cordero, made the rounds on American Media. Speaking on Power Lunch, a CNBC financial show, Mr. Cordero reiterated the message, “There is no evidence about tainted alcohol, there is no evidence…” at the Mexican Resorts. The Secretary called the warnings by the US State Department as “misleading” and questioned aloud if they are in the best interest of the travelling public.

While being questioned by CNBC Host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Secretary de la Madrid Cordero commented on the warnings by the US State Department, he said ”I know the case, I studied it, and unfortunately, we found out that that is not related to tainted alcohol, it is excessive alcohol”.  Ms. Caruso-Cabrera did not push back when Mr. de la Madrid Cordero cited this case that he studied without mentioning which of the dozens of reports that have surfaced about tainted alcohol at the all inclusive Mexican Resorts. He continued to say that he believed the reports of tainted alcohol in Mexico are a result of tourists’ binge drinking.  The Secretary went on to say that binge drinking is a problem in the US, as well as other countries in the world. Ms. Caruso-Cabrera challenged the Secretary’s statement by questioning him on the many reports of blackouts after consuming only a small amount of alcohol. Mr. de la Madrid Cordero stated that without medical evidence and without looking at individual cases, he could only state that once the blood alcohol level reaches .02 the person “has the likelihood of losing control, physically”.

Mixed drinks at Mexican resorts
Premixed drinks being served at a resort

As the Secretary continued to deny any evidence of tainted alcohol in Mexico, Ms. Caruso-Cabrera moved onto the raids at 31 resorts that were announced by the Mexican Government on August 14, 2017. The reports on these raids cited tainted alcohol, and included the confiscation of 10,000 gallons of alcohol from the 31 resorts and bars in the tourist spots of Cancun and Playa del Carmen. As an advocate for the Mexican Tourism industry, The Secretary put on his salesman hat, saying that the raids were misconstrued by the press and wrongly worded. The Secretary pointed out that there was a difference between tainted alcohol and untaxed alcohol, then stated that all the alcohol confiscated in the raids was ‘good” alcohol, that was not taxed.

Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Enriaue de la Madrid Cordero would have us believe that reports… Click to Tweet

The CNBC Power Lunch segment time constraints does not allow for a challenging interview. Although the Host Michele Caruso-Cabrera tried to steer the questions to the subject at hand, the US State Department warnings about tainted alcohol in Mexico. She did not interrupt Tourism Secretary Enriaue de la Madrid Cordero as he recited his prepared talking points meant to ease the minds of potential tourists who visit the Mexican Resorts throughout the winter months.

Early in the CNBC interview the Secretary recited that he was very familiar with a case, he was not pressed on which case he was referencing. The publicized case that preceded the US State Department finally issuing a warning about alcohol consumption in Mexico after years of complaints and stories from tourists was the death of 20-year-old Abbey Conner. Raquel Rutledge, an investigative reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, pursued the Abbey Conner story bringing tainted alcohol in Mexico into the spotlight and forcing the US State Department to finally acknowledge the problem. As Ms. Rutledge pursued her investigation into the sudden death of Abbey Conner, she became witness to stories relating to tainted alcohol at the resorts of Mexico.

Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Enriaue de la Madrid Cordero in his interview on Power Lunch broadcast by CNBC was quick to point out that he was familiar with “the case”, citing medical evidence that it did not relate to tainted alcohol, but rather to over consumption. If it was the Abbey Conner case that Mr. de la Madrid Cordero was referencing, the facts of her case do not support his contention that she died from alcohol excess.

Abbey Conner is not the only case of mysterious sudden death and illness after consuming alcohol at the all-inclusive resorts, bars, and nightclubs in the tourist areas of Mexico. Reports of suspicious alcohol in Mexico have been rumored for years, and now confirmed by first hand accounts. As people read about the Abbey Conner story, they were more willing to discuss similar occurrences that they experienced in Mexico. In follow-up stories relating to the Abbey Conner story, Investigative Reporter Raquel Rutledge, reported stories that others told her about their tainted alcohol experiences at Mexico’s resorts.

On Mexico Vacation Awareness, a web site billed as being dedicated to “Nolan Webster and the hundreds of other victims, that traveled to Mexico for a vacation “beyond your expectations”, hundreds of personal accounts are posted relating to consuming suspicious alcohol in Mexico.

While Enriaue de la Madrid Cordero, the Secretary of Tourism for Mexico was sent on his publicity tour to assure everyone that alcohol in Mexico is not tainted, counterfeit or fake, it is merely not properly taxed.. The personal accounts from tourists do not coincide with the conclusion presented by the Secretary on behalf of the Government of Mexico. In the first semi-official statement since the August 2017 Raid in which 10,000 bottles of what was described as tainted alcohol was confiscated from 31 resorts, we are now told by the Secretary of Tourism that the alcohol was ‘Good Alcohol” just not taxed.

In a report filed by Jessica De Nova, a reporter for television station KPNX in Arizona, she tries to illicit a comment at Iberostar Paraiso del Mar and is denied access. The Iberostar Paraiso del Mar is where Abbey Conner had a few drinks before her death and was on the list of the raided resorts in August 2017.

Tainted Alcohol Mexican Resorts
Swim up bar at a resort in Playa del Carmen Mexico

In her report Jessica De Nova interviews business owners around Cancun and unlike the statements by the Secretary of Tourism, they admitted to her that tainted alcohol is for sale throughout the area. Felipe Rosado the owner of a restaurant told Ms. De Nova that the illegal liquor distributors show up to sell cheap liquor when they know there are big parties booked.

As stories continue to be reported by visitors to Mexico, the statements by Secretary Enriaue de la Madrid Cordero must be questioned. He emphatically stated that the liquor in Mexico that is served at resorts is “good” alcohol, it is just not taxed. Where does ‘good’ untaxed alcohol come from? Certainly, the legal distributors would not be selling untaxed liquor to high volume customers such as resorts.

It is important that visitors, workers and residents of the tourist areas of Mexico continue to report any suspicious alcohol to keep others safe and alive when visiting Mexico. 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. This doesn’t sound like untaxed alcohol, it sounds more like tainted alcohol. Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Enriaue de la Madrid Cordero would have us believe that reports like these are the result of binge drinking not contaminated alcohol. Visitors to Mexico should be on high alert when consuming alcohol.

The mission of SafeProof.org is to raise awareness for Fake or Counterfeit alcohol and to keep liquor safe Search liquor enforcement using our map to keep you and your drinks safe. Report any illicit alcohol activity to us using our secure form or by calling (833) SAFE-TIP To get the latest Alcohol Alerts and violation updates in your area Sign-up for SafeProof.org emails and follow us on Twitter @SafeProofAlert #DrinkSafe