December 22, 2020
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Event: The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica is aware of the reports regarding recent deaths in Costa Rica associated with the consumption of tainted alcohol. At this time, we are not aware of any U.S. citizen illness or death due to consuming adulterated alcohol in Costa Rica. The deaths have reportedly occurred throughout the country including twenty-two cases in San Jose, six cases in Alajuela, five cases in Cartago, three cases in Heredia, six cases in Puntarenas, and five cases are still under investigation. Out of an abundance of caution, the Ministry of Health has issued a national alert and confiscated 17,000 bottles of alcohol. The Ministry of Health has also established an alert for the following liquor brands: Guaro Chonete, Guaro Cuerazo, Guaro Sacheto, Guaro Gran Apache, Estrella Roja Aguardiente, Guaro Montano, Guaro Fiesta Blanca, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka, and Aguardiente Molotov.
Actions to Take: The Embassy strongly recommends all persons avoid consuming alcohol from these brands. If any person has had liquor from the aforementioned brands and is presenting health issues such as severe vomiting, agitation, disorientation, blindness, or any other adverse reactions, immediately call 911. Ministry of Health authorities are asking people to report any instances of the sale of these brands to the Judicial Investigation Organization confidential line at 800-8000-645, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the National Center for Intoxicants at 2223-1028 or800-INTOXICA (4686-9422).