July 18th, 2011
10:27 AM ET

Ecuador temporarily bans alcohol sales after 21 die

Authorities in Ecuador have banned alcohol sales in an emergency measure to stop apparently contaminated drinks from reaching consumers after at least 21 people died.

Officials announced the 72-hour national dry law Sunday after alcohol poisoning cases were detected in several parts of the country.

Hospitals treated more than 100 people who fell ill after drinking bootleg liquor over the past week, the country's government said.

Investigators determined that the liquor contained methanol - an industrial-grade alcohol not intended for human consumption, Ecuador's Public Health Ministry said.

The 21 patients who died all haled from Los Rios province, but similar poisoning cases have also been reported in at least four other areas, the government said.

Authorities have arrested the liquor distributor and continue investigating, police said.

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Breeze

    That's some bad hooch.

    July 18, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. HRM banasy

    What is a ban going to do when it was bootleg booze in the first place?

    July 18, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. RUFFNUTT

    i'm gonna ban you illegal booze... lol...

    July 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jmc

    Im with ruffnut what good will that do

    July 18, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Canadian Genius

    I know that governments often do stupid things, but no government could be THIS stupid. With regulated, commercial alcohol gone, some people would naturally turn to bootleg stuff, which is exactly what you do NOT want to see. There must be more to this.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tristan1687

      I live in ecuador and sadly there is not more to it than that. I agree they should not ban the sale of legitamate alcohol. What they should have done is made it alchohol awarness month to inform people of the dangers of home made liquor and the dangers of alcohol in general.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Quito, the capital, is one of the loudest cities in which I've ever tried to get a night's sleep in a hotel.
    I wouldn't be surprised if all the inhabitants of Quito died from drinking top-shelf alcohol.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. leeintulsa

    Sure, blame the booze..

    July 18, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gumby

    Guess they like to party. But at a drink or die cost?

    July 18, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. gumby

    Some expensive hooch.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tristan1687

    Ugh, I hate the alcohol vs marijuana debate. Listen in this case it was METHANOL that killed people, which is a POISON. Ethanol, the alcohol in beer and other fun beverages is safe to consume in limited quantaties. Marijuana, while you cant overdose on it can kill also kill you in the long run with lung cancer.

    conclusion, both are bad. However, i like many others, will continue to use them.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sofía

    I didn't see anybody bring up pot except you, Tristan. And I don't believe for one moment that you live in Ecuador. What good is an alcohol awareness month, when people buy illegal booze? It seems better regulation is the answer.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Corn liquor enema

    Gotta watch out for that rot gut. Looks like whoever worked at that distillery 4got their glasses(and their shoes) lol. And 21 didnt realize they were drinkin jet fuel. Must have been some really good cocaine. FIESTA

    July 19, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |