Sunday, August 13, 2017

Mexico: counterfeit,tainted alcohol causing tourists blackouts-robbed and assaulted

AP
  • Until July 27th, the U.S. state department failed to warn travelers of tainted alcohol, served at resorts and clubs causing blackouts.      
  • 36-40% of  Mexican alcohol is counterfeit, made by cartels.                                                                                                             
Dead after drinking alcohol at resort
Mexican authorities swept through 31 resorts, restaurants and nightclubs in Cancun and Playa del Carmen in recent days, suspending operations at two for unsanitary alcohol and in the process discovered a sketchy manufacturer that was supplying tourist hot spots.

Regulators seized 10,000 gallons of illicit alcohol from the company, noting its “bad manufacturing practices,” according to government officials. They did not release the company's name.

Among those suspended: the lobby bar in the Iberostar Paraiso Maya, a resort in the complex where Abbey Conner, a 20-year-old Wisconsin woman, (at left) drowned amid suspicious circumstances while on vacation with her family in January.

Other vacationers later told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel they had blacked out and been assaulted at the resort after drinking at the beach and pool bars.

More: U.S. State Department warns tourists about tainted alcohol at Mexico resorts after blackouts reported

More: Tourists to all-inclusive resorts in Mexico suspect they were given tainted alcohol

More: A Mexican vacation, a mysterious death, and now endless questions for Wisconsin family

[Chivis: below is the State Department Warning...pretty weak]


Alcohol: There have been allegations that consumption of tainted or substandard alcohol has resulted in illness or blacking out. If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill.
Regulators also temporarily shut down Fat Tuesday, a bar in Cancun. They seized a total of 90 gallons of illicit alcohol from the two places, including some from Iberostar’s lobby bar that was unlabeled.

The results of the crackdown were announced Friday at a news conference in Mexico. Officials provided information about the announcement, including an audio recording, to the Journal Sentinel.

“This is huge,” said Ginny McGowan, Abbey Conner’s mother.

“It’s needed. There is obviously stuff going on that needs to be cleaned up and looked into further,” said McGowan, who lives in Pewaukee, Wis. “They need to investigate and interview employees. This makes sense. This needs to happen.”

The crackdown follows an investigation by the Journal Sentinel, launched last month, that exposed how dozens of travelers to some upscale, all-inclusive resorts around Cancun and Playa del Carmen have been blacking out after drinking small and moderate amounts of alcohol.

Some have been assaulted and robbed. All reported little or no recollection of what happened. The incidents occurred at various resorts, to men and women of varying ages, single and in pairs.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel compiled some of the reports of tainted alcohol at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico based on travelers who reached out to the newspaper. (Photo: Journal Sentinel/ Special to The Republic)

An attorney hired by Conner's family noted in a report given to the family in July that "low quality" alcohol was being served and mixed at Iberostar’s Paraiso del Mar bar where Conner and her brother, Austin, had been drinking before they were found floating in the pool.

Austin, then 22, awoke with a concussion and gash on his forehead and no memory of what happened.

The Conner family — and others who have blacked out — suspect tainted alcohol or targeted drugging may be to blame, but Mexican authorities have not disclosed any connections.

The Mexican government has long been aware of the country’s problems with counterfeit and otherwise illicit alcohol. As much as 36% of the alcohol consumed in the country is illegal, according to a report this year by Euromonitor International.

That means the alcohol is sold or produced under unregulated circumstances and is potentially dangerous. The study, conducted in collaboration with the nation’s Tax Administration Service, found that was an improvement from two years earlier, when 43% was illegal.

The national health authority in Mexico has seized more than 1.4 million gallons of adulterated alcohol since 2010 — not just from small local establishments, but from hotels and other entertainment areas, according to a 2017 report by the country's Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks.

The U.S. Department of State failed to warn travelers about the alcohol risks in resort areas until the Journal Sentinel’s investigation.

In the case of Kukulkan, the lobby bar at Iberostar Paraíso Maya, inspectors found unsanitary conditions including water leakage, lack of disinfectant and expired and unlabeled alcohol.

Other establishments in Playa del Carmen were cited for lack of maintenance, cleanliness, order and documentation, including the Hotel Iberostar Paraíso Lindo, Hotel Iberostar Grand Paraíso, La Chopería, Los forgotten, McCarthy's Coco Bongo, Mexico Loco and Guy Fieri's.

Those cited for the same reasons in Cancun include: Iberostar Hotel, Hooters, La Vaquita, Blue Gecko, Dady’O, Mr. Frogs, Crab House, Fred’s House, Porfirio’s Cancun, The Distillery, La Casa del Habano, and Carlos ’n Charlie’s.

Alvaro Perez Vega, the commissioner of sanitation, called Quintana Roo — where Cancun and Riviera Maya are located — the "most important tourist destination in the country," and said ensuring the safety of visitors there is a top priority.

“We are continuing to work together with the secretary of tourism to ensure the health of the tourists in the region and the rest of the country,” Perez Vega said.

Officials did not say whether they were referring any of their findings for criminal prosecution. Nor did they reveal whether they are investigating the circumstances surrounding Conner’s death.


The head of the Mexican legislative health commission said last month that they are planning a broader effort to crack down on counterfeit alcohol. Details are expected to be revealed in September, he said.

81 comments:

  1. Some of those clubs charge $100 for all you can drink passes

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    1. Total ripp off

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    2. No limit for stupid people, then there are always the Mickeys for the slow drinkers,
      The pricey drinks leave no room for enough profits, and the mexican government agencies inspecting will be charging more kickbacks now, while the US looks the other way "to help the mexican tourism industry"
      BOYCOTT!

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  2. Great report Chivis...this has been going on for a long time...back in '94 I was in PV, we met some girls from Chihuahua. They told us which places were safe and which ones would basically "roofie" you....was nice to have locals to help us...And better, honest college girls who couldve set us up. We went and visited them in Chihuahua a few months later, and had a great time...they took us all over the city, even had the local TV news interview us...best vacation ever. The locals all treated us like VIPs...I understand it's very dangerous in that city now.

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    1. Your experience is very common, this is what most of us remember about Mexico. It is time to clean up the mess, Acapulco style.

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    2. The good people of Mexico are still good and in the jardines, streets, business districts life feels safe and normal most of the time in 99% of Mexico. In la sierra where I am from the poor families that grow maize and mota, the shop keepers, even the boys with cuernos will go out of way to help and give a neighbor their last pesos to feed them. There are no doubt evil people in Mexico, but as always the majority of Mexicans are as they were during your visit to Chihuahua. Please help my people by remembering and understanding this because we have been unfairly demonized. Thank you!

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    3. 4:48 no, si los piores mexicanos no son los pobres, los piores gandallas hijos de sus putas madres son los Policias Judiciales, Federales las FUERZAS DELICTIVAS ESTATALES, LOS SOLDADOS Y MARINAS MUERTOS DE HAMBRE y sus mandos avariciosos que nuestros "million dollar" mexican politician dignitaries unleash on us, to make up for the losses suffered when the ministers and government executives steal the budget and their paychecks...

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  3. We went to the Coco Bongo a while back, we knew there mixed drinks were fake. For as much money as they are charging, and the relatively inexpensive real alcohol that is sold in Mexico, there is no excuse for this whatsoever. There should be criminal charges brought against these folks. We all know that will not happen. How about we just do not visit these resorts, which I am sure is happening right now. We all know the Cartel's own most of these resorts, they just shot themselves in the foot over pennies, or should I say centavos. Fucking morons.This is the new generation of Cartel's. I like to say Cartel Junior.

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    1. Well said Anon

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    2. @3:57 in Mexico pesos is the currency. So you should say "por unos pesos" not cents

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    3. @9:10 PM He meant to say "centavos. No seas pedante, pendejo.

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    4. One centavo is 1/100th of one peiso.
      We consider "Pendejos Pedantes" a higher class of pendejo.

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    5. i only had beer a Coco Bongo & declined the shots at the entrance, they basically try getting you drunk before entering cause i was offered shots about 3-4 times before entering the actual place

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    6. @ 9:10 P.M.


      cen·ta·vo
      senˈtävō/
      noun
      plural noun: centavos
      a monetary unit of Mexico, Brazil, and certain other countries (including Portugal until the introduction of the euro), equal to one hundredth of the basic unit.

      Just a little educational piece for you.

      -Gringo Loco

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    7. You pay in pesos AND centavos, but people like me like to call any amount of peisos or dollars "los centavos" like our grandparents used to call money, back when centavos were worth something, the rich just had "muchos centavos", back then.

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  4. Do just the tourists get tainted alcohol, or they just serve it to everyone? It's awful either way.

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    1. 4:30 everybody gets a piece, but the cheapest places use more weaponized alcohols, they also do not pay their bartenders and bar hoops ot kitchen help, some use cheap decor to look loco, to minimize loses if they get caught and have to fly by night.
      A quien pinchis putos se les ocurre turistiar en mexico?
      The times of "mi casa su casa" are over, blame part of it on having to pay great kickbacks and mordidas to inspectors to look the other way, this is like "100 pure beef hamburgers", they don't tell how much of it is fat and lard with soy flour.

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    2. @252: well said. And 'pure beef' and '100% beef' only means that there is no other meat than beef in there (meaning no pig, but soy, wheat, corn, palm oil etc.).

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    3. La Chapa también se mete un fierro por atrás para prometer puro aguayon por el overthere, ya no le trabajo "la bombita"

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  5. Another legislative crackdown, this should be good! Their crackdowns are always so power packed. Lol...

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  6. Didn't some of this happen in the 90s in TJ?

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    1. Yeah I remember a bucket of beer and 10 shots going for 20 bucks. Those shots tasted like rubbing alcohol. Wasn't so shocking back then given a lot of viejitos would spike their coffee with "alcol" to start the day.

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    2. 3:30 CHIVIS IS ONE OF THOSE!
      Café con piquete, (spiked coffee)
      But not without mariguana, pa' las riumas.
      All home made.

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  7. What kind of cheap bastard wld actually buy bootleg alcohol for his business? And what kind moron emptyheaded retard wold go to mexico and think all is great? Use some fucking common sence.

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    1. Greedy bastards they make more by selling overpriced bootleg

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    2. 1:29 Pos las teiboleras are the lucky ones, they get Kool-Aid spiked drinks, problem is they get itchy overthere with the fake sugars, and no corn cob will help.
      They do not enjoy health care either, only some sanitary inspections, that consists of paying 100 pesos to the health minister.

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  8. GHB. All who have blacked out lost money by design.

    Similar to express kidnapping buy easier.

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  9. That is just one of the reasons I hate tourist locations, I prefer local hang out joints and belive it or not but Nuevo Laredo is my second home and I feel safe there, of course
    You have to be smart about it and not be a jerk. Btw if you want hard liquer buy it at a store otherwise drink beer and have it opened in front of you.

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    1. Also, when opening a beer listen for that " pssssssst" sound, if there is none dont drink it as it was opened after the brewery. Another thing, not only alcoholic drinks can be spiked, any food can have this crap. Be aware of your surroundings and go in groups and watch out for eachother. Simple stuff but it makes a difference.

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    2. 6:45 and never leave your drink alone "to go dancing or to the bathroom"

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    3. 2:58 very good point.

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    4. Back in nuevo Laredo they had the club frenzis and senor frogs with others near downtown, we would walk the bridge and stay in formation watch our six o clock, blend in like shadows once in nuevo Laredo.also we would have one of us gettin INTEL on our surroundings and P.O.I. at all times. And make assets there if possible, in other words be covert and don't make it seem ur a tourist there or you will get jacked in ol mex homes.

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    5. 8:52. Its not that bad in NL. Really.
      One has to be careful and smart about it but I dont think it is more dangerous than orher border cities. In fact with the military there it is ok. I remember NL from late 90's back then till about 2007 it was very safe, I remember every chance I had would spend my time across the river from Laredo staying in hotels, motels until I got smart and just got 1 bedroom apartment which I have till now, share it with couple of my friends and all of us are gringos, we have no problems but u r right its not the same as pre 2007. Most of the bussinesses closed shop around the bridge, especially one of my favorites the duty free in which I would get drunk on all the samples they gave out, of course We would buy some booze from there at the end but it was good times. I guess they got robbed one too many times and had enough.
      NL is not any different than other cities one has to get to know it and listen to that furry thing in your belly, if it is telling you not to do something than listen to it as it is always right. NL is staring to pick up again and I hope it goes back to what it once was.

      Keep your nose out of the narco world and be friendly to the locals and u should be ok. Its when u start getting into the wrong things danger shows up.

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  10. I'm always in PV and I don't think this has happened to me in any restaurant. More suspicious to me is the tequila coming to the USA. Even so called premium brands, it's undrinkable. I'll have 3 drinks and without fail, serious hangover and it's just hard getting the stuff down my throat. I never have this issue in Mexico.

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    1. The stuff sent to the u.s is held up yo a higher standard. In Mexico there is less regulation and officials and inspectors can be easily corrupted.

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    2. For many reasons, a lot of mexican products are bottled on the US, I have had tankers of Cuervo asking in my warehouse for directions to the bottling plant,
      of course, I told the truck driver we was the right address.

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  11. There's a website online with literally thousands of horror stories from MX just like these, worse even, I didn't have time to read more than a few but some vacationers found their wives/ gf floating face down dead in the pool, loads of robbings by police and the rest were straight roofie stories like waking up in the shower after a meal with 8 hours gone and nobody saw anything yet the place was teeming. That sort of thing. And they even point out the people who spiked them, the same staff on duty etc. Of course, they all drank too much, sure!

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    1. There's a website for the U.S. too called the weekly vice.

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  12. I suspect something like this has been going on for a long time.it's the perfect scam.They can just blame it on tourists drinking too much until you start reading about it on 1 of those tourist blogs with the same story time and again.I suspect the date rape drug in a lot of the cases (great for robberies and medical scams where patients are overcharged).Since most of the resorts I suspect are laundered money makes sense Cartels would have bootleg alcohol (shit they make every other drug why not)and scamming the odd tourist once in a while but not too much lest they upset the golden goose known as tourism.

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  13. Counterfeit alcohol of course has been around forever. Remember it was the product of organised crime before drugs, during prohibition.

    Narcos knock off everything, from toothpaste, clothing. software to alcohol.

    WHAT IS DIFFERENT ...now they are infusing the alcohol with what sounds like GHB. To rob and rape.

    China counterfeits alcohol on a massive scale and beer is included, so nothing is safe.

    A smart person would quickly become very wealthy by inventing a soft stick test to dip in before sipping turning color if anything other than the expected ingredients were in the drink... or maybe there already is something like that on the market.

    I know the blackouts are on the Q.R resorts along the riviera ...anyone know about pacific coast side?

    I can't imagine the filthy conditions they produce the stuff in.
    I am getting paranoid thinking about it...I have a bit of the Howard Hughes syndrome...yes I am that lady with a napkin covering her iced tea so no foreign objects like dust or bugs enter. :)

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    1. They already have, google "Three teenage girls from Miami developed a surprisingly simple invention to help fight drug-facilitated sexual assault: A “smart straw” that can detect three of the most commonly used date-rape substances — Rohypnol, GHB, and ketamine."

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    2. 11:04 see my comment below. not all tests are consistent or accurate. the one below has good reviews.

      rohypnol [roofies] is not used much because of the color agent now added that turns liquid blue-green. I guess one must stay away from blue or green drinks!

      I wonder if any reader uses the test strips? My girls are going to cabo....i am buying them, but now to get them to use them

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    3. happened to me last sunday august 6 in baja. at la fonda in La mision. sunday buffet with "all you can drink" margaritas and bloody mary's. 2 margaritas and i was OUT. fortunately my wife had only one bloody mary and was able to take care of me.

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    4. Pos soledá anda calando a ver si asi "encarga"
      y no falla cada semana.

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  14. Bastards at hong kong bar serve fake alchol

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  15. i laugh at all the tourists thinking that free tequila shot was legit even if it pours out of a cuervo bottle.

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    Replies
    1. @ 10:03 I laugh at all the commentors who think real Cuervo tequila is legit

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  16. So like yea vacation in Mexico. And have the best times you'll never remember. - Sol Prendido

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  17. Chivis I thought I was the only one lol

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    Replies
    1. lol ...my daughters who used to laugh at me now do the same

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  18. Ok folks....I should have checked first! Of course tests have been created...

    This one CYD from UK gets high praise
    https://www.checkyourdrink.co.uk/

    an article about it
    http://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/worklife/campus/news/a31820/check-your-drink-anti-spike-device/

    there are a couple of others but so-so reviews

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  19. What a great idea!It wouldn't just apply to Cancun but every young woman that goes to any bars or even on dates.

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  20. Safest best bet is to open a cold, Tecate light. Hmmm, can't go wrong doing this at Hong Kong bar or the Chicago Club with all the girls.
    Aye, que rico!

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    Replies
    1. 11:29 "Tecate" no mames, guácaras

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  21. DAMM even the bars are corrupted.

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  22. The corrupt mexican elite and their cartels are in the process of destroying the goose laying golden eggs : first Acapulco and now Cancun

    Mismanagement by a criminal mafia state as usual.

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  23. The fake alcohol at HK should be the last of your worries in that place...lol. The penthouse is awesome btw.

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    1. Our family business has been in HK and across the harbor in Dongguan since the 80s. All the while having counterfeit everything incl liquor. but i never heard of indiscriminately adding knock out drugs at the bottling source. Mexico either until now. Our customer service offices have always been in Taichung, Taiwan. when we first landed there and until 2002 the state enterprise had a monopoly on products including beer. One beer, one source it is called "Taiwan Beer". counterfeits were not a problem until 2009 when china was allowed to sell Taiwan Beer on the mainland.....

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    2. Hahahaha, Chivis thinks ur talking about Hong Kong in China!!! Google "hong kong, tijuana"

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    3. jaja of course i know about hk tj i had a mental lapse..i am thinking of course hk has counterfeit more than mexico...thanks for setting me straight.

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    4. Knockout drugs is local mafia bartenders and meseros unions that spike it. The "tips" they live on have no meat for the most part. You get drunk then it is your pedo.

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  24. Because of the news making it sound as if Mexican counterfeit is dangerous, so much that it might kill you, and the government is worried some tourists might get scared away so before that irrational fear spreads like a forest fire over the Internet, even more than it already has, they sieze a meager 10,000 gallons, which is grossly over exaggerated, and what's worse is that they will end up selling it, and it will end up where it would've anyways.

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    Replies
    1. 5:08 but counter fit or home made booze can kill you. If you dont know what you're doing or do nasty crap on purpose because it is cheaper.

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    2. 5:08 the girl reported dead overdosed on drugs and other victims mentioned in this report are not made up fake news pendejo. Read the report again güey.

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  25. Valid point 5:08!

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  26. It's funny how some claimed the US government was trying to scare tourism (which I think is silly) and the AP says it did not mention it soon enough.

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  27. Only idiots go to all inclusives. I don't know about the rest of the west coast but 14 years living in Mazatlán and I have never heard of anyone having this problem. Drink an ice cold Pacifico and leave the umbrella drinks to the beginners.

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    1. Ballenas all day o carton de cuartitos

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  28. This happened to my buddy why we were in Cabo San Lucas bar hopping. Got hauled in by the municipal cops who robbed him.

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    1. 10:05 and what, no pillow to bite on?

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  29. Never had tainted alcohol in Mexico but am certain mixed drinks were watered down. The bars pay the cartels and the bars screw the customer. And thats the way it is.

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  30. You know
    Remember reading a week ago in a newspaper from monterrey
    That a woman goes in this recognized bar and end up feelig dizzy and throwing up in the very early minutes afer she enter and drink
    Anyways...
    The rare thing is that this girl en up in a street next to the bar
    And she realize that 7 or 9 girls
    Where fully intoxicated in the floor
    And hearing that the bouncers of thid bar left them in there in his own luck
    But deam
    9 people almost die inly because the tainted alcohol or something like that

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  31. I always drink beers down south. Never a mixed drink.& always watch them open the bottle. From tijuana to sinaloa!

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  32. Back to Jamaica .....at least I'll keep my head and enjoy real rum

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  33. Mexico is dying a slow death of its own making . Why would anybody want to vacation there ? Its just pure foolish . Anyplace in Latin America is dangerous . Mexican resorts . Shit man gangs from inland set up shop there to rob the tourist .

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  34. I live in Playa del Carmen and sad to say it has been going on for years. The narcos control the fake liquor sales.

    Almost every resort serrves it...not saying the resort owners are doing it knowingly but their mexican employees buy the fake liquor at regulars prices n pass it off as real. Why? For the kickback the narcos give them
    I'm sorry but all thus talk about 99 percent of mexicans being honest is just B.S.....corruption is engrained in them since birth and 99 percent of them see no "sin" in screwing over a wero.
    And they will treat a puocho.."legal mexican american" even worse.
    Lived 15 years in Mexico and it ain't changed for anything but the worse.
    They are nice too your face too sell you something but underneath they have a increasingly growing hatred for anybody American

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  35. Many of the bars in the American Southwest also vend the same kind of 'black out' black-market stuff. I don't trust any of the booze they sell there. Even a lot of the bottled beer is the oldest stuff in the distribution-center warehouses and skunk-nasty. Only thing I would drink there is from a closed bottle of vino. Why can't these scammers learn; if you give people a quality product, if instead of always trying to rip them off and take advantage of them so you can scorn them, if you take good care of your customers and treat them special, you will have BOTH KINDS of wealth. You'll have more money than you'll know what to do with, but even better, you'll be surrounded by grateful people who will have your back 100%. But these pea-brained, small-time operators take kindness for weakness and judge books by covers... and they never see it coming when karma decides to "pay them a visit"... En serio and in stereo.

    ReplyDelete

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