Published July 11, 2012
Honduran health authorities confirmed Tuesday that 24 people died over the past two weeks in this Central American country from drinking aguardiente, a liquor distilled from sugar cane, that had been adulterated with methanol.
The head of epidemicological security for the Health Secretariat, Tomas Guevara, told Efe that another 24 people were poisoned by the bad booze.
He added that of the fatalities, 11 died in the Tegucigalpa Teaching Hospital and 13 at their homes in the city of Siguatepeque, 113 kilometers (70 miles) north of the Honduran capital.
"The Attorney General's Office found in the autopsies that there was methanol in the bodies of the victims," Guevara said.
Some of the 24 survivors remain at Santa Teresa Hospital in Comayagua, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Tegucigalpa.
Health authorities are also investigating the death of a man on Monday, presumably from drinking aguardiente laced with methanol, in the western municipality of Jesus de Otoro.
The spokesperson for the AG's office, Issa Alvarado, told Efe that authorities are "studying the alcohol that was seized in Siguatepeque and Comayagua to see if it is adulterated."
Up to now, authorities have confiscated more than 600 liters (160 gallons) of aguardiente that will be destroyed Tuesday, according to media accounts.
Due to the proliferation of deaths from the sale of tainted alcohol, municipal authorities in Siguatepeque banned the sale of liquor for three days.