Ecuador, Latin America: Week in Review

Ecuador Plans to Buy Back Contaminated Alcohol After 48 Deaths

August 30, 2011 By Staff

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Authorities in Ecuador want to buy back half a million bottles of contaminated alcohol in an effort to prevent more deaths after 48 people died and hundreds were more were sickened from liquor tainted with methanol. The country’s health minister said that the buyback includes 14 brands of wine and other alcohol that were contaminated with methanol, or wood alcohol, that is used for industrial purposes. Stores have been barred from selling the liquor since July, but over 500 people have been injured by the alcohol with some left permanently blinded. $400,000 has been set aside by Ecuador’s government to buy back the alcohol at 80 cents a bottle, which was made by small provincial providers that didn’t have the required health permits.

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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


  • Puerto Rican Senator Roberto Arango resigned after the local news media found pictures apparently of him on a Grindr, a gay cruising app. Many writers in the U.S. media are comparing the case to that of Anthony Weiner.
  • Health and human rights officials are concerned about the babies being born into Haiti’s tent camps.
  • Cuban political dissidents told The Miami Herald that the authorities had used tear gas over the weekend to detain protests in the eastern province of Santiago, though the information could not be independently confirmed and was not reported by other foreign journalists on the island.
  • WikiLeaks has released all 2,000 cables in its possession sent by the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo.

Central America


  • Human Rights Watch has asked the Venezuelan government to shield prison rights activist Humberto Prado, who has received numerous death threats for exposing conditions in Venezuelan prisons.
  • Venezuelan weekly  6to Poder remains in business after a Venezuelan court revoked a decision to shut the paper down for depicting high-ranking female officials as cabaret dancers.

Southern Cone

Image: Seuss @ Flickr

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