QUITO – Ecuadorian Health Minister David Chiriboga said Saturday that some 100,000 liters (26,000 gallons) of homemade liquor have been seized following the poisoning by adulterated alcohol that up to now has taken 29 lives.
“Around 100,000 liters (26,000 gallons) of homemade liquor have been impounded,” Chiriboga said during President Rafael Correa’s weekly radio and TV report on government activities, without going into detail about the seizure.
He said that alcoholism in Ecuador is a “very serious problem” and that the social and productive sectors are working together on ways to “deal with the problem of alcohol and drug consumption” in the country.
The southwestern Ecuadorian province of Los Rios remains the region with the greatest number of deaths from intoxication, with 20 so far this year, but the fatalities in the last few days occurred in other parts of the country, which indicates a wide distribution pattern for the adulterated liquor.
The law banning the sale and consumption of alcohol is currently enforced only in Los Rios, while in the rest of the country a state of exception has been applied that gives police and the armed forces the authority to seize liquor and make arrests.