Quito: 937 Watering Holes Raided in Fatal Liquor-Contamination Case

Police have raided over 900 Quito bars and businesses .. confiscated huge amounts of contaminated liquids and closed at least 19 establishments lacking liquor licenses, while at least 15 people are reported dead from apparent liquor contamination.

123 establishments have been charged with liquor violations, including the presence on the premises of suspect bottles.

Many other victims are still alive and under observation by health professionals.

The above news is reported at the welcome page of the Cuenca Highlife website.

A methanol case of similar type took place in Quito in 2011.

More details at www.cuencahighlife.com

This case prompts a review of proper handling of one's personal beverages in any bars or cantinas in South America.  This is regardless of whether the establishment has a valid liquor license.

1.  Keep your beverages in sight at all times.

2.  If you lose sight of a drink you ordered, even for a moment, forget it.  Order a replacement drink or just ignore the first one.

3.  Do not accept drinks from strangers.

4.  Do not share a bottle by mouth.

5.  Do not accept samples of food or beverage from street hawkers. 

Also, do not shake hands or accept anything from unknown person(s) on the street.


Were the establishments named or listed anywhere?

Not in the Highlife article.

You might have to contact the Ministry of Health for such information.


It’s best to go to reputable places if one prefers booze. I prefer beer, and Ecuador makes a decent lager, pilsener, and black beer. The craft beers are IMO still in their infancy but they are making progress.

So for me anyway, it’s direct from the beer bottle or a place that serves decent draft beer. And on occasion a shot or two but only at reputable pubs. (reputable pubs/bars are established places that middle class+ frequent in Quito)

Wine is not a problem at all in decent restaurants, and to give a general tip, if a restaurant/bar/pub has been operating for a long time with regular customers then you will mostly likely not be cheated with fake stuff. (if you are smart you will research the place first) Google.

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