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  1. #1
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    Default Is the deadly drink known as Clerén the same as moonshine?

          Happy Holidays to all, hope everyone had a great Xmas and hopefully a safe upcoming New Year! What in the living Hell is Clerén and why are so many people are dying after ingesting it? I keep seeing news reports regarding folks dying from this Clerén beverage, but I keep getting mixed info on what it actually is.  I have heard some say it is some sort of Haitian moonshine, but often mixed with certain ingredients which can prove to be quite toxic! Can anyone on the forum fill me in on what it is and how to recognize it is someone tries to offer me some. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Here's a link in Spanish from "Listin Diario"........
    https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...sa-si-intoxica

    English Translation:
    Clerén is an illegal alcoholic beverage (without sanitary registration) sold in bulk and consumed by low-income people mainly in the south, due to its low cost (worth three times less than rum).

    Since last week, the intake at a wake in Elías Piña of this homemade drink allegedly contaminated with methanol, has killed at least 12 Dominicans, of 33 affected by poisoning, according to official figures issued by the Ministry of Public Health.

    How is the clerén prepared and how can it be contaminated? It is made with sugar cane and fermentable fruits; methanol contamination can occur by distillation of woods used as raw material or flavoring or by adding solvent products with high methanol content such as thimner.

    Methanol or methanol, colorless and very toxic is obtained by distilling wood. It is rapidly and easily absorbed from all exposure pathways (dermal, inhalation and oral) and easily crosses all membranes.

    Clerin is known in Haiti as clairin, or kleren and as reported by the AP agency in an article in July this year: "It is a young drink less refined than rum, although some artisanal varieties undergo a process of maturation that It gives a more smooth and peculiar flavor. It is made in hundreds of small distilleries throughout the country. "

    According to the article, in the elaboration the cane is put in a mill to extract the juice that is of caramel color, although the final product has a clear tone like the vodka.

    Clinical picture

    The clinical picture of clerén poisoning can start in a few hours up to three days after ingestion, developing in three stages, according to the explanations offered by the authorities of Collective Health of the Ministry of Public Health.

    The first of these stages occurs in the affected person with weakness, dizziness and nausea. After an asymptomatic period, a second phase appears, with the development of metabolic acidosis, characterized by vomiting, abdominal pain, disorientation and visual disturbances with photophobia, blurred vision, bilateral mydriasis not reactive to light and occasional blindness.

    In other words, If you can't afford to buy a legit product, don't drink.......
    Last edited by waytogo; 12-27-2017 at 08:34 AM.

  3. #3
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    Is this the one that perforates the stomach & intestines....
    you ultimately bleed to death , internally ?

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    The way I see it, it's not so much the beverage the problem, than whatever is added to it.
    The question is why do they add stuff ?

    I hardly drink, but if I do, my poison of choice would be gnôle, which is alcool made of fruit ( pear, abricot, rasberry, mirabel, etc.......), moonshine i guess is the nearest that comes to it. Generally its home made with an alambic, and high alcool % , maybe 70 to 75 grade ( or more !!! ).
    The commercial equivalent tops out at maybe 50.

    I dread the day I get my hands on an alambic in the dr...... i woild love to make mine from mangos, limoncillo, even avocado !!!


    So is this real poisoning, or just alcool poisoning ( like in coma éthylique stuff )? The second is a real possibility, as I have noticed lots of people have low resistance to alcool here in the dr.

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    There’s a lot of this in our campo, 60 pesos for a bottle I’m told.  One year a lot of people got sick because there was antifreeze added to it.  SMH

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    cleren as such is not a problem. that's just regular homemade booze with sugar cane juice base. the issue with this particular batch that has caused so many deaths is contamination with methanol.

    methanol is metabolized really quickly: it moves from the bloodstream into the tissues and accumulates in the organs containing high moisture such as eyeball which is why methanol poisoning often results in blindness. eventually it metabolizes to formic acid and formaldehyde and causes breaking down of proteins in cells. that leads to the damage to nervous system and internal organs.

    interestingly enough the treatment includes application of ethanol alcohol, either by mouth or by IV.

    contaminated batches of cleren are not that common in DR. admittedly some of the deaths may go unnoticed because the symptoms are similar to those of ethanol positioning but this is the first time i read about so many deaths in one go. the fact that it happened over xmas might have contributed to the disaster (hoy se bebe for two weeks straight).

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    Cleren poisoning is case of unscrupulous producers/resellers attempting to maximize their production and profit by taking shortcuts when making/bottling the stuff, similar to cutting street drugs with fentanyl for an extra kick to differentiate their product from other such offerings. Backyard distillers who can read can learn all they need to do and not do on the internet. Those who can't read have been shown at least one acceptable method of distilling a mash into ethanol. Quality ingredients, and the proper technique produce a consumable product of varying proofs depending on the environmental circumstances and processes used.

    When they sample the finished product and discover it lacking either in taste or potency these chemical engineers go about addressing the problems not by making a new and better batch but by adding stuff to what they have already made. Assuming they haven't completely buggered up the distillation it is these additives that are the problem and end up killing people.

    WW, heavy drinkers can develop sores (ulcers) in the lining of the stomach and intestines over time but not normally. Alcohol is easily and quickly absorbed in the stomach and gets you buzzed until the liver can remove the toxin over time. Methanol is an alcohol with lots of neurological effects that are not desirable but at least initially, consumption mirrors drinking regular bottled booze.

    The liver is unable to remove methanol from the blood and by the time one comes to realize that something is not quite right, one is seriously poisoned with lots of internal organs damaged and a central nervous system on the verge of collapse. More than 50% of the time consumption of methanol is fatal and it doesn't take much to bring about this result. Few recover without medical intervention and even then will have to live with all sorts of medical problems for the rest of their lives.

    Those who make the hooch for sale with a backyard still are profit driven and like the scholarly electricians, plumbers and builders here, see shortcuts and cost cuttings measures to be a good thing for them but either don't know or don't care that the effects of their ignorance can easily kill. Distilling is fairly easy and straight forward, but is a chemical process that does not allow for very much deviation or innovation.

    You can do all sorts of things to the finished product to adjust taste and refinement, but only after the consumable alcohol is produced and by that time the proof of the alcohol content of that batch is already determined and can only be lowered with dilution, not increased.

    Sadly for those who consumed a tainted batch, some bad actor didn't care or was of such high intelligence that they can't remember what they had for breakfast three days ago let along appreciate the results of their mistakes or intentional deviation in the distillation process.

    It is always possible that the methanol was added by someone else after receiving the hooch from whoever made it. Sad that some can't afford a cheap bottle of rum at Christmas. As always, when you choose to deal with those who skirt the law, you can never be completely sure of what you will get.

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    The reason for my question was that a few years ago a young man in our community died...

    he had had a disagreement during a drinking session.

    Sometime later, he had his 'trago' and became violently ill.
    Went to hospital, vomiting.... stomach pain... everything wrong.

    Over the next few days (before Christmas) he became worse-
    vomiting blood, etc & was hospitalized.

    He died about a week later... bled to death internally... nothing could be done for him.

    The suspicion is that he was poisoned with a pesticide or whatever.
    Swapped out the ron blanco for some 'producto'.... and a quick gulp killed him.

    Never solved..... but he's dead at 27-28 yrs old
    Died in his mother's arms - her first born

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    WW you are talking about tres pasitos (rat poison). probably added to food or drink in the case you described.

    methanol poisoning has a different mechanism. it is very quickly absorbed from bloodstream into tissue where it starts to break it down on cellular lever. initially it causes similar effects as ethanol: headaches, nausea, vomiting. then toxicity sets in causing stomach pain, redness of the skin and low blood pressure. finally it causes vision problems, loss of control over physiological functions, breathing difficulties, coma and death.

    methanol poisoning can kill within hours from ingesting tainted alcohol.

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