A high level commission, head by Public Health Minister Altagracia Guzmán and Defense Minister Ruben Paulino Sem, visited Guayajayuco in Pedro Santana, Elías Piña province on the border with Haiti, where a dozen persons have died after reportedly imbibing cleren, an artisanally produced alcoholic beverage. The authorities said the victims died because the beverage had been laced with methanol instead of ethanol. There also have been deaths reported from tainted claren ingestion in Santiago and Dajabón for a total of 16 reported deaths.
The mayor of Pedro Santana, Hipólito Valenzuela, said they were working with the Haitian authorities and the Ministry of Public Health to alert residents in both countries not to consume the clandestinely made drink.
The authorities have begun to dismantle cleren factories across the country following the deaths from drinking the illegally made liquor over the Christmas holiday. So far five laboratories have been dismantled in the community of San Luis in Santo Domingo East and in the municipality of Cabral in Barahona.This operation was headed up by prosecutor Yván Ariel Gómez Rubio and the Southern Regional Director of the National Police, General Orlando Martin Pichardo Reynoso.
Pichardo Reynoso said that the owner of the factory in Los Botados, Cabral was a suspected fugitive from justice and is currently being sought by the police. He said that there are several factories in that area making what is known as “triculi” but that cleren is being manufactured in Haiti.
28 December 2017