Did A Resort In Mexico Serve Alcohol Laced With Drugs To Unsuspecting Guests?

International travel can be a scary thing for folks who don’t travel much.  I’ve traveled extensively and don’t get concerned about traveling to many new destinations.  For those who might not travel as much, they might try something as simple as a trip to the Caribbean or Mexico so they can feel a bit more comfortable.  Those are generally safe destinations, right?

I came across a pretty disturbing article about a fairly popular hotel chain in Mexico (and a few others) who reportedly have had numerous reported incidents with guests that don’t seem to add up.  Thanks to Stefan for sending this article along.

The article is filled with stories of seemingly normal folks who don’t appear to abuse alcohol or drugs.  The stories end with such outcomes as blackouts, sexual assaults and even death.  It’s a sobering read about the lack of regulation around alcohol in Mexico. Just a few samples from the article:

A 2015 report from Mexico’s Tax Administration Service found that 43% of all the alcohol consumed in the nationis illegal, produced under unregulated circumstances resulting in potentially dangerous concoctions.

The national health authority in Mexico has seized more than 1.4 million gallons of adulterated alcohol since 2010 — not just from small local establishments, but from hotels and other entertainment areas, according to a 2017 report by the country’s Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks.


Kathy and Jeff Daley and their neighbors in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, took their teenage children to the Iberostar Cancun in March 2016 for a little spring getaway. They were all in the pool around the swim-up bar.

The group had a round of tequila shots, the first drink of the day for Kathy.

She had been careful to stick with water throughout the day to stay hydrated. She didn’t care much for the shot, so when everyone else had another, she declined. The bartender offered her something else. Something special, he said. It was a mixed drink of some kind — she wasn’t sure what. She took a few sips.

She lost consciousness. The next thing she remembers is being in a hospital. Vomiting and disoriented.


Valeri and her husband of 13 years were not conscious. They were in their hotel room at Iberostar’s Paraiso Maya, in the same array of resorts where Abbey and Austin Conner would wind up in a pool two years later.

It was 2015 and the Valeris were there to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Over the course of a couple hours, they had a few drinks on the beach — three each, to be exact.

Then they blacked out.

Jamie Valeri recalls vomiting and being on a cold tile floor. And she remembers being sexually assaulted. She couldn’t see or hear anything. But she could feel what was happening. She was in pain and wanted to fight, but her body was paralyzed.

A Sobering Reminder

I’ll admit, the stories in this article come as a bit of a shock to me.  I’m not naive enough to think things like this can’t happen.  But, the stories are horrible.  And, the numbers are pretty surprising as well.  1.4 million gallons of adulterated booze?  If you figure 1.5 ounces of booze per drink, that’s well over 100 million potentially tainted drinks that didn’t get served.  When the quantities are that big, you have to assume the government didn’t catch it all.  So, how much bad booze is really getting served?

All-inclusive resorts in Mexico are extremely popular with Americans.  There are plenty of numbers floating out there.  This article cites 25 million trips taken by US residents to Mexico for leisure purposes.  People choose Mexico at least in part because it’s close and safe.  It sounds like we might need to think twice about the latter.

The post Did A Resort In Mexico Serve Alcohol Laced With Drugs To Unsuspecting Guests? was published first on Pizza in Motion


  1. I’ve stayed at this resort last year with my family and had a wonderful time. I will however not be returning given these repeated events & the Iberostar’s lack of communication surrounding the events, their lack of internal investigation, lack of sympathy for the victims

  2. I’m not entirely sure this hasn’t happened to me at a similar property, though thankfully not with nearly as severe consequences and I was there with plenty of people who shepherded me. To put it another way, I believe 1,000% percent this can happen.

      1. Doesn’t just happen at resorts either. I took a cruise through the Bahamas out of the U.S. Our first evening out I ordered a mixed drink. I finished it and I was completely smashed and disoriented. Didn’t have another drink the entire night.

  3. “People choose Mexico at least in part because it’s close and safe?” Close, yes, but Mexico is definitely not safe. Lots of folks I knew in Texas with family in Mexico stopped going back in recent years. The adulterated drinks situation has been going on in Mexico at least from the early 1980s.

  4. My wife and I travel to the Riviera Maya area yearly. News of this type is troubling, especially if Iberostars response to it and the victims has been lacking. BUT, I look at all of the violent crime occurring in this country. Four young men murdered in the south and buried in a grave, four teenagers lured to a park in New York and hacked to death with machetes. We live 20 miles from our state capital – Madison, and shootings are becoming a nightly occurrence. So, will this news stop us from visiting one of our favorite places to travel – no. Things are not that much better here!

    1. “Things are not that much better here!” Good grief, you obviously have no clue as to the level of corruption in Mexico. As if there is no difference between how frequently crimes are reported to police, publicized by the media and solved by the police in the USA vs. Mexico.

    2. “Things are not that much better here!”

      Clearly, you haven’t a clue about what conditions are really like in Mexico and most of the rest of Latin America, for that matter. I like 90 minutes from you and I can assure you that only the very worst parts of Chicago and Milwaukee can compete with most of Mexico when it comes to your odds of being a crime victim. I could bore you with crime rate statistics, but the gist of the matter is this: people in these places have to live in homes surrounded by walls with iron bars on their windows and doors. That’s not a style choice. Their police departments are incredibly corrupt and inept. And they can’t even legally defend themselves against gangs who somehow manage to get high-powered weapons in countries where these are very illegal.

      So, to say that things are not much better here is a statement that is incredibly naive.

  5. Hey Dave – I think I do have a good concept of the level of corruption in Mexico. But many times I believe you can replace the word “Mexico” with American politicians. As much as I hated it, I didn’t vote in the last presidential election because both candidates have no problem lying to you or I. And to can put BO into That group too.

    1. Let us know the next time you’re pulled over for a non-existent traffic infraction and shaken down for a bribe. I’ve had that happen to me several times (in three different countries) south of the border. Hasn’t happened to me yet in the USA.

      Worked on a large engineering project in Nicaragua. The owner of the property had a special account for bribes because, without them, nothing gets built there. But hey, I’m sure the same thing happens in Dane County too.

      1. Got news for you… I was pulled over in Georgia …like the United States Georgia for no reason and barely escaped being raped…if you are not watchful and careful there is no where in the world that is safe

  6. What’s also alarming from the article published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is that trusted sites such as TripAdvisor and Expedia have strict policies limiting what is allowed to be included in online reviews and sounds as though these guests had tried to describe what happened to them on these sites but were rejected. Scary but not a surprise considering these are large publicly traded (for profit) companies.

  7. You know of course, that those exclusive resorts in Mexivo are owned by the Mexican Cartel.
    Sure, there are gates and walls put up to keep the money flowing in. But the situation is tenuous and could change for worse anytime.

  8. Mexico used to be an inexpensive, beautiful, fairly safe, and relaxing place to vacation in. These days, I would not bother to go there. You are obviously putting yourself at great risk. I want to feel safe, and relax when I go on vacation. What is the point of vacationing there if I have to fear being shot, kidnapped, or poisoned? Be safe, and enjoy yourself. Go somewhere else!

    1. Jay, sad to say that’s the way more than a few folks feel about Mexico now. I wouldn’t avoid it completely, but I”m definitely a lot more careful in considering where I travel there.

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