Mexican authorities cleared through 31 Mexico resorts, clubs, and restaurants, confiscating 10,000 gallons of illicit alcohol, during a “crackdown” that occurred shortly after CrimeOnline called attention to a girl who died at a Mexico resort shortly after consuming a drink.
Police swept through 31 businesses in Cancun and Playa del Carmen over the past several days and found alcohol that was badly manufactured, which could possibly harm consumers, and even kill them. One of the resorts busted with illicit alcohol was in the same complex where Abbey Conner, 20, of Wisconsin, drowned in January while on vacation with her family.
Conner was found face-down in a swimming pool at a resort in Iberostar Paraiso del Mar. The incident occurred only hours after her family arrived to Mexico. Abbey and her brother, Austin Conner, had a few drinks earlier that morning before taking a swim in the pool. Although Austin was fine, Abbey passed away.
Abbey’s father Bill Conner spoke with Nancy Grace about his daughter’s death in January and the difficulty they have had finding answers and justice.
“The police aren’t helping,” Conner said in July. “Twenty four hours after the incident my son Austin and their step-dad John went to the police department, and the police told them they didn’t need to file a report. It was an accident. They hadn’t talked to the hotel, they hadn’t done any investigation or anything. And so, we knew what we were up against.”
“This has been happening for a long. When this incident happens and when travelers go to where they live outside of Mexico – the difficulty with the judicial system, lack of any cooperation leads to people to give up” Conner said.
“This isn’t just about Abbey. This isn’t just about us, This is about people who have lost people in the same manner and gotten no justice,” Conner said. “It needs to stop.”
Raquel Rutledge with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been following Abbey’s story and told Nancy Grace that a huge percentage of alcohol produced in Mexico is unregulated.
“One of the things I have learned in doing this research, the consumption of alcohol in Mexico, 43% of is produced illegally, so it’s not regulated. What sort of alcohol is being served? That’s one area that needs exploring.”
Other vacationers told USA Today that they too had blacked out after drinking alcohol at Mexican resorts. They also complained of being assaulted after drinking at pool bars and on the beach.
Mexican authorities also temporarily shut down a Fat Tuesday restaurant in Cancun. A whopping 90 gallons of illicit alcohol was found at both Fat Tuesday and an unnamed Iberostar’s lobby bar. The news has thrilled Abbey’s mother, Ginny McGowan, who has been hoping authorities in Mexico would step in and take charge of the illegal operations.
“This is awesome; this is huge. It’s needed. There is obviously stuff going on that needs to be cleaned up and looked into further. They need to investigate and interview employees. This makes sense. This needs to happen.”
According to a study published earlier this year by Euromonitor International, at least 36%, if not more, of the consumed alcohol in Mexico is illegal.
[Feature Photo: Family Handout]