Local June 3, 2020 | 9:58 am

Despite warnings clerén (the clergy) continues causing deaths in the DR

The Public Ministry of Santo Domingo Oeste dismantled a clandestine laboratory that was used to manufacture alcoholic beverages of the so-called cleric and loose cover, during an operation executed by judicial order in the Los Rieles residential complex in the Hato Nuevo community of the Manoguayabo sector. Today / External Source 05/26/20

The alarm went off on April 11 of this year when five people from the same family residing in the municipal district of Tireo, in Constanza, died after intoxication with an artisanal alcoholic beverage called “Clerén” (the clergy) or “Triculí.”

Less than two months after that tragic day, and despite the repeated warnings made by the competent authorities, 177 have died from the same cause in different parts of the Dominican Republic. People do not stop and the deadly drink does not discriminate sex or age and continues to wreak havoc on men and women, including pregnant women, whose ages range between 10 and 60 years, according to a report by the National Epidemiological Health System (SINAVE).

On April 13, the Public Ministry and the Police Intelligence Directorate (DINTEL), assisted by the Ministry of Public Health, started a joint operation against the clandestine “factories” of the stimulating but deadly drink that came to compete with the epidemic of the coronavirus, and that it was openly marketed in grocery stores in the most vulnerable neighborhoods of the capital and other cities in the interior of the country.

During these raids, 31 clandestine rum manufacturing factories or laboratories have been dismantled, and large quantities of products such as methanol (a chemical that is used, among other things, to denature ethyl alcohol) have been seized; tanks and bottles for storage and subsequent marketing.

Of 64 people arrested for this type of business in violation of the Penal Code and general health laws number 42-01, and 17-79 on Illegal Trade in Contraband and Counterfeiting of Regulated Products, 47 have been ordered to carry out various coercion measures, including preventive detention, payment of fines and periodic presentation to the authorities (parole).

According to official records, deaths from adulterated rum poisoning known as “Clerén” or “Triculí” are higher in Greater Santo Domingo and the provinces of Independencia and La Vega. Fewer deaths have occurred due to the consumption of adulterated rum in Hato Mayor, Valverde, Baoruco, Santiago, Peravia, Higuey, and other unspecified places.

In the opinion of the Minister of Public Health, Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas “is an extremely high case fatality rate.”
Of the three institutions involved in the operations against the illegal manufacture of alcoholic beverages and the submission of those responsible (MP, Police and Public Health), only the last one has exact statistical data on cases of poisoning and deaths from methane poisoning, classified by age group, sex, and by residence.

However, the last known cases of poisoning are those up to April 30 of this year when the death toll reached number 155. 22 deaths due to this cause have all occurred in May. To date the total number of deaths due to illegally-produced alcohol poisoning to date to 203 from a total of 326 poisonings.

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