Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Four Moonshine Factories Demolished by Police

July 15, 2005

AFTER an “intense” search, policefound, dismantled and burned four moonshinefactories in the mountains of theCentral Valley province of Alajuela,northwest of San José, the Public SecurityMinistry announced last week. They cartedoff evidence of illegal liquor operationsand destroyed 800 liters of the contraband.As many as four more such factoriesmay be located in the region, and policeare looking for them this week,Alajuela’s assistant regional policedirector Daniel Calderón told The TicoTimes.“(Moonshine) is illegal and peoplewho consume it often make trouble. It’sa big problem in the area,” Calderónsaid.Police kept a gallon of the liquor,now under laboratory study, as evidencefor the Prosecutor’s Office.“We know that many families dedicatethemselves to doing this kind ofthing, and we are going to continue hittingthe factories necessary,” Calderónsaid.The liquor, made primarily fromsugar cane, is distilled in camps undermakeshift roofs in rural areas. The processis unsanitary, producing liquor that couldbe dangerous for consumption, PublicSecurity Ministry spokesman FabiánMeza told The Tico Times.“It’s very dirty, made in dirty places –there are insects found in the mix and filthin the liquor that is left to ferment. Insectsand branches are even put into the mix onpurpose to make it ferment faster,” Mezasaid.Moonshine is often bottled in commercialliquor bottles and sold in large orsmall quantities. Its consumption exacerbatesdomestic violence, the ministry saidin a statement.Police and the Public Health Ministrywill team up to intensify strikes againstillegal liquor operations, the SecurityMinistry announced.

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