Features — 05 September 2014 — by Kareem Clarke
Alcoholism leads to death of Corozaleño

COROZAL–It is no secret that alcoholism is a serious and growing public health problem not only in our country, but all over the globe, and that is exactly what the family of a Corozaleño suspects was the cause of his demise today.

Corozal police reported that they received a distress call from the Santa Rita Heights area in Corozal at 3:55 this morning after Estevan Ortiz, 53, told them that he had gotten up to use the bathroom and saw his brother, Benito Nathaniel Puerto, 38, of the same address, lying on the floor motionless and not breathing.

Ortiz further reported that Puerto, who he said was a known alcoholic, came home highly intoxicated at around 7:30 the night before, after which he fell asleep on the floor.
Puerto’s body was immediately transported to the Corozal Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The family added that Puerto had been consistently consuming alcohol for the past two days, and police confirmed that no visible signs of violence were seen on the body.

The incident has since been ruled as a sudden death, and a post-mortem which was conducted on the body this afternoon certified Puerto’s cause of death as acute pulmonary congestion and edema, which is consistent with alcohol abuse.

On Monday of this week, Francisco Rodriguez, 63, was found deceased by relatives behind his home in San Estevan in the Orange Walk District.

Rodriguez’s family mentioned that he was also a chronic alcoholic, and had been drinking heavily the day before.

A post-mortem which was later conducted on Rodriguez revealed that he died as a result of multiple organ failure due to alcoholism.

Of note is that excessive alcohol consumption, known as alcoholism, is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in Belize, after traffic accidents and murder.

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