State News

Johnson, Baldwin call for further investigation of fatal blackout at Mexican resort

U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., sent letters to the State Department requesting more action in response to the death of a 20-year-old Wisconsinite. 

Image By: Drew Gilmore

Wisconsin’s U.S. senators are requesting more information on an investigation surrounding the death of a 20-year-old Wisconsinite this summer in Mexico, amid multiple other reports of suspicious blackouts while drinking at resorts in the country.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., sent a letter to the U.S. State Department this summer demanding more information on the death of Pewaukee-native Abbey Conner. Johnson wrote again Monday to Inspector General Steve Linick, demanding further action be taken.

The letter encourages investigators to “...examine how the Department monitors, records and reports overseas incidents involving physical abuse or death after the potential consumption of tainted alcohol.”

Wisconsin Democratic senator Tammy Baldwin also sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson following the death of Connor.

“I am gravely concerned that the State Department is not taking seriously the health and safety risks to U.S. citizens posed by illicit alcohol,” Baldwin said in the letter. “To date, the Department’s actions have not matched its stated concern for the safety and security of U.S. citizens abroad.”

Both senators have expressed frustration over the lack of transparency revolving the case and are still waiting on a response from the Mexican Embassy in order to obtain answers on theincident.

Siblings Abbey and Austin Conner were found face down in the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar pool after consuming potentially tainted alcohol provided by the resort. After being taken to a local hospital, Austin recovered, but Abbey was pronounced brain dead and was soon taken off of life support.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported on the case and since then over a hundred people have come forward comparing similar stories of their own blackouts at resorts across Mexico. There are reports of rape, unconsciousness and robbery after low levels of alcohol consumption.

These cases have not been resolved and there is speculation that the resorts are tainting the alcohol in conspiracy with local hospitals in order to gain large sums of cash from the tourists who seek medical care, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The U.S. has not been tracking the cities or the resorts at which these incidents are occurring, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

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