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Latino Daily News

Monday December 26, 2011

Donated Christmas Meals Laced with Cyanide, Kills 5 at Mexico Rehab Center

Donated Christmas Meals Laced with Cyanide, Kills 5 at Mexico Rehab Center

Photo: People Killed Mexico w/ cyanide

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Five residents of a drug rehab center in this western Mexican city died and 26 others were sickened after eating donated food that apparently contained cyanide, the Red Cross said Monday.

Thirty-one residents of the Jara Creador de Vida facility in Guadalajara became ill Sunday night after a meal of sausage, rice and vegetables.

Besides the five who died, three people are listed in serious condition at a Guadalajara hospital, while 18 others were treated and released.

Doctors suspect the donated food was laced with cyanide, but it will be up to the Jalisco state medical examiner’s office to make the final determination, Red Cross spokesman Daniel Nuñez told reporters.

The state Attorney General’s Office ordered the rehab closed and detained center director Adrian Garcia Rojas and two cooks for questioning.

Drug-cartel gunmen have staged a number of attacks in recent years on addiction treatment centers in Mexico, apparently targeting individuals who are using the facilities to sell drugs on rivals’ turf, officials say.

More than 60 people have died in such assaults over the past three years.