Liquor, Curfews and Smuggling

As a result of the restrictions on mobility and the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages, which were decreed in 2020 to mitigate the outbreak of covid-19, it is estimated that the smuggling of liquor from Mexico into the Guatemalan market increased considerably.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

According to the report Prohibitions, illicit alcohol and lessons to be learned from the covid-19 lockdown, prepared by the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (Tracit), the dry law imposed for long periods boosted sales of smuggled alcoholic beverages.

See "Beer: Brands, Tastes and Potential Market"

It is estimated that in Guatemala, liquor smuggled from Mexico accounts for 20% of the market, but with the health crisis, Tracit estimates that this proportion has risen to 30%.

Enrique Lacs, executive director of the Guatemalan Chamber of Food and Beverages, told that during the pandemic "... the global numbers of liquor smuggling have been very close to those reported during Easter and Christmas."

You may be interested in "Beer: Brands, Tastes and Potential Market"

According to Tracit, one of the lessons of this health crisis is that measures restricting mobility and dry law enforcement significantly increased "...consumer demand for illegal liquor and increased seizures of illicit products in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama and Colombia."

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More on this topic

Liquor Sales: Pressure to Lift Restrictions

June 2020

In Panama, the guild of companies in the alcoholic beverages sector are asking the authorities to put an end to the Dry Law, which has been stricter in the context of the covid-19 outbreak and the decreed home quarantine.

In order to reduce crime and avoid crowding, the authorities had prohibited the consumption, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages until the end of the State of Emergency decreed by the spread of covid-19.

Pandemic, Smuggling and Black Market

April 2020

Given the crisis in the region, businessmen in Guatemala report that smuggling of Mexican products has increased, while in Panama, beer producers attribute the rise in illegal trade in alcoholic beverages to the dry law.

With the spread of Covid-19, governments in Central America have decreed mandatory quarantines and have also restricted the movement of consumers at certain hours.

Rebound in Smuggling Forecasted

November 2018

In Guatemala, food and beverage businessmen estimate that product smuggling during the end of 2018 will increase more than reported in previous years.

Complaints by Guatemalan businessmen regarding the illicit marketing of different types of products have been a constant in recent years. Long-standing calculations detail that of every ten products sold in the country, three are of illegal origin.

Smuggled Liquor in Honduras

November 2014

Liquor distribution companies are demanding that the government improve measures to control the illegal entry of spirits, particularly from Nicaragua.

The cost of a box of 24 units of Nicaraguan liquor ranges from $13.50 to $14, while in the Honduran formal market the same amount costs between $19 and $26.50.