At least ten people from a small Peruvian village are dead after eating contaminated food, Radio Programs of Peru said. Monday’s post-funeral meal in the village of San Jose de Ushua in the Peruvian Andes ended tragically.
The victims of the contaminated food had to be evacuated from a rural hospital in Ayacucho, a southern region home to indigenous Quechua-speaking farmers. Jhon Tinco, regional department of health director, told a local radio station Radio Programs of Peru (RPP) that the victims said they had eaten a meat dish and a fermented corn drink called chicha. After ten people aged between 12 and 68 died, several patients are still in a critical condition in hospital. Samples of the food and drink served at the funeral have been taken away for testing.
According to the medics, they were among 50 people who fell ill after attending a post-funeral meal in the village of San Jose de Ushua. Health minister Silvia Pessah said the food appears to have contained organophosphates, a group of chemicals used in pesticides.
Local media reported that the funeral had been for a local resident Víctor Santos Cucho Atucsa and his grieving family had shared the meal with mourners afterwards. The mayor of San Jose de Ushua, Ivan Villagomez Llamoca was at the funeral and told the news outlet:
“The first dish was mote broth, the second dish was stewed meat with chilli.”
Mr Llamoca said he had suffered from a headache and the high temperature after the post-funeral meal and had gone to a hospital to save his life. The local hospital medics did their best to improve the health conditions of all patients from San Jose de Ushua whose life was under risk after eating the contaminated food.