You may not see avocados from Michoacán
Who likes guacamole or some avocado slices with your enchiladas? Well, I do, and a lot. Sadly, avocados may be the latest casualty of the cartel war in Mexico. Check this out from Bloomberg:
The U.S. paused avocado shipments from one of Mexico's major producing regions on security worries, in an announcement that came Saturday, just a day before the Super Bowl — when guacamole consumption typically soars.
The Mexican agriculture ministry said the temporary suspension involves avocados from Michoacán — the world's biggest producing region of the billion-dollar avocado trade. The U.S. had informed Mexico's agriculture ministry of the decision after one of its officers, who was carrying out inspection work in the city of Uruapan, received a threatening call to his cell phone, according to the statement.
Why did the inspector get that call? And who called him? We don't know for sure, but it was serious enough, according to the article:
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture "reported that an investigation is currently being carried out to assess the threat and determine the necessary mitigation measures to guarantee the physical integrity of all of its personnel working in Michoacán," according to the Mexican statement.
Who knew that criminal elements could get that worked up over avocados? It turns out that cartels have figured out that avocados are a great business — i.e., people like me eat a lot of avocados and enjoy guacamole with chips. How much? Avocado exports are almost $3 billion annually. Specifically, Michoacán exported over 135,000 tons to the U.S. in the last 6 weeks.
What have we learned about the cartels? They are mean killers and know their customers, whether it's drugs or avocados. They want to diversify their empire and expand their trade routes to the U.S. Wonder what comes after drugs and avocados?
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Image: TUBS via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.