Latin Post recently covered a story about Mexican drug cartels recent forays into the agricultural industry.
According to some reports, Mexican cartels are making attempts to take over Mexico’s booming avocado industry.
Although there no reports so far of cartels storming into avocado producing areas, there are indicators of one drug syndicate, the Viagras cartel, seizing protected land with the aim of cultivating and selling avocados.
However, some of the landowners and farmers will not give up this land without a fight.
“The threat is constant and from all sides,” Jose Maria Ayala Montero told the Los Angeles Times.
According to the LA Times, Ayala Montero works for “a trade association that formed its own vigilante army to protect growers.”
Local authorities have proven to be useless in stopping these invasions .
One law enforcement official said during an interview with the AP that the cartels are already taking land, building orchards, and then setting up drug labs in the vicinity of those orchards.
According to a local police chief, cartels have “done everything – extortions [and] protection payments,” rendering law enforcement helpless against these cartels.
In the state of Michoacan alone, the avocado industry generates two billion dollars of revenue annually.
It’s no surprise that cartels wants a piece of the pie. As cartels become more involved in the avocado sector, violence will naturally follow.
Mexico’s favorable climate for avocado growing and overall lower labor costs make the avocado industry rather lucrative.
It only makes sense that drug cartels enter this industry in order to maximize their revenues and diversify their income streams.
The Mexican government has resoundingly demonstrated its inability to defend itself against drug cartels.
Over the years, Mexican drug rings started out as normal criminal organizations armed with conventional weapons, to heavily-equipped outfits that challenge the Mexican government’s monopoly on violence.
Now, they have the potential of becoming huge economic players in Mexico.
In light of these developments, America needs to get its act together on border security, unless it wants Mexican-style cartel violence to cross its borders.
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