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.
Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?
America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad
Does America First have a new non-interventionist champion?
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been viewed by many as one of the figures who could potentially lead a Trumpist movement after Trump, should Joe Biden end up being installed as president on January 2021.
Hawley has made a name for himself as a champion of Middle America and questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy on immigration and trade. Lately, Hawley has made a pivot towards questioning the interventionist conventional wisdom on foreign policy.
In early October of this year, the Missouri Senator called for the American government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Hawley tweeted, “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”
Hawley’s foreign policy has been a work progress over the past two years. During a 2019 speech Hawley gave at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he questioned the nation-building policy prescriptions of previous administrations, demonstrating some degree of skepticism towards non-stop interventionism abroad on the part of the Senator.
That said, it remains to be seen if Hawley’s legislative record will fully match his rhetoric.
Hawley is a staunch China hawk, who fears the rise of China and is a strong voice against China’s expansionist efforts. Hawley’s track record shows that his foreign policy views are rough around the edges. Daniel Larison of The American Conservative is not as optimistic about Hawley judging by his votes on the Yemeni Civil War. Larison cited several of Hawley’s votes that may be cause for concern:
“Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.”
Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of foreign wars. Politicians can change their views and behaviors. Hawley is likely recognizing that the America First movement is exhausted by the endless wars and wants candidates and elected officials who offer withdrawal plans.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 24, 2020
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce interventionist skeptic, maintained cautious optimism about Hawley. In a tweet, he commented, “All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting.”
All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting:https://t.co/0g3jpVPsDm
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 24, 2020
The jury is still out on Hawley. Regardless of flaws in his voting record, America First advocates should continue to push him and other America First leaning Republicans in the right direction. We should never forget that politicians are still receptive to political pressure and the grassroots holds the keys to political change.
Young senators like Hawley are the future of American politics and it makes sense for foreign policy restrainers to lobby them and push them in a direction that favors non-interventionism.
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