The United States Government Halts Imports of Mexican Avocados Over Growing Cartel Threats

The US government has stopped imports of avocados after cartels threatened an American inspector working in the country.

Mexico’s Agricultural Secretariat issued a statement announcing the suspension of these imports on February 12, 2022. 

In this statement, Mexican agriculture officials disclosed that one of the bodies under the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented such a measure after one of their inspectors working in Uruapan — a city in the Mexican state of Michoacán — was threatened over the phone. According to a report by Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby of Breitbart News, the USDA has a well-established track record of sending inspectors to other countries that are net exporters of the produce to the US.

Ortiz and Darby noted that the “import suspension comes at a time when the largest association of avocado farmers in Mexico spent money on an ad campaign that would feature their produce during Superbowl Sunday.” 

Avocado production tends to be mostly concentrated in the states of Michoacán and Jalisco, which are two of the most violent states in Mexico. In this region, there is a major turf war between Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación and a consortium of smaller cartels – the United Cartels. The United Cartels enjoy the support of the Sinaloa Cartel according to the report by Ortiz and Darby.

Cartels that operate in the Michoacán region are notorious for extorting protection fees from avocado farmers. These farmers routinely complain about the lack of security the Mexican government fails to supply in the region.

BLP has previously reported about the alarming levels of homicides taking place in Mexico. In 2019, there were 35,588 people who were victims of homicides. In addition, BLP has reported on Mexican cartels having a strong operational footprint within the United States.

If there is one national security priority the U.S. should emphasize it’s securing its border against Mexico and potentially considering surgical strikes against Mexican cartels who terrorize American citizens and destabilize the country with their drug trafficking.

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