I heard about this story earlier in the week when Dennis Prager read it on air. Here’s the start and the link to the whole article.
In the past ten years, the amount of avocados consumed in the US has more than quadrupled, to over a million tons a year. Most of this is used to make guacamole, a traditional Mexican food that has now become popular in the United States. While many avocados consumed in the US are grown in California, about 60% are imported from Mexico–where they have sparked a long-running battle between local farmers and one of Mexico’s drug cartels.
In the 1980s, the Mexican state of Michoacán saw good times. The area had long been a center of production for avocados, the fleshy green fruit that is used to make guacamole. Under the NAFTA treaty, the United States lifted its trade restrictions on Mexican avocados, and the region found itself at the center of a growth industry. Michoacán was the only Mexican state approved by the USDA to export avocados to America, and even as the American maquiladora factories that had appeared in Mexico under NAFTA were closed down and moved to China, the avocado industry continued to expand. By 2010, Michoacán contained almost three-fourths of all the avocado plantations in Mexico and was exporting some 80% of its entire crop to the US, worth over $1 billion a year. A single hectare of orchard, yielding two crops a year, could produce as much as $100,000. Farmers began referring to the avocado as oro verde, “green gold”. The fruit was the largest cash crop in the region, outselling even the marijuana trade.
And that caught somebody’s attention. For years, the marijuana industry in Michoacán was run by a cartel known as La Familia, headed by Nazario Moreno, a former minister who quoted Bible verses to justify the kidnapping and execution of rivals and opponents. In 2010 Moreno was killed in a cartel dispute, and La Familia collapsed, leaving a power vacuum . . . (Click here for the rest.)
Flank, L. (2016). Avocados and the Mexican Drug Cartels. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/7/12/1546610/-Avocados-and-the-Mexican-Drug-Cartels on April 5, 2019.