The avocado industry is growing more lucrative each year. Beginning in 2009 to 2013 it is estimated that the cartels made about $770 million, or $154 million annually, according to El Universal. This is made through extortion, kidnapping, usurping growers land, etc. In Ireland, two restaurants will no longer serve them because, "they're like battery chickens". The Irish owner of (2) Michelin star restaurants has named avocados, "the blood diamonds of Mexico". They are no longer on his menus.
Michoacan is the largest producers in the world. The cartels involved in the avocado trade include La Familia Michoacana (Johnny Hurtado), Caballeros Templarios and Los Viagra (the Santana brothers).
In England, known as the alligator pear, restaurants are ceasing buying avocados.
Mencho worked for the Valencia's avocado farm, if I recall correctly.
Love your contributions Parro but I hate to be a stickler but please try if you will to post the article in it's entirety along with the link (which you did).You can always put your commentary either at the top before the article or at the bottom either way.It doesn't matter if you are commenting on another posted article you can reply with a link only but on an initial headline story please publish the article in full.Thanks.
The Jalisco Cartel New Generation (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación – CJNG), the Nueva Familia Michoacana, the Tepalcatepec Cartel and the Zicuirán Cartel are all involved in this growing criminal economy, according to Michoacán’s Attorney General.
Michoacán produces over 80 percent of Mexico’s avocados, with an annual export value of around $2.4 billion, earning the fruit the nickname “green gold.”
The cartels charge a monthly protection payment from avocado producers, calculated per hectare cultivated or kilogram exported. Those who fail to make the payments may be kidnapped or killed. One distributor’s daughter was assassinated at the door of his business, El País reported.
SEE ALSO: Powerful Mexico Crime Groups Grew by Extorting Avocado Trade: Report
In addition, avocado theft is rampant. At least four truckloads of the fruit are stolen every day in the state, according to the Guardian.
Competition for these criminal profits has fed into the wave of violence currently engulfing Michoacán. In August 2019, 19 people were massacred in Uruapan, the center of Michoacán’s avocado industry. Their bodies were displayed in three locations around the town.
Authorities linked the atrocity to a territorial war between the CJNG and the Viagras, the armed wing of the Nueva Familia Michoacana, for control of the town’s criminal economies.
InSight Crime Analysis
The extortion of Michoacán’s avocado growers is not new, but is now resurging as the industry’s profitability has boomed as criminal economies in the state have withered.
Michoacán and neighboring Guerrero have long been prized by criminal groups as the center of Mexico’s heroin production. However, the rise of synthetic opioids has caused the price of opium to plummet to under a third of its 2017 value, leaving drug cartels scrambling for alternative income streams.
SEE ALSO: Small Farmers Hurting in Mexico’s Poppy Growing Heartland
The value of Mexico’s avocado industry has quadrupled over the last decade due to the fruit’s growing popularity in the United States and Europe. The country’s avocado exports to the US market alone rose by 16 percent between 2018 and 2019.
Several of the state’s criminal players are experienced at shaking down the avocado industry. The CJNG has reportedly used the tactic to fund their expansion since the 1990s, while the Familia Michoacana entered the business around 2009. They and their splinter groups were thus well-placed to supplement declining opium profits by tightening the screws on local avocado growers.
The resurgence of this criminal economy also reflects the weakening of Michoacán’s self-defense groups. These emerged in 2014 partly in response to such extortion practices and achieved a temporary respite for producers in some regions. In subsequent years, however, many of these groups have themselves been infiltrated by criminals, leaving local businesses vulnerable once again.