U.S. Stops All Mexican Avocado Imports Over Cartel Threats

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    The suspension came just before Super Bowl Sunday, one of the days in the U.S. with the largest consumption of avocado. Mexico's Agriculture Secretariat confirmed the suspension of these imports through a prepared statement on Saturday evening.

    In the statement, Mexican agriculture officials revealed that one of the entities under the U.S. Department of Agriculture took that measure after one of their inspectors working in Uruapan, Michoacan received threats to his work-issued cell phone. In order to protect crops from pests, the USDA has a long history of sending inspectors to other countries that export produce to the United States.

    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. It remains unclear how much the import sanction will affect the price and supply of avocado in the U.S.

    Avocado is mostly produced in Michoacan and Jalisco, two of the most violent states in Mexico. The region is currently being fought over between Cartel Jalisco New Generation and an alliance of smaller cartels — called United Cartels — which have the support of the Sinaloa Cartel. Avocado farmers in Michoacan have long complained about having to pay protection fees to criminal organizations and that the government does little to improve security in the region.

    Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas' Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.

    Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas' Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.

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