In Mexico, The Cartels Have Now Set Their Sights On The Avocado Trade

Grace Higgins | October 10th, 2019

In the region of Uruapan, Mexico, police have started to find bodies left on bridges decorated with avocado murals. And with the bodies, the cartels have lest messages that locals should keep doing what they are doing, and of course, prevent rival cartels from entering their zones.

npr.org

It is the new gang war that is gripping the nation, one not being thought over drugs or siphoning off oil. This new and violent gang war is over who controls a new market that has suddenly become very lucrative. It is the business of growing and selling avocados. The big magnet to riches in the local area of Uruapan is who controls the avocado farms and businesses. The avocado industry in Mexico alone is now worth over $1.5 US billion dollars.

After all, it is estimated that during a Super Bowl party, Americans alone consume over 200 million avocados. Most of it is used for guacamole, and the industry is seeing the benefits of avocados being currently seen as one of the healthiest foods to eat.

And when there is big money to be made, in Mexico, that means crime is following it. On a daily basis, there are reports of over 48 tons of avocados being stolen daily from gangs. Because gangs are now keen on controlling this farming trade, violence in the area is rising dramatically.

Murder rates are going up and police are increasingly finding bodies left around public areas with threatening cartel messages. The main culprits are the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which since 2010, has been one of the biggest cartels in Mexico. They are fighting with rival gangs in the area such as Los Viagras or the Knights Templar Cartel.

The Attorney General from Michoacan state, where Uruapan is located, has been repeatedly going on record to announce the police cannot control the increase in drug trafficking that is happening between cartel groups in the area. And now they have to deal with avocados entering the market illegally or the gangs simply extorting the farmers. It has gotten so bad that Western media has started to call them blood avocados, and calling for the public to stop eating them.

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