About a month ago I was browsing through Zehrs and came across this fine piece of extortion. 3 mangoes/avocados for $5, the madness. My reaction back then was a public “What the f— man”. My reaction today is still “What the f— man”. It’s the only way I can put into words with how my favourite things to eat in this world have become a luxury right before my eyes.
The basic answer is that bad climate and pest infestations have caused a short supply of certain produce in Mexico, thereby driving prices up. That, and the fact that total corruption permeates every facet of life in Mexico. Avocados, mangoes, limes, strawberries-the good things in life-are no exception. The price of all these fruits are tightly linked with drug cartels.
If West Africa has it’s blood diamonds, Mexico has its blood avocado.
Essentially all of Mexico’s avocados, mangoes, limes and strawberries are produced in the state of Michoacán. This is a region home to a cartel called the Knights Templar, an organized group of psychos who have a habit of doing this to its own people:
The production of fruit from Michoacán is a billion dollar industry. The US alone imported $1 billion worth of avocados in just the latter half of 2012 and the early part of 2013 . It’s a fruit that yields more cash than any other crop, even Marijuana. It’s little wonder then, that the Knights Templar have diversified their organization by infiltrating lucrative avocado, limes, strawberries and mango sectors. Infiltrate is a catch all term for the extortion, ransom, kidnapping, execution, money laundering and buying out of Michoacán farmers and packaging plants. A drug cartel with shrewd negotiation styles like this,
now control the production and distribution of the stuff you put on your nachos and in margaritas.
If you’re like me and bought avocados, mangoes, strawberries or limes with the label “product of Mexico”, chances are some of that money has gone to prop-up a violent drug cartel in Mexico.
I can’t help but feel shame knowing full well the tequila and lime combo I hold so dear to my heart is most likely tainted by blood.