Mexican state Michoacan is the only one that is allowed to export avocados into the United States, and that could soon change.
The reason? Mexican drug cartels allegedly have control of the state and have been threatening United States inspectors.
Why is no one talking about the Mexican avocado ban? The US is about to be avocado-less 😭
— Lisa Ramos (@LisaaRamos) February 16, 2022
In 2019, a USDA group of inspectors were in the only Mexican state, Michoacan, that is allowed to export avocados into the country performing their inspections.
While performing the inspections, they were allegedly threatened and then robbed by members of a drug cartel that is trying to get involved the roughly $2.4 billion industry.
Because of the threats made to the USDA inspectors, the United States warned that if inspectors were threatened again, it would suspend all imports from Mexico as a result.
Avocado farmers published the written warning from the United States government so that the cartels could see any further threats or acts of violence against inspectors would kill the industry, thus, cause a significant decline in their profits.
The cartels apparently believed that they were safe to resume their normal operations and contacted a USDA inspector and threatened them through a phone call.
When word got back to the United States, a ban was implemented on February 11th which US officials warned would remain in place for as long as necessary.
The U.S. lifted a temporary ban on avocados from Mexico on Friday, allowing exports of the fruit to resume, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. https://t.co/M6N0sQyqgO
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 19, 2022
The alleged threat came as an inspector noted one of the avocados may have come from another state in Mexico, which is not allowed. Soon after that inspector voiced his concerns, he alleged received a threatening message on his voicemail.
The exact threat that was made was not disclosed.
United States officials worked closely with Mexico officials and were able to come up with some sort of agreement on how they would ensure the safety of USDA inspectors moving forward and the ban will be lifted on February 21st.
Lifting of the ban came after the Association of Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico presented a plan on creating an intelligence and security unit.
In a statement, the USDA wrote:
“APHIS [Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service], working closely with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico’s Regional Security Officer, Mexico’s national plant protection organization (SENASICA), and the Association of Avocado Producers and Packers Exporters of Mexico (APEAM) have enacted measures that enhance safety for APHIS’ inspectors working in the field…
“The safety of USDA employees simply doing their jobs is of paramount importance. USDA is appreciative of the positive, collaborative relationship between the United States and Mexico that made the resolution of this issue possible in a timely manner.”
United States lifts Mexican avocado ban — averting what could have been a costly crisis https://t.co/WmefvBHoTY
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 19, 2022
Armando Lopez Orduna, the Director General of APEAM, released a statement regarding the ban being lifted:
“ON behalf of the entire industry, I would like to thank the authorities of both countries for their support and commitment to reactivate the exports of the Michoacan avocado to the United States in order to avoid, to the extent possible, the impact on supply, after the suspension of harvest and shipments announced on Friday, February 11…
“We want to recognize the work of the full value chain and the open dialogue and mutual commitment of all the parties involved to reach an agreement that allows the success of this great industry, so we can continue to strengthen, develop and grow this important export program.”
It appears Mexican drug cartel recruits are being trained in cannibalism at these barbaric “terror schools.” The gruesome practice is the latest tactic in a violent turf war between two of Mexico’s most brutal cartels and is “a sort of Olympics of cruelty and sadism.”
A member of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, who spoke on the condition that he remain anonymous, told the Daily Beast:
“I’ve been there and there was a lot of [cannibalism]. They recruit them and then they start working on them. First they teach them how to cut people. They start by learning how to sever the extremities.”
The man said that the recruits are then forced to eat their victim, starting with severed fingers. He added:
“They are given a choice of one of those pieces to eat in front of the boss. You have to do it without reaction or vomiting or you are beaten. If you didn’t want to [eat human flesh], they wouldn’t let you leave.”
Reportedly, there is a turf war going on between the Jalisco crew and the Sinaloa Cartel, formerly run by jailed drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Mike Vigil, the former head of international operations at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said that the cannibalism is drilled into recruits at several narco training sites in Mexico to essentially turn them into “emotionless killing machines.” Vigil added:
“The only way out of there is feet first. If terror recruit school recruits show fear or commit errors or infractions, they instantly become the victims of the other trainees, who dismember and decapitate them [and] their flesh is then eaten.”
There are other rules that must be followed as well, including strict limits on gossip or revealing the school’s whereabouts. Vigil recalled:
“Once of the terror school recruits violated cartel rules by telling his girlfriend where he was at and jeopardizing all the other trainees.
After she left, the boyfriend was bound and told he was going to be killed for violating the rules. An ice pick was driven several times through his cranium into his brain.”
Those who survive the grotesque initiation ritual are indoctrinated into the cartel after a graduation party that includes drugs and prostitutes. Security analyst Robert Bunker said in a statement:
“Once a group of new recruits have graduated from training — that is, they have hunted down, killed, skinned, cooked, and then eaten their assigned victim — they cannot go back to traditional Mexican society.”
“They have forever been changed. Their souls have in a sense been darkened in the process. Having survived this brutal ‘trial by fire,’ they will not hesitate to carry out future cartel orders, no matter how barbaric those may be.”
Anthropologist Voeten said that acts of cannibalism, drinking the blood of slain enemies, or desecrating their corpses is a historical commonplace worldwide and “a standard repertoire of human behavior in warfare” meant to add “extra humiliation” after the initial defeat in combat.
“Cannibalism sends a strong signal that says: ‘We are victorious and we can do what we want and act with impunity.’ It is a calculated strategy of intimidating enemies into submission.”
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