Culture

The Cartels In Mexico Are Taking Over The Avocado Industry By Any Means Necessary

Mexico has always been plagued with violence, but the new government under Andrés Manuel López Obrador implied things would be different. The violence in Mexico seems to be getting worse. One minute the cartel is blocking authorities from arresting El Chapo’s son, and the next, an entire family is ambushed and killed. The cartels in Mexico do not seem to be slowing down one bit. Now it looks like they are taking over the avocado industry. 

A group in Mexico that goes by the Viagras cartel is illegally taking over land in order to plant avocado trees.

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According to reports by the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press, a small group of armed people known as the Viagras cartel is infiltrating parts of Mexico. They are allegedly taking land that is not there’s, and that is, in some areas, protected land, and setting up avocado trees in order to produce avocados and sell them. 

“The threat is constant and from all sides,” Jose Maria Ayala Montero told the Los Angeles Times. According to the outlet, Ayala Montero works “for a trade association that formed its own vigilante army to protect growers.”

Local police are attempting to do something about it, but they basically have their hands tied

“They’ve done everything – extortions, protection payments. They’ve flown drones over us,” a local police chief told the AP. “They come in and want to set up (drug) laboratories in the orchards.”

The tension is not just coming from the Viagras cartel that wants to set up shop on land that is not theirs, but also from rival gangs that also want a piece of the multibillion-dollar pie. 

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According to reports, in the state of Michoacan alone, the avocado export business brought revenue of $2.4 billion last year. We always knew avocados were hot, but not that kind of hot.  

“If it wasn’t for avocados, I would have to leave to find work, maybe go to the United States or somewhere else,” Pedro de la Guante said to the AP. De la Guante makes a good earning as a guard for a small avocado orchard. 

The demand for this coveted fruit has been growing considerably in the last decade. As the Associated Press reports, “It was only in 1997 that the U.S. lifted a ban on Mexican avocados that had been in place since 1914 to prevent a range of weevils, scabs, and pests from entering U.S. orchards.”

Here is why avocados in Mexico are in such high demand.

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Aside from avocados being people’s favorite indulgent e.g., guacamole, avocado toast, it’s actually tough to grow avocados. Mexico’s temperatures make it ideal for growing avocados compared to anywhere else in the world. 

According to SFGate Home Guide, Mexican avocados “contain the highest oil content and taste the creamiest,” while avocados from the West Indies “have the least amount of oil but grow to the largest size. Now, Guatemalan avocados are also ideal because they are a combination of both Mexico and the West Indies. So according to that methodology, Mexico’s avocados seem to be the healthiest kind to eat. 

Lastly, Mexico’s weather is perfect for growing avocados because they “stand up to the coldest winter temperatures.” So you can see why there’s so much demand to get those Mexican fruits.  

People definitely have feelings over the violence and illegal tactics of the cartel who look to get those avocados by any means necessary.

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If the cartels succeed in hijacking the avocado industry in Mexico, it won’t be long till some of the avocados bought will benefit and fund the cartels.

The fight over avocados speaks to a larger issue of the food industry and how it’s affecting not just the economy but sustainability and the environment.  

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While the cartels might be vying for the “green gold,” the matter of taking over land that does not belong to them and using it illegally on protected land shows how dangerous these tactics are hurting people’s lives and the environment. 

The fighting seems to be taking over all industries.

Credit: @elizabethgilcel / Twitter

It’s not just about drugs at all. 

How will the government deal with this issue if they can’t even handle the violence over drugs?

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If government agencies in the U.S. or in Mexico stop trade because of the illegal means to export avocados, it could have a drastic effect.

READ:  Apparently There Are Three Feet Long Avocados Called Long Necks And Like Please Take All My Money

Mexico’s Beaches Are Still Full Of Crowds Celebrating Semana Santa Despite Calls For Social Distancing

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Mexico’s Beaches Are Still Full Of Crowds Celebrating Semana Santa Despite Calls For Social Distancing

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Although Mexico’s President has come under fire from much of the international community for his relaxed approach to confronting the Covid-19 crisis, many municipalities and states are taking an aggressive stance to halt the pandemic.

In fact, all of Mexico’s more than 6,000 miles of coastline have been closed. That means zero access to beaches – a major draw for millions of local and international tourists.

Officially, all of Mexico’s beaches are closed.

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Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell told a press conference on Thursday that the closure order applies to every beach in the country until the end of the national emergency on April 30.

“The order has been given. It obliges state and municipal authorities to take coherent measures and suspend tourist activity on beaches, be it international or local tourism,” he said.

Other states had already begun to close beaches earlier this week.

Those closures impacted some of the county’s most popular tourist attractions, including Baja California Sur, Baja California and Oaxaca, where local authorities closed down the country’s only nudist beach, Zipolite. Like beaches throughout Mexico, Zipolite is a big draw during the Semana Santa (Easter Week) vacation in April.

Authorities in Tamaulipas and Sonora had also begun to close beaches before the order, and Guerrero announced Wednesday that its beaches would be closed beginning Thursday.

“The state government makes this delicate decision in an unsatisfactory setting: we have had to choose between protecting life and suspending economic activity,” the state government said in a press release.

These authorities recognize that the economy – although it will be impacted – will recover.

Credit: Secretaria de Salud / Gobierno de Mexico

It said that the economy will always be recoverable as long as the human factor still exists and urged citizens to stay at home and practice other methods of social distancing.

But not everyone seems to have got the memo – as miles of beaches remained full of vacationers.

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Even though it’s been proven that social distancing is our greatest tool against the growing pandemic, some are choosing to ignore these guidelines. And as a result, their risking the health of millions.

Over the weekend, people decided to defy the government’s order to stay at home and instead enjoy a day out at the beach in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The newspaper Milenio reported that Playa Villa del Mar near the port city of Veracruz was packed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with both revelers and vendors offering products such as swimming suits, food and alcoholic beverages.

President López Obrador on Friday ruled out any possibility of implementing “draconian measures” such as a curfew to contain the spread of Covid-19, while he said two weeks ago that he wanted to avoid a complete shutdown of the economy because it would disproportionately hurt the poor.

As if people needed another reason to stay clear of beaches – other than you know, a global pandemic – wild animals are making a comeback in less populated areas.

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Videos have captured the animals in Quintana Roo, where the resorts of Cancun and Riviera Maya are located.

One video, which has been watched 120,000 times on Facebook, shows a huge crocodile swimming along a canal between balconies. The people filming express their shock at the animal as he swims past without stopping for the people watching him.

Another video captured a jaguar roaming the streets of Tulum. According to local media, the big cat was spotted near the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa.

The Coronavirus Is Getting Its Own Beer And Concha At This Mexico City Panadería And We Can’t Help But Laugh A Little

Culture

The Coronavirus Is Getting Its Own Beer And Concha At This Mexico City Panadería And We Can’t Help But Laugh A Little

@lacornetanegra / Twitter

No one can accuse Mexicans of having no sense of humor. Whether it be reactions to cartel violence, an ineffective government plagued by corruption, or a global pandemic – many Mexicans turn to memes and humor to confront real issues. Enter the CoronaBeer and ConchaVirus.

Yes, the Coronavirus has ravaged communities around the world. And Mexico itself hasn’t escaped the crisis – more than 2,000 cases have been reported so far and it’s expected to get much worse.

Entrepreneurs are trying to find some common ground and an opportunity with a very scary reality.

Martha Rivas is part of the team who created the now viral “Conchavirus.” She says, in an interview with UnoTV, that the creation came from “a genuine concern about how to face this crisis due to the coronavirus.”

The creators of this peculiar product found in the “Conchavirus” how to cope with the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus. They’re bringing in the pesos like never before.

Yes, the ConchaVirus is real.

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The “Conchavirus” was created in Mexico City’s bustling Iztapalapa district by a team of creative panaderos/as. The interesting looking confection is made with red icing, concha dough, and a lot of creativity. The team behind the now viral pan dulce, hand decorate each and every concha to make sure that it is best representative of the illustrations of the virus, provided by doctors and scientists.

For anybody wondering – a large Conchavirus is going for $6.50 pesos (or about 25¢ USD). There’s also apparently the “Manta-ConchaVirus,” but that’s…a whole other story.

It’s so real, it even got its own segment on a local news channel.

After the publication of a photo that went viral on social media, chilangos – or residents of Mexico City – began a crazed search search for the conchas. This viral moment has already been reflected in the huge growth of sales.

Meanwhile, Corona has suffered a major decline in sales because of the namesake virus.

Credit: @GabrielFrancoJr / Twitter

I mean, remember when rumors started flying around that some people actually thought the virus and iconic Mexican beer brand were somehow linked? Yea, it was a thing.

And yea, Corona beer already existed long before the pandemic but this CoronaBeer is totally different.

Obviously there isn’t much too celebrate right now given the on-going health crisis, but one beer makers hopes what when all is said and done – people will toast to good health with his new brew.

A brewery in Mexico’s state of Hidalgo has appropriated the name of the deadly virus and used it for a product he hopes will bring people together – Coronavirus Beer.

Isaac Palafox, the entrepreneur, owns a chain of cafés and was already serving the beer but it didn’t yet have a name. He describes the beer as an English-style brew with hints of chocolate, molasses and coffee extract.

“This drink is already being produced and sold in my cafes, but it didn’t have a name, until now,” he said, adding that the coffee he uses to make the beer is toasted by artisanal roasters whose methods date back to the year 1900 and incorporate practices brought to Hidalgo by German immigrants to the region.

But Mexican businesspeople aren’t the only ones looking to capitalize on the coronavirus. The newspaper El País reported that six brands in Spain have made trademark requests for names related to Covid-19, including T-shirts that read, “I survived the coronavirus.”