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.

Credit: @Faby_Nava77 / Twitter

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. 

Credit: katelinthicum / Instagram

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.

Credit: Unsplash

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.

Credit: @Eeeeeeemonster / Twitter

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.  

Credit: @tsalagip / Twitter

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?

Credit: @brianeha / Twitter

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

WATCH: Singer Cuco Is Teaching Fans How To Make Authentic Enchiladas Verdes From His Abuelita

Culture

WATCH: Singer Cuco Is Teaching Fans How To Make Authentic Enchiladas Verdes From His Abuelita

Tasty / Facebook

Cuco may have become synonymous with dreamy Spanish indie bedroom pop, but he can also make some mean enchiladas verdes just like his abuelita used to make. In a recent recipe video by Tasty, Cuco explains how he got his name. “Cuco came from my mom saying I was crazy, like “coocoo,” cause I was a goofy kid. My grandparents speak Spanish, so they would say I was el Cuco,” he tells Tasty. The 21-year-old singer wanted to show us how to make proper enchiladas verdes because it’s the food he grew up eating, thanks to his mom, and has become one of his favorite dishes.

Here’s Cuco’s recipe, and all the other Mexicanos telling him that their abuela makes it different.

Start with fresh tomatillos, serrano peppers, and garlic.

CREDIT: TASTY / FACEBOOK

I repeat. Cuco does not buy canned or jarred enchilada verde salsa. He makes them like a true abuela.

“If you want your salsa to be spicy, you can up the number of serrano peppers. If you like it more mild, I recommend using maybe like one or just like half a serrano pepper. You can also remove the seeds,” Cuco advises his Tasty viewers. “I personally like spicy, so I put serrano peppers to make it hot.”

Cuco isn’t about seedless salsa verde, y’all. He also reveals that he knows more than just how to make good enchilada verde salsa. He knows the why of it all.

“The reason we boil the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and the serrano peppers, is because we want to maintain the green color. If we were to roast the ingredients, we’d get more of a browner salsa,” he says in the video, casually blowing our uneducated minds.

After boiling everything to your liking, you just blend it all up in a blender, adding water until it becomes the consistency you want in a good enchilada salsa. Then, add the mixture to a pan and saute to bring out the flavors even more. Voila! You’ve made salsa verde. Now, add a thin layer at the bottom of your baking dish.

Don’t be lazy. Fry your tortillas for Cuco-approved enchiladas.

CREDIT: TASTY / FACEBOOK

“It’s definitely worth taking extra time to fry tortillas. A crispier tortilla is more likely to hold its shape while baking and the enchiladas will be less mushy,” Cuco sagely offers like an abuelita would. “After you finish frying your tortillas, you’ll dip them in the remaining salsa. This will make them easier to roll and ensure they won’t dry out while baking,” he added, proving tradition runs deep in this indie artist.

Once you dip the fried tortillas in the salsa, you just to add shredded rotisserie chicken (or the vegan meat of your choice) to the center of the tortilla, and roll.

“We’re using rotisserie chicken here but this recipe is also good if you have any kind of leftover chicken you’re trying to get rid of,” Cuco says, reaching full hay-comida-en-la-casa status at the mention of leftovers.

After you’ve rolled the tortillas, you’ll want to take Cuco’s advice and “be sure to arrange them seam-side down” in the baking dish, so that “they’ll continue to hold its shape and filling during baking.” Top the enchiladas with the remaining salsa verde, and heap plenty of cheese on top. “I go crazy with the cheese. It’s just fire,” Cuco confesses to the outlet. Put it in the oven and broil for 3 minutes. Top off the cooked dish with cilantro and crema to help balance the spices of the salsa verde, and you’ve got yourself Cuco-approved enchiladas verdes.

Cuco thinks its “crucial” for people to try real Mexican food.

CREDIT: TASTY / FACEBOOK

“I think it’s just really crucial to go try Mexican food if you haven’t tried it before because it expands beyond tacos,” he urged Tasty fans. “Tacos are good but there’s a lot more really good dishes in the culture – enchiladas verdes, chilaquiles, tortas, pozole. There’s good food everywhere. It’s good to know where the good food spots are at in your city.” 

Cuco has proven to be a master of both English-language and Spanish-language indie pop music, often gifting us Latino-American Spanglish speakers the gift of Spanglish love songs. We’re even more in love with you, Cuco, given the way to our collective heart is good abuelita food. “I think food really connects people. Music and food are both like art,” Cuco himself said in the Tasty video. That makes Cuco a Renaissance Abuelo.

Watch the full video below.

Enchiladas Verdes Con Pollo As Made By Cuco

Watch as Cuco teaches us how to make his family's delicious enchiladas verdes, made easy with rotisserie chicken and homemade salsa. Follow Cuco on Instagram: http://instagram.com/cucopuffs

Posted by Tasty on Tuesday, November 26, 2019

READ: The Laziest Food Hacks In All Of The Land Would Send Your Abuela To The Chancla

Indigenous Communities In Mexico Are Giving Traditional Clothes To Dogs To Help Them Stay Warm This Winter

Culture

Indigenous Communities In Mexico Are Giving Traditional Clothes To Dogs To Help Them Stay Warm This Winter

El Pueblito

Covering Mexican news in the past few years has become a difficult job, particularly if you love this amazing country but are also aware of the many socioeconomic problems, crime and overall struggle that the United States’ southern neighbour has faced in recent decades due to drug cartels, corrupt governments and pressure from global markets. So every once in a while our hearts receive an apapacho with stories that reveal how solidarity and plain old human awesomeness are also part of the Mexican psyche. And of course a touch of creativity also leads to memorable moments in which kindness, often among the most vulnerable sections of the population, shines even more. 

Look at this doggie, all warm in this traditional dress from Yucatan. But the story behind the cute photo will get you thinking.

Credit: Mexico News Daily

So the story goes like this: a street dog in the southern state of Yucatan was suffering from the dropping temperatures, shaking as its bones were visible in her super thin fur coat. The dog’s name is Polita and she was given a traditional dress called huipil by the artisans of the town of Ticul.

As reported by Mexico News Daily, a local resident posted a photo on Facebook and since then the image has gone viral. “So that she doesn’t suffer from the cold, the little dog with her huipil. It’s worth sharing and making her go viral”, read the caption in the now famous photo. Ticul is located around 100 km south of the state capital city of Mérida. The majority of the population is of Maya heritage. It is such a heartwarming photo, even more so if we consider how vulnerable indigenous Mexicans, such as the huipil-making saints, still are in contemporary Mexico. 

But you might now that there is actually a day in which some Catholic Mexicans get their pets dressed in all sorts of amazing traditional costumes.

Every January 17 Mexican Catholics celebrate San Antonio Abad, the patron saint of animals. And every year large numbers of the faithful take their pets to church to get a blessing from the local padrecito. But of course the occasion needs to be solemn, so owners get their pets dressed in what passes as haute couture, all for the sake of cuteness…. and faith. 

Some costumes are more traditional than others, but they are all dolled up!

We wonder that is going through their canine minds while being showered in holy water… 

And just look at those chicken dresses in the town of Taxco.

We love the Zoolander duck face on this chicken. It knows it got swag and it flaunts it! 

And for some there is never a lost opportunity to show their devotion for a soccer team.

We can just imagine this dude watching soccer on a Sunday afternoon and cheleando with his two chihuahuas on his lap, wearing those cute tiny jerseys. Ternuritas. 

Is that a rastafari dog in Guerrero?

This is actually like an animal cosplay contest celebrated on San Antonio Abad day in Guerrero, Mexico. We don’t know if a Jamaican rastafari costume qualifies as traditional in Mexico, but the little fur ball sure looks cute, right? And look at the elegant little black dog to the right, with his royal attire, all ready to rule the world. 

A little Mexican kitsch nunca viene de sobra

We love the sarape and the hat on this tiny fella. And that hat must sure cover him from the scalding Guerrero sun. 

Is this princesa peluda about to celebrate her XV?

OMG, just look at her, al regal and ready to dance a smooth waltz. And look, she has got a chambelan and everything. And look at the surprise in the faces of those passersby. 

Si Adelita se fuera con otro… 

We love this little model in the style of the Mexican Revolution and its legendary female fighters, called Adelitas or soldaderas. Fierceness and cuteness in a cute little package. This photo is also from one of the contests organized in the town of Taxco (by the way, this town is a must for anyone visiting the country). 

How on Earth did they get those tiny chicks in those dresses?

We just hope that the little ones are OK. The craft needed for that tiny church is just admirable. Wow.