Things That Matter

Mexican Men Are Going To Jail For Growing Flowers – Yes, Flowers

Poppy farmers, heroin

Because of the troubled economy and high drug demand in the U.S., Mexican citizens who used to rely on farming and cattle raising to make a living now turn to one choice for survival: poppy farming.

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Credit: cybirb / Tumblr

“For us, the sowing of poppy is very important because in the mountain we don’t have another way to make a living,” said Rodrigo, a poppy farmer. “We don’t have livestock, pigs, chicken or corn.”

In 2014, a quarter of a million pounds of heroin were exported from Mexico into the U.S. All of the sap used to make the heroin came from illegal poppy farms and sold to drug dealers.

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Credit: samisoffthewall / Tumblr

Yes, that’s a lot. Rodrigo, for example, has a poppy farm on 2.5 acres of land where he produces about 44 pounds of sap. Each of those pounds he produces earns him about $690, which amounts to $30,000 in just one season. That’s A LOT of money in Mexico where the dollar is worth 17 pesos, currently.

But it’s not that easy to cash in.

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CREDIT: goodreadgifs/Tumblr

“Yes, it’s dangerous, because of the government. If they catch you in the plantation they will put in you in jail,” says Eduardo, another poppy farmer. “Imagine what happens when you finally have money to invest there and the government destroys your plantation. You’re ruined.”

Mexican soldiers have burned more than 24,000 football fields worth of poppy farms just in the last two years.

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Credit: Breaking Bad / AMC / vismaviedevie / Tumblr

Yep, and it happens often.

But that’s not stopping anyone from building their farms back again.

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Credit: iaminfiniteus / Tumblr

According to Rodrigo, “It’s a lie that they eradicate. They only go to some places, and they aren’t able to fight it all,” he says. “The growers are smarter than that.” And as long as there is a demand for heroin in the U.S. and poverty in Mexico, poppy farms will continue to pop up.

Check out the rest of the video:

The Poppy Farmers“We don’t have another way to make a living. We don’t have livestock, pigs, chickens or corn.”
READ: How El Chapo Makes $80K from a $5K “Investment”

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This New Facility Cost $12 Million And It’s All Designed To Stop Rampant Avocado Theft

Culture

This New Facility Cost $12 Million And It’s All Designed To Stop Rampant Avocado Theft

avocadosfrommexico / Instagram

So avocado theft is one of the reasons that our beloved aguacate has been getting more and more expensive. According to Mexican authorities, the industry loses more than 12 tons of avocados to theft each day! That’s a lot of missed guacamole potential.

So together with the USDA, one Mexican group is creating a new facility and identifying new shipping routes to help cut these losses which are spiraling out of control.

Avocado growers have teamed up to build a facility that helps prevent theft.

Credit: @poandpo / Twitter

The absolutely depressing rise in avocado prices has left many of us nearly penniless but our problems pale in comparison to those being faced by the agricultural industry in Mexico.

Each and every day nearly 12 tons of avocados are stolen between the orchards and packing plants.

Between 2017 and 2019, Mexico reported 440 avocado theft investigations, and because Mexican-grown avocados made up 78 percent of the U.S. market last year, this spells trouble Stateside as well. Producers lose an average of four truckloads of avocados per day because of organized crime intervention. The majority of Mexican avocados that make their way to the U.S. come from the state of Michoacan, in a city called Uruapan, which accounts for 92 percent of Mexico’s avocado production last year,

I mean, apparently, avocado theft is a legit thing.

Credit: @jckichen / Twitter

And we’re not talking about shoving that $1.99 avocado in your pocket at the supermarket or “forgetting to pay” for a few that may have fallen into your purse.

Back in 2017, three men in California were arrested on suspicion of grand theft of avocados after the disappearance of $300,000 worth of the creamy fruit.

Police believe the men were stealing and selling avocados to unsuspecting customers for at least several months. 

The new $12 million facility is meant to finally address the issue of widespread theft.

A new $12 million facility will be built; a venture between the Association of Export Producers and Packers of Avocado from Mexico (APEAM), the Mexican Department of Agriculture and Agrarian Development (SADER), and also house the local offices for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Casa APEAM, as the facility is called, will also be part of Mexican officials new strategy to find safer export routes for avocados out of Mexico.

Silvano Aureoles, the governor of Michoacán, said he is working with avocado producers to plot new trucking routes to avoid the theft of trucks and merchandise. Part of these new actions could be exporting the avocados from the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas instead of the Port of Manzanillo, putting surveillance cameras on the road to Lázaro Cárdenas and increasing surveillance of truck shipments out of Michoacán.

And this news couldn’t come soon enough because prices for avocados continue to skyrocket!

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Avocado prices have been soaring recently, with a recent report revealing that the national price of Hass avocados has risen by 93 cents since last year.

On the wholesale side (think restaurants, markets), last year a 25-pound box cost $37 but that price has risen to $89 in 2019. That’s a huge and unfortunate increase for lovers of aguacate.

READ: 24 Ways To Use Avocado That Aren’t Guacamole

One Of Mexico’s Biggest Soccer Clubs Has Banned The Use Of The Homophobic Chant That Has Gone On For Far Too Long

Entertainment

One Of Mexico’s Biggest Soccer Clubs Has Banned The Use Of The Homophobic Chant That Has Gone On For Far Too Long

VillasArmy / Twitter

U.S.-based Mexico fan group Pancho Villas’ Army has inserted a “no goalkeeper chant” clause into the group’s membership and made abstaining from shouting the anti-gay chant a condition for buying tickets for games in their section, in a bid to help put an end to the chant often heard in stadiums when the Mexico national team plays.

This could be progress towards finally ending the homophobic chant heard all too often at Mexican football games.

The group, Pancho Villa’s Army, made the announcement banning its members from yelling the chant.

Credit: @villasarmy / Twitter

In an open letter to its members, the group says: “One area where I think we can improve upon is the infamous PU%* Chant. For me and many others, it is no longer relevant to debate what the word means or doesn’t mean. Its simply a matter of respect and common courtesy. We should do our best to be good guests at all the stadiums that welcome us.”

The group notes that fans already follow several other rules. So what’s another rule if its meant to make sure everyone feels more comfortable.

The group has even added the rule into its code of conduct. In their letter they add: “Moving forward, we will adopt a  “No Pu%^ Chant” clause into our membership rules and code of conduct. While our code generally covers the chant we will specifically list it as unacceptable conduct. The same clause will be inserted into our ticket purchases pages. We already informed all PVA ticket purchasers that our section is a standing, cheering, and singing section. The same page will now inform potential PVA ticket purchasers that our section is a NO PU&% CHANT section too.”

All of this comes as the Mexican team and Mexican fans come under increased scrutiny for the homophobic slur.

Credit: @MikeMadden / Twitter

A section of El Tri fans regularly shout an anti-gay slur as the opposition goalkeeper runs up to take his goal-kick and the federation has been fined on multiple occasions by FIFA because of it, although it was stamped out at Russia 2018 after an educational campaign from the federation, fan groups and players, as well as the threat of Fan IDs being taken away.

But the chant was heard regularly during Mexico games in the United States this summer at the Gold Cup.

Fans that have bought tickets for Mexico’s game on Sept. 10 against Argentina in San Antonio, Texas and don’t want to adhere to the policy will receive a refund for their tickets.

The group says the decision is about being inclusive of all fans, including those from the LGBTQ community.

“It’s about people joining who wish to create an environment that feels welcoming to our LGBTQ Mexico fans,” reads the statement. “As an organization that has LGBTQ leaders and members we take this charge very seriously.”

The reaction on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive with soccer fans from around the world celebrating the announcement.

Most on Twitter were thrilled that at least one group was taking the steps necessary to address the issue. They’re going directly to their members and making it a condition of membership to stop using the chant.

FIFA has warned soccer federations all over the world, including Mexico, that discriminatory chanting will activate the “three-step procedure” that could lead to the abandoning of World Cup qualifying matches if the chant is heard. The referee would first stop the match, then suspend it and eventually abandon it if the discriminatory behavior doesn’t cease. Yet at nearly every game of El Tri you’ll still hear the chant.

Many pointed out that PVA will be on the right side of history with this new rule.

Despite there being an ongoing debate among fans if the chant is meant to be homophobic or not, people are realizing that all fans should be comfortable – and, yes, that includes those from the LGBTQ community.

And as one of the first fan clubs to issue an official rule, Pancho Villa’s Army will have been seen as a leader on this issue. So bravo PVA! And thank you.

READ: Why Do Mexico’s Football Fans Keep Going Unpunished For Shouting Homophobic Slurs At Opposing Players

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