The increase in demand for avocados has caused friction in their native land. Just like with diamonds in Central and Western Africa and oil in the Middle East, U.S. demand for certain goods can cause locals to fight amongst themselves for their livelihood.
Mexican avocado farmers recently faced the same friction with the cartels who wanted the business for themselves. But the avocado farmers in Tancítaro, Michoacán in Mexico weren’t having that shit. Not one bit.
An article in The Guardian recently said that Tancítaro, Michoacán in Mexico is “the world capital of avocado production.”
With Avocados growing into a billion dollar industry, due to increased excitement for the fruit in the U.S. and around the world, cartels tried taking over.
Avocado farmers then created a civilian task force to protect their crops.
They’ve created fortress-like check points and have amassed weapons of all kinds from machine guns to sticks and bulletproof-glass-lined trucks.
The civilian defense force, as the Guardian reports, “was inspired by Mexico’s now well-known vigilante movement – led by controversial civilian autodefensa militia.”
However, having heard that cartels were gathering members by the dozens and attacking police and officials in towns nearby, the farmers knew they had to be ready, locked and loaded. They went about essentially building a small army, and have slowly, but surely, taken back their lands.
The farmers council created a group called the Tancítaro Public Security Force, or CUSEPT in Spanish.
They have hired guns, who are mostly ex-military and help defend the billion-dollar industry that the avocado workers have tried so hard to sustain. Although CUSEPT is essentially a mercenary alternative, with the government’s hands tied up and busy with the Trump administration, many cities have experienced boosts in violent crime and have little time to train and support police forces around the country.
The fascination in the U.S. with the avocado isn’t helping and although CUSEPT is working right now to keep the cartels at bay, there’s no telling what the future holds.
[READ MORE] The Guardian
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