Avocado imports from Mexico banned over security concerns

by ian

Ian Patrick, FISM News


Authorities from Mexico announced the day before Super Bowl LVI that the United States has placed a temporary ban on avocado imports from the Mexican state of Michoacán. The decision was made over security concerns as violence is at record highs due to gang activity in the region.

Corroborating reports from Reuters and The Associated Press confirm that the Mexican Agriculture Ministry was notified by U.S. health officials of the ban after one of their inspectors in the city of Uruapan received a threatening phone call. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services is investigating the situation to assess the threat.

Since 1997, the U.S. has allowed Mexican avocados to be imported only from Michoacán after passing a scrutinous inspection for diseases that could hurt U.S. crops. This system replaced a complete ban on avocado imports from Mexico implemented in 1914 over the same concerns of harm to U.S. crops.

Michoacán has been embattled in gang violence, being a haven for an outfit called the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). Recently, according to Reuters, “the Mexican Army said it had entered a part of Michoacán regarded by security experts as a stronghold of the CJNG, and restored order in 43 localities.”

The territory has been struggling with gang violence for some time. According to a report from the Mexico Daily Post, crime in Michoacan has been steadily increasing since 2016 and the “intentional homicides increased by 116% in Michoacán between 2016 and 2021.”

The decision to ban imports does not affect avocados that have already shipped from Mexico into the United States. It does, however, round out an already tough week for Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has been dealing with tensions over the killings of journalists in the nation.

The news was ironically, followed by a high-profile commercial during the Super Bowl from Avocados from Mexico, a marketing group advertising for growers in Mexico that send their avocados into the U.S. The organization has historically tried to advertise their products during the Super Bowl in a bid to associate guacamole with the sporting event.