Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday denounced economic and political interests behind the U.S. decision to temporarily suspend avocado imports from Mexico, citing threats against a U.S. official.
“In all this there are also many economic and political interests, there is competition. They would not want the Mexican avocado to enter the United States or predominate for its quality,” the president said in his morning press conference.
López Obrador added that “there are other countries interested in selling the avocado” in the U.S. market, although he did not detail which ones it is.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant and Animal Health Inspection Service (APHIS-USDA) notified last Saturday that it “decided to pause, until further notice, avocado inspection activities in Michoacán,” the Mexican government said Sunday.
We tell you here: THE US suspends the entry of Michoacan avocado, due to threats against US agent in Uruapan
This decision was made after a U.S. officer, who was inspecting export shipments in the community of Uruapan, Michoacán, “received a threatening call to his official cell phone,” the Mexican government added.
Authorities are analyzing the case “to see what this threat consisted of,” López Obrador said, pointing out that “the truth is that the Mexican avocado has already been exported” that is usually consumed massively on the occasion of the Super Bowl of American football, held on Sunday.
Michoacán, the main exporter of Mexican avocado, is by itself the world’s largest producer of this fruit and 85% of its production goes to the United States, especially at this time when the final of the league is disputed.
According to the Mexican government, in this month of February about 140 thousand tons of avocado will be exported to the United States.
See also: Less coffee in Colombia and more avocados in Mexico: how climate change will impact key crops in the world
However, Michoacán is also one of the states hardest hit by violence linked to organized crime.
In 2021, a group of avocado growers announced the formation of a self-defense group, called “Pueblos Unidos,” to confront the extortion and kidnappings of drug traffickers in the face of alleged inaction by authorities.
López Obrador rejected such armed groups, saying they often end up infiltrated by criminals.
Given the situation of insecurity, since 2019 the United States had warned that it was considering suspending the purchase of Mexican avocado.
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