The current occupant of the White House has made danger from our southern border a relentless theme of his pandering to die-hard supporters. In truth, however, the murders, extortion, and kidnappings by Mexican crime cartels continue unabated.
Cartels use violence to compete for control of flow of the product. In the first nine months of 2019, the state Michoacan suffered 1,145 murders, on a pace to exceed the 1,338 killings in 2018. Small towns have formed vigilante groups to provide the protection that law enforcement can’t or won’t. Farmers are arming to protect themselves and their crops. Drivers transporting the produce are regularly hijacked and robbed. All this carnage is the result of crime cartels fighting to dominate the lucrative business of satisfying the insatiable appetite in the U.S.
By now, the astute reader has probably surmised this is about avocados.
Spanish conquistadors came to the so-called new world in the sixteenth century with a mission of conquest and plunder. They found a fruit they had never before seen. The indigenous inhabitants knew it by the Aztec name for testicle. The word sounded like “avocado” to the Spanish ear.
By the late nineteenth century, avocados had made their way to the U.S. Most people were unfamiliar with the fruit until the 1980s when producers launched a massive marketing campaign promoting avocados as a healthy food.
Avocados are so in demand and prices rising so high that organized crime wants in. Supplying the fruit is as profitable as the illegal drug business and also provides the the infrastructure to launder cash from extra-legal activities.
The unintended consequences of avocado toast.