Temporary suspension of avocado shipments from Mexico after death threats to U.S. inspector.

In the last six weeks, Michoacán producers exported more than 135,000 tons of avocados to the United States.

(MICHOACAN Mexico) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS-USDA) has decided to pause avocado inspection activities in Michoacan until further notice.

The U.S. sanitary authority informed Mexico the decision was made after one of its officers, who was carrying out inspection work in Uruapan, Michoacán, received a death threat call.

APHIS-USDA reported that an investigation is currently underway to evaluate the threat and determine the necessary mitigation measures to guarantee the physical integrity of all its personnel working in Michoacán.

APHIS personnel and representatives of the Association of Avocado Producers and Packers and Exporters of Mexico (APEAM) are currently meeting with local and state police to address the issue.

The announcement was made hours after the U.S. government expressed dissatisfaction about violence against journalists in Mexico, including the very president Lopez Obrador who has tried to impose himself against those who criticize his government and his family, involved in multiple possible corruption cases. Among those: His brothers receiving cash contributions for the president’s party, AMLO’s cousin Felipa, with multimillion-dollar contracts with the government, and his son, who lived in a Texas residence that belonged to a high executive of Baker Hughes.

The news is a blow to the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the United States being the top consumer of Mexican avocados, which each year snaps up several thousands of tons of guacamole, a favorite Super Bowl snack.

The Yucatan Times
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