Wednesday, May 29, 2024

US seeks security guarantees for avocado inspectors in Michoacán

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is threatening to suspend its avocado certification program after threats and violence against inspectors in Michoacán.

According to military sources who spoke with the newspaper Reforma, the USDA issued a travel warning for 38 Michoacán municipalities, most of which have significant avocado production.

There are 58 USDA employees stationed in Michoacán who are responsible for inspecting conditions on farms that grow avocados for export to the United States.

On August 16, USDA agents were threatened by a suspected criminal gang after cancelling the certification of an avocado farm in the community of Copal in the municipality of Ziracuaretiro.

Last week, a group of USDA agents traveling with local authorities in Ziracuaretiro were robbed and their vehicle was stolen. After the incident, officials from the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara met with an association of avocado growers to demand better security for USDA agents, threatening to end the export program if the situation does not improve.

On Monday, the USDA issued the travel warning and requested the cooperation of Gabriel Villaseñor, the leader of the Mexican Avocado Producers and Packers Association (APEAM), to improve security.

Marie Martin, USDA director for pre-authorization in Mexico, told Reforma that the avocado export program will be suspended if USDA personnel are put at risk again.

“In future situations that cause a security violation or an imminent physical threat, we will immediately suspend the program,” she said.

Source: Reforma (sp)

Have something to say? Paid Subscribers get all access to make & read comments.
A mangled Ford SUV on a highway parked next to an orange highway cone

Joaquín ‘Huacho’ Díaz, Yucatán gubernatorial candidate, injured in highway accident

0
Yucatán gubernatorial candidate Joaquín Díaz was injured in a crash and a bus headed to Sheinbaum's closing overturned in Veracruz.
Volunteers are feeding monkeys to reduce their risk of heat stroke in the Mexican states of Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche and Chiapas.

Authorities confirm 157 monkey deaths in southern Mexico

0
Monkeys in Mexico's southern region are at risk of heat stroke due to scorching temperatures and low water levels in local streams.
Sign that says "no alcohol sales" at a convenience store

Will there be weekend alcohol bans for Mexico’s elections?

1
In keeping with longstanding election regulation, alcohol sales will be restricted in most Mexican states for much of the coming weekend.