Mexico's produce industry has taken another hit from cartel violence, as tens of millions of dollars worth of peaches seem to be lost as farmers abandoned their fields. An estimated 3 million trees across 6,000 hectares have been abandoned by farmers in the municipality of Jerez, in the central state of Zacatecas, one of the top peach-producing regions of Mexico, where up to 8,000 tons are harvested annually. Sources claim losses could reach some $45 million.
Cartel violence in Zacatecas has surged in recent years. In March, a group of displaced Jerez residents traveled to Mexico City to protest a lack of government action to safeguard their communities. Some 2,000 people from 17 communities have fled, a regional radio station.
Miguel Ángel Torres Rosales, the congressional representative for Zacatecas, said residents who demanded protection had been provided only a National Guard escort to pack their belongings and leave their homes.
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