Industry experts fear that drug cartels will go after other produce in Mexico besides avocados. The Mexican state of Michoacán is torn by drug cartel wars and growers are often threatened unless they pay protection money. The large and popular Hass avocado comes from Michoacán.
Gerry Schwebel is an executive vice president and head of the international division of Laredo-based IBC Bank. He urges the Mexican government to get to the bottom of the threat as soon as possible, before it becomes an example for cartels to follow concerning other Mexican produce.
Avocados and tomatoes are the biggest two exports from Mexico. Schwebel worries they and bell peppers, macadamia nuts, peaches, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries could become ripe for extortion.