‘Extortion is affecting Mexican economy just too much’

In one of Mexico's most violent regions, cultivation areas are being abandoned by their owners due to widespread extortion squeezing Latin America's second-largest economy. As in many other agricultural zones around the country, criminal gangs in the western state of Michoacan have unfortunately become a major market force.

Take limes, for example: despite a national increase in production, and a slowing of overall consumer price inflation, the cost of the citrus fruit rose by more than 50 percent in the past year, according to consulting firm Agricultural Market Consulting Group (GCMA).

The threat from organized crime is such that trucks transporting limes now have police escorts; the fallout has even been felt in Mexico City, where drug and gang violence is often seen as a faraway problem and the ability to source food from all around the country eases supply problems.

The price of limes in the capital doubled, reaching almost $4.5 per kilo ($2 per pound) in August. "It's not because of a supply issue," but because of extortion, said GCMA analyst Juan Carlos Anaya.

Source: today.rtl.lu

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