Feb 14, 2022 - World

U.S. suspends avocado imports from Mexico after inspector is threatened

Box of Avocados
A box of avocados moves along a conveyor belt at the Grupo Aguacatero Mexicano packing facility in Periban, Michoacan state, Mexico, on Sept. 23, 2021. Photo: Jeoffrey Guillemard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. has suspended all imports of Mexican avocados from the state of Michoacan "until further notice" after a U.S. plant safety inspector in Mexico received a threatening message, Mexico's Agriculture Department confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: Michoacan is the only state in Mexico fully authorized to export avocados to the U.S., so the temporary suspension effectively amounts to a pause on all imports of Mexican avocados, per AP.

  • Michoacan is also home to turf battles by drug cartels that regularly see to the extortion of avocado growers, according to AP.

The big picture: A U.S. plant safety inspector received a threatening call while carrying out an inspection in Uruapan, Michoacan, the press release said.

  • All inspections have been paused and an investigation is being carried out.

What they're saying: “We are working with the Mexican government to guarantee security conditions that would allow our personnel in Michoacan to resume operations,” the U.S. embassy in Mexico wrote on Twitter.

Go deeper