REPORTS: U.S. Halts Avocado Imports After Abduction of USDA Inspectors in Mexico

A man shops for avocados at a Whole Foods Market, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in New York. Amaz
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

The U.S. Department of Agriculture halted the importation of avocados and mangoes from Mexico following the abduction of two of its workers in a state known for cartel violence.

Earlier this week, the USDA confirmed information published by Mexican news outlets about the temporary halting of produce inspections until further notice. While the USDA has not revealed the reason behind the move, several national news outlets in Mexico reported that two USDA inspectors had been abducted in the state of Michoacan.

According to El Sol De Mexico, the incident took place last Friday when a group of gunmen claiming to be a community police force in the town of Paracho, Michoacan, stopped the inspectors, took their vehicle, phones, and computers, and detained them for a day. Despite the efforts by Mexican officials to downplay the issue, community police forces in Michoacan have a history of being a front for the various drug cartels that operate with almost complete impunity in the state.

As Breitbart Texas reported, community police forces such as the ones run by the accused drug boss Juan Jose “El Abuelo” Farias have been a front for Cartel Jalisco New Generation, or for their rivals, the Familia Michoacan, or Los Viagras.

El Sol de Mexico quoted Michoacan Agriculture Secretary Cuauthemoc Ramirez Romero, who claimed Mexico’s government has spoken with U.S. officials and resolved the issue. The secretary says importations could likely resume in the coming days.

As Breitbart Texas reported, in 2022, the USDA issued a similar suspension after one of their inspectors began receiving death threats. The importation halt came right before the Superbowl — a time when avocado farmers in Mexico expected to see an increase in demand.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at     


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