Avocado, the Mexican jewel of the Super bowl, besieged by the CJNJ
In Los Reyes, Peribán, Ario de Rosales, and Tancítaro, self-defense groups have to protect the production of the central Mexican jewel of the Super Bowl
- JUAN MANUEL GONZÁLEZ
- 16:31 hrs
MORELIA.- Four of the six main avocado producing and exporting municipalities in the world, and from where most of that fruit is sent to the United States for the Super Bowl, is protected by self-defense groups after the siege of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG in Spanish).
The CJNG has already burned export avocado packages where owners did not agree to pay them up to half a million pesos in extortion not to be disturbed and has left millions in losses. This is why the municipalities of Los Reyes, Peribán, Ario de Rosales, and Tancítaro, have had to armed civilians to protect the Super's Bowls' central Mexican jewel.
Photos Juan Manuel González
In these municipalities, the CJNG also perpetrated attacks against the population, authorities, community guards, and producers.
Barely three months after opening, the packaging company owners did not agree to extortion by the CJNG. The terrorist group set the avocado production warehouses and offices on fire.
The company marketed and shipped around 63 tons per day to the United States and was already preparing to increase its volume for the Super Bowl edition.
On December 17, an armed group broke in and set fire to the Green Export Avocados package, located in the community of San Juanico, municipality of Tingüindín. Just days before, the owners began receiving threats via telephone, accompanied by a demand to pay a significant sum of money to the CJNG.
They were asking for an initial fee of half a million pesos. Later that amount would be reduced, but there was still going to be a monthly payment, "says one of the partners.
He said they did not give it much importance since they believed that it was extortion calls of the kind made from prisons.
He received the last call to warn that they would burn the packaging if they did not send them the money. "But I didn't send it."
The businessman, whose name is reserved for security reasons, reiterated that they had barely three months of starting the export packaging with credits. They had no way to pay that extortion.
The threats came into action, and days later, at approximately 6:30 am, 15 armed individuals arrived at that place hiding in a double-wheeled truck.
The criminals subdued the vigilante, entered the warehouse area, sprayed the packaging facilities with gasoline, and set it on fire.
The attackers were dressed in military tactical clothing with the CJNG logo. They also brought bulletproof vests, helmets and told the workers that this happened because they had not paid the quota of half a million pesos.
The company's associates pointed out that the package's appraisal was 120 million pesos, but left in ruins, the buyers did not offer them more than 30 million pesos.
They lost 90 million pesos, so they sought an audience with Governor Silvano Aureoles Conejo, but authorities ignored them.
He says now they will only remember how the fire turned their money into ashes, and they still have to finish paying those who granted them the credits.
THE GREEN GOLD SHIELD UNDER FIRE
On Saturday, the "cut" in the fields of the neighboring municipalities of Los Reyes and Peribán had not been finished when an alert signal activated. Heavily armed people were detected in an important avocado growing area of a potentially producing and exporting region.
The radios and cell phones of the self-defense groups did not stop. They had to defend the "green gold" that supplies the country, the world, and that will be the delicacy for Americans on February 7, in the great football party.
With their trousseau, rifles, and courage, the armed civilians mobilized and left in several vans towards the avocado orchards where the armed group had been reported.
"We went because they told us, armed people, in trucks with logos of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel were there," says a self-defense group in the region.
Rifle in hand, the producer also says that they fear a new attack, theft of avocado, or a break in to harm their families.
He says that the trucks often do not reach the packing warehouse when the CJNG robs them.
The CJNG is a terrorist group that forces its way into our municipality even if it costs lives and destroys whatever dares them.
He described that the municipalities in which the population took up arms and takes care of their lives and avocados under lead are Los Reyes, Peribán, Tancítaro, and a part of Ario de Rosales, where they maintain maximum alertness.
The community guard specified that the three government levels' authorities should do this security work. Still, given the omission, the self-defense groups do it because they have no choice.
Among other things, "what we are doing is guaranteeing that shipments or trucks arrive with their fruit, in packaging, before being stolen.
With this, he said, they have also kept safe, for several years, the production and avocado export that goes to the United States and other parts of the world.
It implies that at least once a week, there are attacks by the criminal group, from which they defend themselves as residents.
Thus, he said, four of the six most essential avocado municipalities in the world in production and export protect their families.
He also insisted on the agricultural wealth they have built for decades, including avocado production, the Mexican jewel of each edition of the Super Bowl.
THE JEWELS CROWN
The only state with sanitary certification from the United States to export avocado to that country is Michoacán, the primary producer and global exporter.
In 2020 Michoacán broke a new record in avocado exports for the Super Bowl. More than 140 thousand tons of "green gold" were sent to the United States, just for the February 7 event.
As a reference, in 2019, 120 thousand tons were sent for the same occasion.
Traducción: Valentina K. Yanes