Mexico’s avocado army: how one city stood up to the drug cartels

Javier is finally starting to feel safe. A gruff 46-year-old avocado grower with a laugh like an idling Harley Davidson, Javier still remembers the gruesome reports of cartel gunmen kidnapping and killing a neighbour’s daughter, torching a local avocado packaging facility and murdering a pregnant schoolteacher. But the memories are starting to fade.

Tancitaro, the world capital of avocado production, has finally achieved a semblance of stability. It has been over two years since the last pitched battles between vigilante fighters and cartel gunmen on the outskirts. Families whose orchards were seized by cartel gunmen are now running their farms again. “The government doesn’t rule here. But it’s under control. You can relax,” he says.

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  • UCSPanther

    This is what happens when the people do not feel the government is doing its job in both protecting them and dealing out justice in a timely and satisfactory manner. The Mexican Federales should not be surprised at developments such as this, considering their failures to contain the cartel vermin as of late.

    Funny how the cartels act so tough and badass when the people can’t fight back, but once they start getting on the receiving end of return fire and varminting runs, they start fleeing like the rodents they are…

    • Jabberwokk

      When they told me in school that fighting was never the answer they lied to me didn’t they?

      • UCSPanther

        They did. Bullies are cowards at heart, and the only way many will learn is if they suffer retaliation in the form of self defense.

        • Jabberwokk

          It’s why I got my Balck-belt. I’ve been lectured on it by people who have none. I know it isn’t near enough for what’s coming but it’s a start.