The tiny, hilly village of Tancitaro in the state of Michoacan in Southwest Mexico is the 2nd Avocado Capital of the World.
The first avocado capital of the world is Fallbrook, California, however, wildfires have damaged avocado production there, so Tancitaro is quickly jockeying to the #1 spot.
Tancitaro has 30,000 residents and produces 45% of the world’s avocados.
A staggering 2 billion of those avocados are shipped to the USA every year.
The downside of avocado glory is that criminal gangs have turned the tiny town of Tancitaro into a war zone by kidnapping and extorting avocado millionaires for ransom. When their families don’t pay up, they get the chop.
Criminal activity is so bad that the avocado producers themselves have banded together to create CUSEPT.
CUSEPT is a private security force funded by avocado growers.
80 officers armed with fully automatic weapons, body armor, bullet proof vehicles and bankrolled by $1.2 million dollars per year of avocado money are battling criminals in the streets & hills to help protect the avocado orchards.
The village now has dozens of filtros (filters) which are checkpoints where you have to get the approval of armed guards to pass.
So the next time you eat guacamole, think of how that avocado got to you. Chances are it came from Aguacate del Sur (Avocado of the South).
And don’t get caught being an avocado smuggler. For instance, having 500-1000 avocados in the trunk of your car that you stole from one of the avocado farms. You don’t want to know what will happen to you if they catch you.
Mexican Avocado Crime Report