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Avocado Spat Brews After U.S. Inspector Is Threatened in Mexico

U.S. suspends Mexican imports that make up 80% of American consumption

Workers sort avocados into boxes at a packing facility in Periban, Michoacan state, Mexico.

Workers sort avocados into boxes at a packing facility in Periban, Michoacan state, Mexico.

Photographer: Jeoffrey Guillemard/Bloomberg
Updated on

The great avocado affair of 2022 began with a little-noticed weekend press release from Mexico’s Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry. The U.S. was shutting down imports of avocados from Mexico because one of its inspectors received a threatening phone call.

Details are hard to come by -- who made the threat? what was the threat? -- but what’s known is this: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has not taken kindly to the U.S. action. In a Monday morning press conference, he said Mexican authorities would look into the allegations but also made clear he believes there’s something fishy about the incident. There are political and economic interests, Lopez Obrador said, who want to keep the Mexican avocados out of the U.S. market.