The majority of avocados in the US come from one single state in Mexico: Michoacan. In recent years, drug cartels have started to terrorize the avocado producers there, murdering them, stealing farms, and exacting protection money from the ones that remain. Many farmers have now formed armed vigilante groups, called autodefensas, that have begun to fight back against the cartels. Last month, the Mexican government sent in the military to avoid an all out civil war.
Professor Joseph Orosco reviews the history and evolution of the current situation followed by Professor Victor Vargas, professor of international relations, and vice president of Academic Affairs, at the Universidad Latin de America in Morelia, Michoacan. Vargas discusses what this situation means for democracy in Mexico and the impact that it has on the US, including American consumers and the legacy of the “War on Drugs”.
Sponsored by the Anarres Project for Alternative Futures and the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University.