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Wed Dec 6, 2017, 08:31 PM

Farmers in Mexico's avocado heartland are relying on vigilantes to protect their 'green gold'

Farmers in Mexico's avocado heartland are relying on vigilantes to protect their 'green gold'
Christopher Woody
2h

Global demand for avocados has grown considerably in recent years, and Mexican farmers have been a major beneficiary, declaring the crop "green gold."

Mexico produces about 45% of the world's avocados, and the western state of Michoacan is the country's top producer. But Michoacan has also been a locus for organized crime, and the state's residents have suffered as criminal groups overwhelmed and corrupted authorities.

Vigilantes, called self-defense groups or autodefensas, cropped up in the state to fight off criminal groups when local and federal authorities were unable or unwilling to do so.

Many of those autodefensas have been dismantled by the government or co-opted by criminal groups. But in the municipality of Tancitaro home to 30,000 people in western Michoacan residents set up their own specialized police force: the Tancitaro Public Security Corps.

More:
http://www.businessinsider.com/mexican-farmers-in-michoacan-rely-on-vigilantes-to-protect-avocados-2017-12

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