The United States said Monday a suspension of avocado imports from Mexico will remain in place until the security of U.S. agricultural inspectors can be guaranteed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services halted operations in Mexico’s Michoacan state on Saturday after an inspector received a threatening message.
“The suspension will remain in place for as long as necessary to ensure the appropriate actions are taken, to secure the safety of APHIS personnel working in Mexico,” said a USDA statement Monday.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government is examining the situation, and suggested Monday there was a political motivation behind the suspension.
“In all of this there are also a lot of political interests and political interests, there is competition; they don’t want Mexican avocados to get into the United States, right, because it would rule in the United States because of its quality,” he said.
Michoacan is Mexico’s top avocado producer and has dealt with gangs that target avocado and lime growers.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.