US suspends avocado imports from Mexican state due to security incident, government source says

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -The United States paused avocado imports from Mexico’s top-producing Michoacan state due to a security incident involving U.S. inspectors, a state government source said on Monday, in a hit to a major farm commodity shipped to its northern neighbor.

The source added the temporary suspension was triggered last Saturday following an incident at a protest in support of local police in the municipality of Paracho.

The Governor of Michoacan, Alfredo Ramirez, told reporters on Monday they were in contact with U.S. officials to give “guarantee” and “certainty” about exports from the state.

Mexican newspaper El Universal reported the duration of the suspension has not been determined as talks between U.S. agriculture officials and local producers are ongoing.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. embassy in Mexico City did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In 2022, U.S. officials temporarily suspended avocado shipments from Michoacan, a state that has suffered longstanding problems with gang violence, also citing security problems faced by inspectors.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; additional reporting by Caroline Stauffer in Chicago, Editing by Stephen Eisenhammer and Chris Reese)

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