Mexican Farmers Form Vigilante Forces to Confront Drug Cartels

November 18, 2013

m16 gun closeupThe Wall Street Journal, 11/15/2013

Farmers in the rich agricultural heartland of Mexico’s Michoacán state, fed up with a reign of terror and extortion by a drug cartel, have organized community police forces and driven the cartel into the hills outside this town.

The emergence of these community vigilantes, which originated in neighboring Guerrero state and spread to Michoacán, has brought retaliation by the cartel that calls itself the Knights Templars, pushing the region to the brink of broader conflict.

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Past and future collide as Mexico fights over GMO corn

November 13, 2013

Reuters, 11/12/2013

corn - loose yellow cornReligion, culture and science are competing for primacy in the debate on how acceptable corn produced by genetically modified organisms (GMO) is in a country where farmers first domesticated maize about 8,000 years ago.

Last month a federal judge in Mexico City created a stir by ordering a temporary halt to any new GMO corn permits, accepting a lawsuit brought by opponents of the crop. It was widely interpreted as a definitive ban on the commercial use of GMO corn in Mexico, but experts say it will likely just delay any resolution into 2014 or beyond.

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Ammunition for a Trade War Between U.S. and Mexico

September 28, 2012

The New York Times, 9/27/2012

Estimates are that nearly one out of two tomatoes eaten in the United States comes from Mexico — a statistic Florida growers would like to change, even at the risk of a trade war.

On Thursday, they got a reason to hope.

The United States Department of Commerce signaled then that it might be willing to end a 16-year-old agreement between the United States and some Mexican growers that has kept the price of Mexican tomatoes relatively low for American consumers. American tomato growers say the price has been so low that they can barely compete.

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