March 31, 2023
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Posted by NCID
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Itzel De Haro (University of Wisconsin–Madison) visited NCID to give a seminar entitled “The U.S. opioid crisis and its impact on Mexico’s drug cartel violence.” In her presentation, she explained her investigation: how a recent decline in the demand for heroin affects violence in Mexico, specifically in municipalities that produce avocados. “Based on news reports, these cartels have started diversifying out of the production and distribution of illegal drugs and targeting avocado farmers and packing houses in Mexico. In addition, they ask for extortion fees from farmers”.

According to De Haro, introducing fentanyl in the U.S. has led to a decline in the demand for heroin from drug cartels. This decline in the demand for heroin is affecting the revenues and turns they are diversifying to other legal sectors, including the avocado sector. “The introduction of fentanyl, a substitute for heroin, led to a decrease in homicides and cartel presence in avocado areas and in municipalities that produce poppy.”