Insecurity due to extortion and expropriation of land by citrus growers in Michoacan, that Producer prices skyrocketed in this condition, effects in Veracruz, when demand for lemons rose more than 30 percent and their prices rose more than 25 percent.
However, citrus growers from Martinez de la Tower, Poplar Temapache, San Rafael, Papantla and Misantla, They face a similar ordeal as this state, that most are afraid to speak openly about it.
MILLENNIUM talked to three citrus growers and the family of a laborer who was kidnapping victim and murder last year in Veracruz.
Aside from that, An elderly couple left the region because for months they delivered 10,000 pesos a month to an alleged Plaza boss, the same one who was murdered and those who robbed him of his life took his place and increased the fee, which was no longer payable.
Jose N reports that When he planned the conspiracy, he was deprived of his liberty, his family filed a complaint; saved his life, but it changed drastically.
“They came disguised as cops, but they weren’t real cops, they were kidnappers.; With my chest healthy, I agreed to be examined, but when the abduction took place, they put a hood on me, covered my eyes and ears, and threw me in the trunk of a car. It feels very ugly, one is not used to living in such situations, They denigrate you as a person… they intimidate family and people, make you feel bad, you’re worthless.”
They know who their captors are, who he says are still free and operating in one of the country’s most important citrus-growing regions.
Ruben N is another victim of illegal deprivation of liberty and for security reasons, he doesn’t reveal his full name, he He reported being locked in a small room for a week handcuffed and blindfolded until the kidnappers got what they asked for and released him, but the uncertainty lingers.
After this experience, fear and uncertainty remain ”It’s hard to get back on your feet as an already confident person focused, safe, very difficult, those are moments when you feel like you’ve lost everything.”
Who tells a rougher story? Maria, who lost her son when she was still young He left his house to cut lemons to the field. They murdered him and days later another worker was executed in the same area.
His case was not brought to trial either and his neighbors, a couple of older adults he said, left town and the activity because they were fed up with paying penalty interest and for months gave 10,000 pesos a month to an alleged Plaza boss who was murdered.
The criminals who robbed him of his life took his place and increased the rate which became invaluable to the elderly couple who left home to save their lives.
Manuel, a citrus producer and marketer whose main export market is the United States, followed by France and Japan, explained this The second and third grade lemons remain for national consumption and for juice companies.
He mentioned that The activity this season is profitable, but the uncertainty who lives in the region sometimes makes him doubt that he can go on like this because he has friends and family who have been victims of crime and riots, the area has been subject to repeated assaults and executions, not only among producers but also among buyers.
Move the harvest even between nearby cities like Papantla, San Rafael or Álamo it is dangerous Well, with a lost Torton truck, that’s a loss of more than a million pesos at the current price of lemons.
For this reason, as in Michoacán, Veracruz citrus farmers are calling for more security in the regionA since the production of the field is the most important economic activity in the region.
Veracruz produces an average of more than 350,000 tons of citrus fruits annually mainly lemons and oranges, is the largest national producer.
All citrus growers interviewed agree on something, they live in fear for often the kidnappers wear police uniforms and in none of the cases has justice been achieved, despite formal complaints.