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Mexican authorities shut down 23 hectares of illegal avocado orchards

Staff Writer | September 12, 2018
Mexican authorities closed 22.97 hectares of illegal orchards which had cut down 1,162 trees in order plant avocados, stated the environmental prosecutor on Friday, September 7, 2018.
LatAm   1,162 pine and oak trees were felled and uprooted
"1,162 pine and oak trees were felled and uprooted with the help of heavy machinery, affecting an approximate volume of 713 cubic meters in total tree volume," the authorities stated.

The closure took place in the west of the state of Michoacan, the most important avocado producing region in the country. On the surface that previously occupied the trees, producers planted 4,190 avocado plants that were already up to 1.6 meters high.

Mexico is the world's largest exporter of avocado. In 2018, Mexico is expected to produce more than two million tons of avocado, 1.17 million of which will be exported. The Federal Procurator for Environmental Protection, with the support of the military and police, made inspections in three municipalities and determined that the forestry vocation of the land had been changed to become avocado plantations.

In addition, authorities found that the producers had built roads in the forest area to access the avocado growing area, as well as water storage spaces that were 10 meters wide by 25 meters long and 2.5 meters deep.

Possible sanctions include fines and restoration activities so that the land returns to its original conditions. The authorities didn't report if there were detainees.