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Showing posts from January 21, 2014


The future of Texas produce imports

By 2020, fruit and vegetable imports from Mexico to Texas are forecast to grow an outstanding 73% in comparison to 2012, up to the equivalent of 615,000 truckloads, according to analysis by the Texas A&M Center for North American Studies.

By this time, Texas is expected to account for over half of fruit and vegetable imports arriving to the U.S. from Mexico.

At the heart of this growth will be the Rio Grande Valley, forecast to receive almost 60% of total produce imports from Mexico to Texas by 2020.

To take on this boom, Pharr will need to equip its facilities with additional inspectors, including an entomologist from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

“That is going to facilitate the truck crossings to not slow down and to be able to identify if a bug poses potential harm to the U.S.,” Garza said.

“Before that bugs had to be taken a photo of and sent somewhere else. If the identifier was not able to see what kind of bug that was…

MEXICO MANGO MAFIA : HSBC is paying $2 billion to avoid criminal charges in drug cartel laundering case

Brett Wolf and Aruna Viswanatha, Thomson Reuters

January 21, 2014 12:38

The Justice Department agreed to suspend criminal charges against the world's largest bank and its US subsidiary for five years if the bank agreed to pay the penalty.

Seized cash like the dollars and Mexican pesos pictured here is nothing compared to the multi-billion dollar empire of the Sinaloa cartel, which laundered its money through HSBC. The US has decided not to prosecute the bank, despite its business with drug cartels and other criminal operations. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

US regulators continue to find weaknesses in the way HSBC Holdings tries to prevent money laundering, according to people familiar with the matter, even after the British bank was forced to pay nearly $2 billion in penalties and invested millions in increasing its compliance.

The deferred prosecution agreement was reached in December 2012 and was approved Monday. 

The settlement was seen as a record amount to resolve charges th…

MEXICO MANGO MAFIA : Feud grows in key Mexican fruit-growing region

Originally published Monday, January 20, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Federal forces intervened after masked farmers stormed government buildings in more than a dozen towns and threatened to take over the city of Apatzingan, in Michoacan state.

By Nacha Cattan

Bloomberg News

MEXICO CITY — For the second time in eight months, Mexico’s army is combing through Michoacan state’s lime-growing valleys to re-establish order as vigilante farmers battle with drug gangs.

In Michoacan, where the Sierra Madre mountains run into Mexico’s Pacific Coast, federal forces intervened last week after masked farmers stormed government buildings in more than a dozen towns and threatened to take over the city of Apatzingan, leading to at least one civilian death, the Interior Ministry said. 

The farmers’ self-styled community police groups, which raided police stations to strip officers of their weapons, said at least four people died in a clash with the army.

Unlike the last time, though, when soldiers managed to quickly push…