Border violence spills onto Mexican ranches and farms

“The drug violence along the U.S.-Mexico border is now spilling into the region’s agriculture, threatening the safety of ranchers and farmers, slowing down what was expected to be the best harvest in years, and raising the risk that some crops will rot in the fields.

Ranchers like Gutierrez have trouble getting their animals to market. Farmers who once toiled long hours in the fields now fear being attacked in the dark. Some are even being forced to pay protection money to keep from being kidnapped or having their harvest stolen.

A woman who exports aloe vera said her father pays protection money just to be allowed to conduct business.

“Everyone does,” the woman said in an interview at a sprawling produce warehouse complex in McAllen, Texas.”

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