Short on Limes? Blame Drug Cartels

Citrus hijackings drive prices up
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2014 2:03 AM CDT
Short on Limes? Blame Drug Cartels
Bars and restaurants across the US have started cutting back on limes.   (Shutterstock)

No lime in your drink? Mexican drug cartels, along with a spell of bad weather, are to blame, the New York Daily News finds. As part of their lucrative shift away from drug trafficking, the Knights Templar cartel has been hijacking lime trucks in Michoacan state, the world's biggest lime producer. The cost of extra security has helped the price of limes leap from $14 a case to more than $100, suppliers say. Rain, cold weather, and a tree disease have also contributed to the shortage.

Some bars and restaurants are substituting other fruits, and a few have ditched limes and lime-based drinks altogether. "I'm not playing that game," says the owner of a bar in Oakland, Calif. "I hope Mexico has case upon case of rotting limes and the cartels are forced to sell drugs again instead of strong-arming lime farmers." In Canada, importers have switched to buying limes from Brazil, but they complain that the Brazilian limes are nowhere near as green and juicy as the Mexican variety, reports CTV. (More Knights Templar cartel stories.)

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