Tortillas are in trouble, reports Manuel Roig-Franzia of the Washington Post Foreign Service.“Mexico is in the grip of the worst tortilla crisis in its modern history. Dramatically rising international corn prices, spurred by demand for the grain-based fuel ethanol, have led to expensive tortillas. That, in turn, has led to lower sales for vendors … and angry protests by consumers.
“The uproar is exposing this country’s outsize dependence on tortillas in its diet — especially among the poor — and testing the acumen of the new president, Felipe Calderón. It is also raising questions about the powerful businesses that dominate the Mexican corn market and are suspected by some lawmakers and regulators of unfair speculation and monopoly practices. “