A MEXICAN drug cartel is using drones loaded with explosives to attack its rivals.
The Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel (JNGC) – one of the most violent and dangerous of the criminal gangs tearing the country apart – has started using the technique to target other cartels in South West Mexico.
The drones are loaded with C4, an explosive reserved for military use, with additional ammunition of pellets to cause further damage.
The devices are then detonated remotely.
CJNG used these drones to attack their enemies in the town of Tepalcatepec, in the State of Michoacan where the neighbours in the area fear for their lives.
The revelation about the drones came on Mexican newscast ‘En Punto’, through an interview where the self-defence groups of the region revealed that after a confrontation they recovered two drones and four packages of explosives.
The Self-defence groups or Community Guards are a group of armed civilians, mostly producers of avocados or lemons, who take up arms to defend themselves against the attacks of Mexican cartels such as La Familia Michoacana, Los Caballeros Templarios and El Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación.
They were able to show how the criminal organization manufacture these new weapons with bombs attached to the drone with metal tape, the Mexican newspaper El Universal reported.
The region called Tierra Caliente, adjacent to Jalisco, has been ravaged by the criminal organization since 25th July, when they attacked the Tepalcatepec self-defence groups to try to gain control of the territory.
Last May, the Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation against the JNGC, accusing them of being a criminal organization for the purpose of committing terrorism, the same Mexican newspaper reported.
On that occasion, the Prosecutor’s Office found several drones and C4 explosives in the state of Puebla, southeast of Mexico.
Part of the population of Tepalcatepec and even the self-defence groups have begun to move as they fear that it is not possible to tackle this new form of attack.
In May 2019, the Mexican government recognized that there were 37 drug cartels or criminal groups related to drug trafficking operating in the country.
The Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System has reported that 17,943 intentional homicides were committed in Mexico between January and June 2020.
Earlier this month, footage emerged showing dozens of uniformed gunmen posing with military-grade weapons near armoured pickup trucks emblazoned with the initials of the Jalisco drug cartel.
The country’s top security officials are today probing the video which appears to be a show of power, with the masked men yelling they were “people” of cartel leader “Mencho”.
In the two-minute clip, members of the fearsome JNGC stand in fatigues alongside a seemingly endless procession of armored vehicles.
“Only Mencho’s people,” members of the cartel shout, pumping their fists and flashing their long guns.
The cry was a salute to their leader, Nemesio El Mencho Oseguera, one of the country’s most-wanted drug lords.
The video’s release coincided with Lopez Obrador’s visit to the states of Guanajuato, Jalisco and Colima, some of the cartel’s strongholds.
The JNGC was founded in 2009, and its ruthless rise to global dominance has left bodies and screams in its wake – ripping out victims’ hearts, dissolving their bodies in barrels of acid, and even targeting pregnant women.
The CJNG’s drug=trafficking empire now reaches all corners of the globe, despite ferocious competition from other cartels in Mexico and increasingly desperate efforts from international authorities to hold them back.
The US’ Drug Enforcement Administration is even offering a $10,000,000 reward for information that leads to the capture of the CJNG’s leader, El Mencho, which is the highest reward of its kind ever offered.
But nothing appears to be slowing the cancer-like growth of the heavily armed cartel — which is responsible for untold Mexican massacres and has even seen the military targeted.
In August last year, a group of ten alleged members of the JNGC were filmed wearing military-style combat gear and armed with rifles as they surrounded a captured man from a rival drug gang.
According to local media reports, the half-naked man is said to be Aldolfo Mendoza Valencia, aka ‘El Michoacano’, who is one of the leaders of a rival gang the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel in the Valle de Santiago.
He is seen in the footage sat on a chair with his hands and feet bound and appears to be only wearing underwear and socks.
The masked men then say they will go after the members of the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel and threaten its leader Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz, known as ‘El Marro’, La Verdad reports.
One man is heard saying: “We are coming for you, filthy Marro, and for all your filthy people, those who entered the Valle de Santiago and killed innocent people.”
According to reports, the group also demanded the resignation of several public officials in a bid to keep their own criminal activities alive.
Drug cartels are exploiting the coronavirus crisis in Mexico, handing out food to the poor to get them onside while slaughtering their rivals.
While police are strained dealing with the pandemic, cartels have unleashed a staggering wave of bloodshed — the worst on record — massacring rivals to take control of new territory.
The problem is worsened by the disruption of international supply chains, which means cartels are struggling to get hold of chemicals needed to make drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine.
That’s pushed cartels into fiercer competition with each other, and into revving up other illegal rackets.
One dangerous scam involves forcing pharmacies to buy bogus medicines, which in turn end up in the bloodstreams of genuinely sick people needing treatment.
While another is to steal petrol out of buried pipelines leading to fuel shortages and dangerous explosions.
Since 2006, when Mexican soldiers were ordered to fight the war on drugs, Mexican cartels have become increasingly brutal in battling for control of the nation’s multi-billion dollar drug trade.
Massacres, mass graves, and decapitated bodies hanging from bridges have all become common scenes – and the violence gets worse every year.
Last year was the worst year in the country’s history for murder – there were 34,582 slayings in 2019, which equates to 95 every day.
But in March this year, there were a staggering 2,585 murders in a single month – the bloodiest since records began in 1997.
That horrific figure already puts 2020 on to break last year’s appalling record.
Deadly shootouts have erupted all over the country, with some of the worst clashes in the central Mexican city of Ceyala.
Cartels in the area use burning vehicle roadblocks and military-grade weapons to fight security forces who are desperately trying to disrupt fuel theft.
Gangs make a fortune by setting up illegal taps on vulnerable gasoline pipelines and then selling the bootleg fuel.
But as well as violent clashes with authorities, cartels fight with each other for control of the dangerous fuel racket.