A brazen attack by Colombian rebels this week, in which they destroyed a military helicopter as it landed, killed four soldiers in what points to a reigniting of violence in the South American country.
The attack took place on Monday near that country’s border with Venezuela. Rebels blew up the helicopter using an improvised explosive device based off a landmine, Reuters America Latina reported.
The attack follows violence targeting that country’s oil pipeline. According to Reuters, the attack follows an end to the cease fire and were carried out in reprisal for an air strike in which authorities killed 27 rebels. Authorities in the South American country have stepped up their vigilance in preparation for additional violence.
The Blackhawk helicopter destroyed in Colombia is the same type of armored helicopter that U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently deployed to the Texas border in the aftermath of a Zeta attack in which a CBP air and marine helicopter was shot down.
As Breitbart Texas previously reported, the helicopter aided U.S. authorities on the ground during a drug interdiction operation when gunmen from the Mexican side began firing at the CBP helicopter, striking the rotor and coming close to striking the pilot if not for his vest, which he had taken off and placed under him.
As an apparent result from the political pressure, CBP sent down two UH-60 Blackhawks to take over the air operations in Laredo.
The U.S.-made Blackhawks have also become a staple of the various branches of the Mexican military and the Mexican Federal Police. As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Mexico has become one of the largest customers in regard to the purchase of helicopters and Humvees.
In the border city of Reynosa, members of the Gulf Cartel regularly engage in firefights with authorities, however the gunmen quickly flee when they hear the sound of approaching helicopters, said a Tamaulipas law enforcement official who spoke with Breitbart Texas.
“It’s something that you never forget, you may be on the ground shooting it out with those guys but then the helicopters approach—thump, thump, thump,” the official said in Spanish. “Almost always they run but their vehicles are quickly disabled by the shooter in the helicopter. Then they usually surrender. If they don’t, they don’t last much.”
While the Blackhawks have given air superiority for authorities near the Texas border, they have not been infallible. As Breitbart Texas previously reported, earlier this year gunmen with Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion shot down a Blackhawk carrying a squad of Mexican Special Forces soldiers.