In recent days, violence in the state of Guanajuato between Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) and Cartel Santa Rosa de Lima (CDRL) left at least 25 dead, including five police officers.
Authorities in the town Apaseo el Alto also responded to a call of a car bomb presumably left by one of the cartels fighting for control of the region. A military bomb squad responded to the scene and deactivated the explosive device, Milenio reported.
The device bears the familiar features of a “bomba papa” or potato bomb, as they are commonly referred to in Central America. They are used extensively by the terrorist organization FARC, also known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia-Peoples Army. The group became a designated terrorist organization by the United States in October 1997.
Unfortunately, this is not the first potato bomb interdicted by Mexican law enforcement in Guanajuato. In October 2017, authorities seized a weaponized drone containing the improvised explosive device during a traffic stop. The state of Michoacán also reported four other potato bombs recovered in 2017.
Months earlier, a 17-page report from the Center for Research and National Security (CISEN) warned Mexico’s law enforcement that the cartels’ international expansion helped them to acquire new tradecraft in building potato bombs from the FARC. The report further warned that members of the FARC may be seeking work with Mexican cartels.
In 2015, the DEA publicly stated that several Mexican cartels, including the CJNG and Sinaloa, were working with the FARC to transport cocaine into the United States. This validated claims of ties between the organizations–which go back many years.
Mexico’s ratcheting cartel violence, like the recent high-profile executions of nine U.S. women and children in Sonora, is finally catching the public attention of the White House and Congress like never before. The cartels have a long history of using the same techniques, tactics, and procedures like seen from U.S.-designated terrorist groups around the world. How they can employ, smuggle, train, and collaborate with other terrorist organizations without designations of their own remains an unanswered question.
Jaeson Jones is a retired Captain from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division and a Breitbart Texas contributor. While on duty, he managed daily operations for the Texas Rangers Border Security Operations Center.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.