Drug cartels fighting a fierce turf war in western Mexico began weaponizing commercial drones by turning them into delivery systems for improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Breitbart Texas obtained exclusive photographs of the explosives devices and the methods used by cartel operators.
This week, Mexican authorities confirmed that two police officers in Michoacán were injured by an attack from cartel gunmen who used commercial drones to drop IEDs, Breitbart Texas reported. The attack came after state police officers removed a series of roadblocks aimed at keeping rival cartels from using armored SUVs to carry out attacks in their attempts to take control.
El personal de la #PolicíaMichoacán realizó el restablecimiento de la vialidad luego de retirar piedras que obstruían el libre tránsito en la localidad de El Terrero, municipio de #Aguililla. pic.twitter.com/MtSDwpdvyk
— SSP MICHOACÁN (@MICHOACANSSP) April 24, 2021
While various news outlets in Mexico claimed that Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) instigated the attack, law enforcement sources in Michoacán revealed to Breitbart Texas that authorities believe an alliance known as Carteles Unidos were actually the ones behind the drone attacks. That criminal organization is made up of smaller regional cartels including Los Viagras, various self-defense groups, and remnants of La Familia Michoacana who are openly fighting off an invasion from CJNG. Carteles Unidos claims to have financial and manpower support from CJNG’s archrival — the Sinaloa Cartel. For several weeks, rival cartels carried out a series of fierce clashes where they used makeshift armored vehicles, explosives, and high-powered weapons. Mexico’s government is largely unable to do anything to address the raging violence that has been ongoing for weeks.
Breitbart Texas obtained a series of photographs showing members of Carteles Unidos making and testing a series of IEDs. The devices appear to be made out of pipes shaped like a mortar round. Those IEDs are then attached to commercial drones and then dropped from the air.
Information obtained exclusively by Breitbart Texas revealed that the operator behind the development of the weaponized drones claims to have had U.S. military training. However, Breitbart Texas was not able to confirm the claim.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and other areas to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by Jose Luis Lara, a former leading member who helped start the Self-Defense Movement in Michoacán.