Latin America

Upping the Drone Game: ‘Weaponised’ UAVs Increasingly Used by Mexican Drug Cartels in Turf Wars

Mexican drug trafficking organisations (DTOs) have not only diversified their crime activities, resorting to extortion, kidnapping, oil theft, human smuggling, and other illicit enterprises, but have been using high-quality equipment, such as assault rifles and light machine guns, wearing ballistic vests like those used by regular armed forces.

Consumer drones are being increasingly ‘weaponised’ by Mexican drug cartels for use against their rivals, writes Forbes, citing reports in El Universal and other local news media.

Two drones were discovered in a car believed to be used by gunmen from the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) by a citizens’ militia group in Tepalcatepec, Michoacán, set up to offer farmers protection from the cartel.

With plastic containers attached to them packed with C4 explosives and ball bearing shrapnel, the drones were likely being used as a new, sophisticated form of weaponry in the ongoing gang wars among cartels for control over territory.

Reports claim three other CJNG drones containing explosives were seized earlier in the year, among the weapons aimed at the rival Rosa de Lima cartel.

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