By Chris Covert
The four sailors reportedly on last Friday's helicopter flight from Colima state to Veracruz state were confirmed dead by the Mexican Secretaria de Marina (SEMAR), the controlling agency for the Mexican navy, according to a news release by SEMAR.
The four dead were unidentified, but it is known one was a pilot and two others were naval officers. The bird went down in a remote area of Jalisco state Friday afternoon only minutes after commencing a return flight to its base in Veracruz. The helo left International Airport Playa de Oro in Manzanillo, Colima at about 1135 hour but lost contact before it was to reach Urupan Michoacan at around 1210 hrs.
Later it was determined the Eurocopter Panther AS565 helicopter had crashed atop a mountain at a remote location about 18 kilometers south of Pihuamo municipality in Jalisco state . That area has long been known as a haven for drug traffickers.
SEMAR has yet to release a determination of the cause of the crash.
Meanwhile, a Mexican Naval Infantry unit dismantled a synthetic drug laboratory in the same municipality as the crash, Pihuamo municipality in Jalisco state.
According to a second news release by SEMAR, the unit found a total of 875 kilograms of caustic soda, 198 kilograms of sodium acetate, 25 containers of various capacities, some with unidentified chemicals, 10 burners, two cook chimneys and 10 pewter steamers.
The lab was found about 30 kilomters northwest of Pihuamo municipality on 26 June.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com