Tuesday, August 25, 2020

[CJNG] Mexican Drug Cartel Carries Out ‘Drone Strikes’ In Narco War

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat TY RB   Forbes

Mexican drug cartels are using weaponized consumer drones in their latest gang war, according to reports in El Universal and other local news media.

A citizens’ militia group in Tepalcatepec, Michoacán, formed to protect farmers from the cartel, found two drones in a car used by gunmen belonging to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), a group estimated to control a third of the drugs consumed in the U.S. The drones had plastic containers taped to them filled with C4 explosive and ball bearing shrapnel. The militias say that they have heard explosions, and believe that the drones are the latest weapons an ongoing gang war.

“The CJNG has been involved with such devices since late 2017 in various regions of Mexico,” says analyst Dr. Robert J. Bunker, Director of Research and Analysis at C/O Futures, LLC. “This cartel is well on its way to institutionalizing the use of weaponized drones. Presently, none of the other cartels appears to even be experimenting with the weaponization of these devices.”


In 2017, Bunker reported on the arrest of four CJNG members with a drone carrying a ‘papa bomba’ (potato bomb) , an improvised hand grenade. In 2018 an armed drone attacked the residence of a senior official in Baja, California. The official was not at home, and the attack seems to have been intended as a warning. Three CJNG drones with explosive were recovered this year, part of an arsenal for use against the rival Santa Rosa de Lima cartel.

Bunker says that suitable consumer drones are now easy to acquire and use, but that the challenge is weaponizing them.

“The limiting factor is not so much the availability of military-grade explosives—commercial or homemade explosives can be substituted—but the basic technical knowledge necessary to create improvised explosive devices or IEDs,” says Bunker.

The Mexican drones appeared to be wired for remote detonation in kamikaze attacks. They are similar to the jury-rigged quadcopters used in an unsuccessful assassination attempt against President Maduro of Venezuela in 2018. They are less sophisticated than the bomber drones used by ISIS and other groups in the Middle East since 2016 which drop modified 40mm grenades with great precision, used with deadly effect against Iraqi government forces. Such drones are now widespread in the Middle East. Their absence in Mexico is may be because the cartels do not have access to munitions which can easily be modified for drone use.

The U.S. military makes extensive use of portable kamikaze drones, which it terms ‘loitering munitions,’ in particular the SwitchBlade made by Californian company AeroVironment AVAV -0.3%. This has night vision, the ability to lock on to a target and a silent attack mode, as well as an advanced precision warhead.

“Improvised drone bomb designs for terrorist and criminal organizations are still relatively unsophisticated from a nation-state and future potentials perspective,” says Bunker. “This is due to both the lack of technical sophistication of their bomb makers and the lack of computer, data/signals, and command and control expertise of their pilots.”

It is possible that the cartel war will accelerate the development of improvised attack drones. In a parallel development, the cartels have shown considerable ingenuity in adapting commercial drones for smuggling drugs over the U.S. border. As long ago as 2012 – soon after DJI introduced their groundbreaking Phantom quadcopter  to the market , border agents intercepted 150 drones. Larger models enabled smuggling on a grander scale. In 2015, a large quadcopter was spotted hauling seven-pound bundles encased in bubble wrap and dropping them to waiting couriers. The couriers, who were being observed, were arrested, but the drone operators on the other side escaped.

Mexican cartels have now progressed their own smuggling drones from commercial components, which can carry over a hundred pounds of drugs in one trip: the perfect drug mule, they are expendable and will never talk to the authorities. This type of innovation – which has also brought the boom in ‘narco-submarines ‘ — may see more advanced drone weapons being fielded as the CJNG escalates the war against its rivals. The group makes free use of military-style weaponry; in July it released a video of a long convoy of heavily-armed, armored vehicles.

Bunker says that money has pushed the development of smuggling drones, while there has been little incentive for the CJNG to develop more advanced attack drones. Reports from Tepalcatepec suggest that they are upping their drone game. Bunker doubts that they would carry out drone attacks on Mexican police or military or public officials, because of the risk of retaliation from the Mexican government with the weight of the U.S. behind it. But a new type of gang warfare may be evolving in Mexico – and it is unlikely to stay there.

16 comments:

  1. Animo Sicarios

    Based on inteligence reports from a group of Gente Nueva Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Special Forces team deep behind enemy territoy in Jalisco .CJNG is now using roosters with explosives.

    CDS is now working in conjuntion with the MI6 and the Special Air Service on developing a mini Predator drone to counteract this new type of warfare

    New People 006

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roosters w explosives lol

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    2. Roosters with explosives isn't such a bad idea since cockfighting is popular in Mexico

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    3. 006 you don't even use the military jargon correctly, have you ever heard of an army sapper? Lol

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    4. You mean cocks with explosives! Yea those go deep into enemy territory and explode in their back yard! No witness left!

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    5. Those cocks explode "deep" in their "back" yard with bushy lawns. 😜

      Delete
  2. Caballero del Jalisco was right

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He must be in the game, knows somebody, or a lucky guess?

      Delete
  3. Awww shit matter of time before they hit them with a real drone

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  4. Mexico is totally lost. Hopelessly lost.

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  5. The US will not like this one bit

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    Replies
    1. THEY could care less.. UNLESS they get MONEY..

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  6. stupid ass media, all those self proclaimed "auto defensas" in Tepalcatepec are actually part of El abuelo's group of drug traffickers

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  7. CJNG cant even spell Drone!

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  8. No Weight of the US needed to fight an air War against anybody's drones...
    Some on the US are ready to raid once again the US treasury for another little War in Mexico under any excuse.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just wait till they weaponize black hornet nanos. Game over...

    ReplyDelete

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