Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, October 9, 2023

Crime Adds Poison To 'Narco-Drones'; Mexico, World Leader In Their Use

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

According to intelligence reports to which MILENIO had access, Mexican cartels imported this aerial attack technique from Colombia.

Due to the number of drones used by organized crime in attacks with explosive devices, Mexico has already become the leading country in the world in the use of these devices for military purposes, in addition to the fact that the size of the bombs has tripled in three years.

According to intelligence reports to which MILENIO had access, Mexican cartels imported this aerial attack technique from Colombia, specifically former guerrillas of the now defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) trained members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

In the South American country, this attack technique began to be used in 2019, a year before the first attack registered in Mexico, in Tepalcatepec, Michoacán.

The first time the Colombian government seized drones and explosives was on September 18, 2019, in Tumaco, Nariño department, an area nestled in the Pacific, disputed by groups of former FARC members seeking control of cocaine trafficking.

It had been known since then that the CJNG had connections to members of the Colombian guerrillas.

The late former governor of Jalisco, Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval, denounced in May 2018 that the four-letter cartel hired the services of Colombian mercenaries to train its hitmen in ambush techniques, counter-ambushes, manufacturing explosive devices and installing landmines.

Since 2020, when MILENIO first documented the use of "narco drones," the Jalisco New Generation Cartel has made the explosives launched larger, more deadly, and some have even filled them with some kind of animal poison or pesticide to create a kind of chemical bomb.

The first explosive devices recovered in Tepalcatepec three years ago were galvanized tubes approximately 10 centimeters long, filled with pellets, gunpowder and pieces of metal that served as shrapnel.

One of those bombs caused serious structural damage to a Mexican armored vehicle known as a SandCat during an attack in February 2022 in that municipality in the Tierra Caliente region.

Now, in an attack launched by the same criminal group a few weeks ago in Aquila, Michoacan, vigilante groups found a bomb they had never seen before. It is a tube approximately 35 centimeters long, filled with gunpowder and pellets, which can weigh up to 5 kilograms and whose blast wave, they claim, is 10 meters around.

"They put it in with gunpowder, fill it with pellets and that's it, they end up throwing it as if it were a drill. It has a type of spoiler that they stick it with resistol, like little wings," a member of the self-defense groups told MILENIO. This is the most powerful explosive device known to date.

These explosives, being so heavy, are dropped from drones with six propellers, used in agriculture for fumigation. This is something new because the cartel only used small drones.

The vigilantes also secured in Aquila another device that did not detonate, a more compact but potentially lethal one, made up of several tubes assembled together to form a kind of homemade mortar, which explodes when it falls on its tip, because inside it has a shotgun blast that is activated with a detonator.

"When it touches the ground, it makes a big hole, when it touches a stone or something, the whole thing falls apart," said a self-defense worker who requested anonymity for security reasons.

They also reported finding explosives loaded with poison used as a pesticide in corn crops.

"This is what they have been throwing at us for some time now, this explosive that they have been throwing at us in a drone, it has gunpowder and a poison called Furadan that they use so that when the smoke arrives the people are intoxicated, they have already poisoned one of our buddies".

The self-defense groups said that the person who was intoxicated with this supposed chemical has damage to his lungs and joints.

"We took him to the local doctors, he has been treated as much as possible, and his lungs were affected, they were totally damaged; sometimes he struggles to move, sometimes his feet and hands hurt, he cannot walk", he added.

The man said that so far this year they have suffered at least 30 attacks with these devices.

But this is not the only chemical attack reported in Michoacán. At the beginning of 2023, in the municipality of Coahuayana, in the coastal area, community police found 12 metal explosives placed in clusters, which had glass containers with a white powder inside attached to them.

The criminals intended to ambush the community police, which in the end did not happen because the bombs did not explode.

According to those affected, elements of the Ministry of National Defense removed the homemade bombs. However, through a request for transparency, the Ministry of National Defense was questioned about the alleged existence of chemical bombs, which was denied by the Sedena.

Milenio  defensa  britannica


  1. The Cartels are using military drones or consumer type drones available at electronic stores ?
    Hamas has demonstrated jow dangerous a drone attack can be .

    1. 8:47 - The cartels are using consumer type drones. Drones that any kid can buy on Amazon or Walmart for like 60 dollars. The cartels will then rig the drone so that it can drop grenades on a target. If you have been following the Ukraine War, you probably have seen multiple videos of the Ukrainian army using these consumer type drones to drop grenades on Russian soldiers or Russian tanks.

    2. 8:47 - The cartels use consumer type drones.

    3. @10:22! Ucrania has FPV drones laden with military explosives and weapons. The most common drone in operation costs slightly over a $1000 USA money, and it cannot be found at Walmart.

  2. Word on the streets is Jalisco is just dropping samples of their new synthetic "jale" so these other gangs can see they have a game changing product and join them. That they want to show them how to use it without getting stuck in bardo but they can't catch them in the sierra.

  3. Just wanting to enlighten the crew. No need to get angry.

  4. Seriously? The “now defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia”? Presidents Santos, Duque and now Petro does know the FARC has not been dismantled; and only relabeled. The FARC is still pushing Maoist dogma to justify kidnapping, extortion, and coca protection and taxation.

  5. False the first reported drone used for combat in Mexico's cartel war was used by Tepaltepec do you all not remember the CJNG attempted attack where they got ambushed so August of 2018. Tepaltepec used spotter drones. After the war spread to Aguillila Tepaltepec started using armed drones. Their are audios of El M2 speaking to UDIC about the drones early 2019. The first drone dropped bombs were white arrow shaped bombs. Tepekes were the first cartel to use drones for war.

  6. First attack by CJNG was September of 2019 tepekes used drones for spotting 2020 was the first time tepeke used drones with bombs to attack CJNG in Aguillila in El Aguaje. Jalisco didn't have drones before El Abuelo used drones to attack El Aguaje they got them after. El M2 speaks on the subject.


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