WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The Jalisco New Generation Cartel or commonly known as Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) in Mexico has been using drones since 2017 as a weaponized device aimed to attack their rival cartels and other enemies.
- According to Robert Bunker, a director of research and analysis at a US-based consulting firm, the CJNG is “well on its way to institutionalizing the use of weaponized drones.”
- Based on various reports, drones are being used to carry explosives such as C4 and hand grenade bombs.
According to reports, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, known as Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) in Spanish, has employed the use of drones as a strategy to attack its enemies.
The Mexican cartel ⏤ which, as officials believed, controls one-third of the drugs shipped to the US ⏤ has weaponized the drones in a crusade to secure a bigger share in the exportation of the illegal drugs, Forbes reported.
“The CJNG has been involved with such devices since late 2017 in various regions in Mexico,” Robert Bunker told Forbes. Bunker is a director of research and analysis at C/O Futures, a California-based consulting firm.
“This cartel is well on its way to institutionalizing the use of weaponized drones. None of the other cartels appear to presently even be experimenting with the weaponization of these devices,” Bunker added.
According to Mexican newspaper El Universal, a militia group composed of Michoacan farmers reported that they discovered two drones attached with C4 explosives and ball bearings earlier this month. The group also claimed they heard explosions which they pointed to the drones.
Earlier this year, three other CJNG drones strapped with explosives were confiscated alongside other weapons aimed against Rose De Lima, another drug cartel, based on reports.
In 2018, a drone was used to assault a senior Mexican officials’ residence located in Baja, California. Authorities said it served as a warning since the official was elsewhere during the time of the attack.
Moreover, in 2017, four cartel members were detained for carrying an improvised hand grenade wrapped in a drone.
Bunker said that as drones become much more available in the market, the next step for the drug cartels is how to use them for destruction.
“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 explosives devices or IEDs.”
According to Forbes, the weaponized devices were the same as the armed “quadcopters” used in the assassination plot against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in 2018. Since 2016, ISIS and other Middle East radical groups have also utilized such armed gadgets.
Source: New York Post