Game of Drones: Mexico’s Cartels Have a Deadly New Weapon
Weaponized drones – ISIS-style aerial IEDs – are just the latest paramilitary hardware the cartels are adding to the their arsenals.
A squad of Federales pulled over the stolen SUV just after dawn on October 20, along Highway 43D near the town of Salamanca in Mexico’s central Guanajuato state. What began as a high-risk felony stop took an even darker turn when officers ordered the four passengers out and began to search the vehicle.
The aerial drone in the rear cargo bay was armed and ready to be deployed. Sitting in an open plastic case beside an AK47 assault rifle and spare clips. The 3DR Solo Quadcopter carried a shrapnel-filled IED that was in turn rigged to detonate by remote control.
It was the first time a weaponized Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) had been found in the hands of an organized crime group in Mexico.