Mexico's defense secretary said on Wednesday, April 21, that a Mexican drug cartel started using drones loaded with explosives to attack security forces, as a report by The Times said. Two officers were lightly injured, but no fatalities have yet been mentioned.
Officials believe the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) is behind the drone attack that took place in the state of Michoacán on Tuesday, April 20, as well as in the states of Jalisco and Guanajuato.
Local news reports stated two drones were laden with hand grenades, per The Times, but shared images online instead show packets of explosives taped to them. At this stage, however, not much information about the drones has been disclosed to the public.
The BBC noted that back in August last year, two rigged drones were discovered in the boot of a car belonging to CJNG members, and that the two drones found this week might have been similarly outfitted. The August drones had packs of explosives taped to them, and could have done some serious harm had they been deployed.
It appears that the cartel could be starting to use tech like drones to help it in its fight against the police and military forces.
Drones in warfare
Drones are becoming a serious piece of warfighting equipment for a number of military forces worldwide. Many are using them as reconnaissance or support systems to bigger, manned aircraft or ground forces, while others like China are developing them to act as "suicide drones," where they deploy from helicopters and trucks to attack enemy targets.
It's easy to see why drones are being widely used around the world, not only because their capabilities keep increasing, but also because some are easily affordable, quick to make, they're easy to remotely control, and they come in many shapes and sizes, offering many options for their owners.
It has to be said, though, the bloody cartel wars in Mexico most likely did not need another way to add more victims to their already-high number of fatalities.