File photo of an armed local man patrolling his town in Mexico File photo of an armed local man patrolling his town in Mexico 

Mexican drug cartel turns to terrorist tactics in turf battle

One of Mexico's most notorious drug cartels is engaged in a deadly turf war, and has turned to packing drones with explosives to eliminate those who oppose it.

By James Blears - Mexico City, Mexico

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel is using drones strapped with C4 explosives to attack rivals in the western Mexican state of Michocan.

The principal targets are illicit armed vigilante groups which formed to fend off a campaign of terror by the drug cartel.

The cartel formed in 2011 and now operates in 24 of Mexico's 32 States, trafficking drugs to the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Terrorist trappings

According to the Federal Attorney General's Office, the cartel now faces terrorism as well as organized crime charges.

Back in May more of their C4 drones were discovered in Puebla, less than an hour's drive from Mexico City.

C4 is a plastic explosive extensively used by the US Armed Forces, and has a history dating back to the Vietnam War.  It's used for terrorism purposes by Al-Qaeda.

Deadly drug war

The Jalsico New Generation Cartel, which now has access to it and recently posted a film of itself posing as a small army with armed cars, is known for extreme violence.

In 2015 it shot down an army helicopter with a surface to air missile.

It's leader, nicknamed El Mencho, was jailed on heroin charges in the United States in the early 1990's, then returned to Mexico and became a police officer, before devoting himself to cartel life.

More than a quarter of a million people have died during Mexico's drug war, which is still ongoing.

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31 August 2020, 16:05