Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Leaked reports show how soldiers passed military-grade weapons to cartels

Members of the The Mexican army sold weapons to a México state-based drug cartel, according to a report leaked by Guacamaya, a hacking group that infiltrated the IT system of the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena).

In a 2019 intelligence report obtained by the non-governmental organization Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI), Sedena said it was aware that a soldier offered weapons and tactical gear to a crime group in May of that year. The soldier also provided information about military movements and operations to the Tejupilco-based cartel, the report said.

The soldier offered 70 fragmentation grenades to “operators of the crime group” at a cost of 26,000 pesos (US $1,300 at today’s exchange rate) each on May 31, 2019, the report said. The unnamed cartel bought at least eight grenades, which were delivered in Atlacomulco, México state, it added.

Via an analysis of the metadata of the soldier’s cell phone, authorities determined that he was based in Almoloya de Juárez, a México state municipality that is part of the metropolitan area of state capital Toluca. The supplier of the weapons and tactical gear to that soldier was another presumed soldier who was believed to be based at an army facility in Mexico City, according to the Sedena report.

The cartel members referred to the supplier as “antiguo” (oldie), but neither he nor the vendor were formally identified in the Sedena report.

MCCI said that Sedena intercepted calls in which a criminal leader sought to buy from the army 2,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 5,000 rounds of AR-15 ammunition and 50 magazines for each of those firearms. It was unclear whether that request was fulfilled.

The anti-graft group also said that the Almoloya de Juárez-based soldier, apparently a bodyguard for a colonel, offered to tip criminals off as to the whereabouts of a regional prosecutor in Amecameca – a México state municipality 60 kilometers southeast of central Mexico City – as they allegedly planned to murder him.

Guacamaya, a Latin American hacktivist group, recently stole 6 terabytes of data from Sedena servers. Among the information that has been leaked are details about President López Obrador’s poor health and plans for an army-operated commercial airline.

Mexico News Daily 

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