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narco drones Incoming: another drug shipment from México.eje central

Gangs have used drones since 2012

Unmanned aerial vehicles offer many benefits for drug smugglers

Drugs on drones? It’s been ongoing since 2012, according to a report last July in El Universal.

When Mexico News Daily published a report this week about a new manufacturer of all-Mexican drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, a reader made the comment, “Wait till the smugglers get a couple of these.”

As far as the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is concerned, the smugglers already have more than just a couple. The agency had recorded, as of July, 150 narco drones crossing the Mexican border, transporting a total of two tons of cocaine and other drugs.

Authorities have identified Querétaro, Guadalajara, Nuevo León and México City as drone production centers, where drug cartels will pay good money to have the aircraft built.

They’ve been described as the perfect mules: no personal contact is necessary on the U.S. side, they don’t need to land and there’s less risk for personnel.

Another popular transport method is the ultralight aircraft, which can carry a bigger payload of some 60 kilograms.

Crime research organization InSight Crime says using drones is just one more new innovation on the list of technologies and transport methods developed by cartels.

Ventilated, underground railway tunnels and semi-submersible marine craft are two others.

But for drug cartels, the drone is a doubled-edged sword. A U.S. surveillance drone was used in the capture of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquín Guzmán earlier this year.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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