International drug cartels are using drone bombings in increasingly bold assassination attempts, both for their psychological impact and to bypass normal security. Two recent incidents highlight the trend: one attack on a house, another on a prison.
The Mexican Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) is estimated to control a third of the illegal drugs entering the U.S., and has had drone bombs in its arsenal since 2017. Initially these were consumer quadcopters with explosives taped to them — effectively home-made guided missiles. These weapons were mainly used against other gangs, although in April, a CJNG drone attack injured two police officers.
The latest incident took place in the municipality of Loma Blanca in the city of Tepelcatepec in Michoacán on Sept. 23: video shot from a drone shows it releasing a bomb which strikes a house below. The drone was later recovered and was found to have the initials CJNG RR on it. The RR apparently refers to Ricardo Ruiz, known as ‘El RR,’ leader of the CJNG’s Grupo Elite in Michoacán. It is not known who the house belonged to or whether there were casualties.