Surge In Cartel Violence Precedes Mexican Elections

Cartel gunmen in Mexico this week used land mines and weaponized drones to launch deadly attacks against Mexican Army soldiers. At least four soldiers were killed, and several more suffered serious injuries. The fighting occurred in the rural Michoacán region, an area dominated by the drug cartels.

The soldiers fell victim to an ambush near the town of Tepalcatepec, an area fraught with tension between the Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) and the Carteles Unidos. The latter is a coalition of smaller factions, including self-defense groups and established cartels like Los Viagras and La Familia. As the military convoy traversed a dirt road, the gunmen detonated land mines before assaulting them with drone-dropped explosives and gunfire from hidden positions.

This incident underscores the increasingly militarized nature of cartel operations, which have grown more sophisticated and brutal. The offensive deployment of mines and attack drones comes as part of the cartel’s recent additions to its arsenal.  

There have been hints at additional casualties, though these remain unconfirmed. This attack follows a disturbing pattern of violence involving similar tactics. Just weeks prior, Breitbart Texas released footage of a similar ambush in the neighboring state of Jalisco, where two soldiers lost their lives.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, addressing the nation, described the recent explosion as a “trap” set by a drug cartel, likely in cartel-dominated territory. The acknowledgment came against a backdrop of increased armed violence that has seen a surge in brutal killings of police and military personnel. The president expressed deep regret over the incident, which adds to the growing list of violent acts shaking the nation.

The timing of these attacks is particularly concerning as Mexico approaches its June 2 elections, already predicted to be one of the most violent in history. Last week, two local candidates were assassinated within hours of each other, adding to the climate of fear and uncertainty surrounding the electoral process.

The escalation of cartel violence and its infiltration into political spheres present a grave challenge to Mexican authorities and the overall stability of the nation. The use of advanced weaponry like land mines and drones not only signifies a shift in cartel strategies but also underscores the dire need for enhanced security measures and international cooperation to combat these criminal organizations.


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