PHOTOS: Cartel Manufacturing IEDs, Armored Vehicles in Mexico

The drug cartels fighting for control of western Mexico are manufacturing their own explosive devices and armored vehicles for use in their constant clashes. This trend is tied to the growing use of drones to drop explosives, as well as the use of makeshift mortars.

Over the weekend, Mexican authorities raided a ranch in Zicuiran, Michoacan, a rural coastal area controlled by Miguel Angel “El MIgueladas” Gallegos and his gunmen. Known as the Cartel de Zicuiran or Cartel de la Huacana, the criminal group was part of Cartel Jalisco New Generation at one time. They have since broken away and are currently allied with another group called Los Viagras, who, along with other smaller organizations, make up Carteles Unidos or Pueblos Unidos.

Inside that ranch, authorities seized 117 explosive devices, more than 220 pounds of explosives, and a large number of shrapnel pieces. According to information released by the military, the explosives and the parts of devices in the process of being manufactured included makeshift grenades, mortars, and explosives used on drones.

Cartels in Michoacán and other parts of the country have been using explosive devices in their ongoing turf wars.

Just days later, at another ranch also tied to Migueladas, authorities raided a makeshift mechanic shop that gunmen were using to manufacture armored vehicles. Inside, cartel members would add steel plates to various trucks and pickups used in their shootouts.

The raids at the ranches in the region of Zicuiran and La Huacana come after El Migueladas’ gunmen carried out a series of ambushes on military forces.

Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and other areas to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by Jose Luis Lara, a former leading member who helped start the Self-Defense Movement in Michoacán.

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