Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Mexico buys drones, may use for marijuana search

Recommended Posts



Mexico buys drones, may use for marijuana search


REUTERS --MEXICO CITY | Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:08pm EDT


Mexico has purchased Israeli-made unmanned drone aircraft, the government said, which may be used for spotting remote drug fields as officials fight powerful cartels. Mexico's defense ministry said it bought an unspecified number of Hermes 450 drones last year from Israel's Elbit Systems Ltd for $23.25 million, according to a filing seen by Reuters on Tuesday.


The defense ministry declined to say how it would use the drones.


But Javier Oliva, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said the military was likely using the remote-controlled drones, which can fly for 20 hours and are equipped with cameras, to locate marijuana and opium in the northwestern states of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua.


"These are areas that are very difficult for troops to reach," Oliva said, adding that the military had started to use the planes over the past five or six months.


Mexico is the main transit route for South American cocaine into the United States but is also a major marijuana and heroin producer. President Felipe Calderon launched a major military-backed assault on drug cartels upon taking office in late 2006 with millions of dollars of aid from Washington.


More than 28,000 people in Mexico have died in Calderon's drug war but the president said on Tuesday he was sticking to his strategy even though more violence is likely.


The defense ministry made the drones' purchase public under Mexico's freedom of information rules after a request from leading Mexican newspaper La Jornada.







Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  


Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..