HomeNewsBriefMexican Gangs Target Govt Helicopters
BRIEF

Mexican Gangs Target Govt Helicopters

MEXICO / 17 JAN 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

Statistics released by the Mexican government showed that criminal groups' attacks on army and federal police helicopters have increased since the launch of the government's drug war five years ago, with 28 reported since 2008.

No helicopters come under fire in the first two years of the drug war, according to the figures, with the first reports coming in 2008 when four choppers were attacked in separate incidents. This number increased to six in 2009 and 14 in 2010, before dropping to three in 2011.

The Associated Press notes that the 2011 figures are likely an underestimate. The Federal Police refuse to release data on attacks against their helicopters, though they admitted to one incident in May of that year.

In the reported attacks, helicopters were generally damaged by bullets from automatic rifles, causing generally minor damage to rotors, windshields and fuselages. The most severe attack came on a federal police's chopper in May 2011 when the bullets hit two officers and the craft was forced to land.

The attacks have not caused any fatalities on the government's side, and only a small number of injuries.

InSight Crime Analysis

The fact that most aircraft suffered only minor damage suggests that the drug gangs have so far been unable to obtain military grade weaponry, despite reports in May 2011 that Mexico's cartels -- in that particular case the Sinaloa Cartel -- were trying to obtain weapons including surface-to-air missiles.

Attempts by drug gangs to strike against their aerial foes, which also now include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, provided by the US, have not been highly successful, and do not indicate a qualitative change in the conflict.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

JUDICIAL REFORM / 13 DEC 2012

As Mexico's Interior Minister, Miguel Osorio Chong is expected to help lead the government's efforts against organized crime,…

INFOGRAPHICS / 3 JUN 2011

In the fickle and fluid place that is the Mexican underworld, the alleged union between the Zetas and La…

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 OCT 2018

The dismantling, in Mexico, of an international network that sold and shipped low-quality food to Venezuela can be added to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…