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

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories…

MEXICO / 19 APR 2021

The shuttering of a state prison in Mexico is an unconventional response by officials trying to combat poor living conditions…

MEXICO / 7 DEC 2021

A daring prison break in central Mexico was focused on freeing the leader of a relatively modest oil theft group,…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…