By “El Huaso” for Borderland Beat
Accused of attempting to sell military equipment including signal jammers, four Mexican soldiers were arrested in parking lot in Querétaro City by Queretaro State Police yesterday on January 29, 2022.
According to Circulo Noticias, they were arrested by State Police in the parking lot of the Mega Comercial del Estadio shopping center in Ciudad de Querétaro, Querétaro after attempting to meet with a buyer they found on social media.
Local news mentions the arrested men as being affiliated with the National Guard and Army and being deployed to the neighboring state of Guanajuato.
In their vehicle were signal jammers, over 50 9mm caliber bullets, several doses of prescription medication, and methamphetamine. Also found was a National Guard uniform.
Signal jammers are electronic devices which emit radio signals on the same frequencies as mobile phones, thus “jamming” the frequency and disabling a phone from making or receiving calls. Due to their ability to disable a victims ability to call for help, they are sometimes used by criminals in Mexico during attacks and robberies.
Several were notably by attackers during the 2021 assassination attempt on Mexico City police chief Omar Garcia Harfuch.
|Signal jammers found after 2020 attack on Harfuch. Photo: @c4jimenez|
Because of their use by criminal groups in Mexico, they have been banned for production and sale since 2019.
The National Guard were created as a replacement to the now defunct Federal Police, whom Mexican President López Obrador argued were hopelessly corrupt. The National Guard and the Military have been deployed in mass to the streets of Mexico under the orders of President López Obrador, who has used them as his primary tool in the public security fight.
Sources: Circulo Noticias, Informe de Seguridad 2022, Milenio, @c4jimenez, Queretaro Quadratin