By “El Huaso” and “Enojon” for Borderland Beat

The town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, also known as “La Ruana” in Michoacán state has been a hotspot of drone deployed explosive attack activity over the last couple days. At least four explosives have been dropped from drones in La Ruana, while security forces have scrambled to detain those responsible and affirm their control.
This article summarizes these events.
The First Drone Bombing in La Ruana – September 10
On Sunday, September 10, Guadalupe Mora, the brother of recently murdered autodefensa leader Hipolita Mora, was speaking with community members in the town center of La Ruana around noon when a drone-deployed IED exploded nearby. 
Video shows explosion near central plaza of La Ruana. Via David Ordaz Twitter
According to Guadalupe Mora in an interview with newspaper Proceso, Mora was approached by locals at his home who wanted his support against Los Viagras, a criminal group in the region behind widespread extortion and violence. According to El Universal, some of these men were Francisco Valencia Díaz, alias “El Soquete”; Jesús García Chávez, alias “El Chuchín”, and Antonio Naranjo, who are all locals, but have been “expelled” from the municipality for working for the CJNG. El Universal portrays the event as a ruse organized by the CJNG to turn the locals against Los Viagras.
These men also went to the local church to ring the bells, against the parish priest’s wishes, in order to call the town to the central plaza to mobilize against Los Viagras. Ringing the bells of a local church to call the armed town together is a tactic used by autodefensas in Michoacán. This significance of this act goes back hundreds of years in Mexico. In fact, the “Grito”, Mexico’s shout of independence in 1810, which signaled the start of the Mexican Revolution, was accompanied by Padre Hidalgo ringing the bells of the church. In doing so, the CJNG compare their cause against Los Viagras as a revolutionary act.
Mora and his bodyguards spoke to a small gathering of people around noon under Police watch. He clarified that no one was carrying weapons, contradicting reporting by El Universal, who wrote that the men who rang the church bells were carrying rifles.
The IED exploded nearby while he was speaking, but there were were no injuries or deaths.
That evening, three armed men, allegedly members of Los Viagras, were arrested nearby. Infobae identified them as José Luis “N”, alias “El Chango”; Luis Alberto “N”, alias “El Chivo”; and Jesús “N”, alias “El Chamán”, and reported that they work as gunmen for Heladio Cisneros Meneras alias “La Sirena”.
Crime journalist Oscar Balderas wrote that La Sirena was behind the ambush killing of Hipolita Mora in late June 2023.
The Second Drone Bombing in La Ruana – September 12
Last night around 10 p.m., three explosives were dropped from commercial drones around La Ruana, with one exploding in a market, a main avenue, and the central plaza. There were no injuries or deaths.
The Seizure in La Ruana – September 12
Earlier that day, security forces captured an arsenal, including equipment related to drone dropped IEDs.

Photos show six improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and a remote control for a drone, along with dozens of rifle rounds and magazines. The IEDs, which appear to be modeled after WW2-era MK2 grenades, have small metal balls affixed to them, which would act as deadly shrapnel upon explosion. One has fins, which would act to stabilize it when dropped, improving accuracy.

The remote control appears to be a RotorLogic DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom Remote Controller, which sells new for just under $500 USD in the United States. The corresponding drone costed $2,200 USD when it was still in production.
This exact remote and the corresponding drone combination can be purchased used in Mexico through Mercado Libre, an online marketplace, for $17,000 pesos ($985 USD).

The seizure of weapons was reported on the Michoacán state Public Security Secretariat Twitter account this afternoon.
Drone Attack in El Caracol – August 10 
Since May 1st, similar drone attacks have been carried out against the El Caracol community of Heliodoro Castillo, Guerrero by members of La Familia Michoacána in an attempt to enter the region that the criminal organization considers territory of their rival, Los Tlacos, while targeting locals they deem to be supporters of the group. 
During an interview with Imagen Noticias, an unidentified displaced resident of El Caracol stated that claims circulated through social media of an alleged alliance between La Familia Michoacana, Don Misael Figueroa Tapia, founder of the Adrián Castrejón Apaxtlense Movement or ‘MAAC,’ and Juan Carlos Flores Ascencio ‘La Beba,’ leader of the Teloloapan Cartel, who intend to enter the region to combat the presence of Los Tlacos.While details are scarce, news reports indicate one individual was killed and 250 people have been displaced as a result of the bombings.

Context of drone deployed IED’s in Michoacán 

The violence perpetrated by Los Viagras towards the regional Autodefensas continues after the murder of Hipólito Mora Chávez, former founder of the La Ruana community self-defense group, on June 29th by members operating for Rogelio Moreno Reyes ‘El Conejo’ or ‘El Conejillo,’ leader of gunmen for Nicolás Sierra Santana  ‘El Gordo Viagra,’ in Buenavista, Michoacan. Although, the organization has now begun to target Guadalupe Mora Chávez, brother of Hipólito, and Antonio Torres Naranjo, the new face of the Autodefensa movement in La Ruana, who Los Viagras see as enemies for their efforts against the criminal organization. 

Members of the La Ruana stated the illicit interference of Los Viagras in local commercial industries such as agricultural had motivated them to organize against the criminal organization, while they have not taken up arms as of yet, they were prepared to do so, a member stated “Until now are not armed, but there are weapons Hipólito has left me”. The attacks can be perceived as Los Viagra’s attempts to hinder or eliminate a potentially damaging movement similar to the 2013 Autodefensa movement against Los Caballeros Templarios.


National Drone Initiative 
On September 12th, during the morning press conference in the National Palace Journalist Yusbel Carolina Rada Díaz from the news publication Código Libre presented Luisa María Alcalde Luján, the Secretary of the Interior, a question regarding the increased drone attacks as seen recently in La Ruana and other points of Michoacan, asking what is the government’s response to eliminate the use of drones by criminal organizations.
Luján stated an initiative had been formed in coordination with the Secretariat of the Navy, the Secretariat of National Defense, the Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection and unidentified legislators to regulate it’s use to prevent further attacks of this kind, stating she awaits its discussion in congress as they “need to address these new realities.”  
According to the August 22nd Safety Report, security personnel had seized, destroyed and detonated 605 explosives that were intended to be dropped as payloads from drones between December, 2018 and August 21st, 2023.