By “El Huaso” for Borderland Beat
The Mexican military deactivated 2,241 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) across half of the states in Mexico during the last two years, revealed the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena).The report offers important context on the trend of criminal groups creating and using IEDs.
This Sedena data shows the scale of IED use in Mexico, an issue which has been gaining extensive attention after a number of high profile attacks on authorities in the last months. The data was released to the newspaper Milenio after a transparency request.
Milenio reported that the data shows that IEDs were found in 17 of Mexico’s 32 states.* The state with the majority of these IEDs was Michoacán, with 881 recorded.
|Homemade explosives captured in Zacatecas @MrElDiablo8
Criminal groups across Mexico have been implementing IEDs for several years, using car bombs, explosives dropped from commercial drones, and improvised landmines buried under roads. Explosives have been used to target authorities in particular.
On June 28, 2023, a car bomb exploded near the city of Celaya, Guanajuato killing one and injuring nine Guardia Nacional agents, as reported by Borderland Beat. The attack was planned by the CSRL who intended to kill local police. Days after, in another unrelated trap, four police officers and two civilians were killed by several IEDs while driving in Tlajomulco, Jalisco.
|Car bomb explosion near Celaya, Guanajuato. Graphic created by Hearst.|
The CJNG even has a unit dedicated to the manning of a fleet of commercial drones in the state of Michoacán, called “Operadores Droneros” (Drone Operators).
|CJNG Drone operators patch. Source.|
*The states where IEDs were found are:
San Luis Potosí
It is unclear if the state order is determined based on the number of IEDs found.