The use of drones by the Mexican drug cartels has been well documented in the Mexican media, social media, and by organizations such as C/O Futures, among others.

Examples of works that document the use of drones by cartels provided by C/O Futures include the following:

Over Ninety CJNG (Suspected) Drone Bomblets Seized by Guardia Nacional (GN) in Buenavista Tomatlán, Michoacán

Use of Weaponized Consumer Drones in Mexican Crime War

1st Reported Use of Weaponized Drones by Sinaloa

Report: Cartel Has Specialized Drone Operators

Report: Cartel Using Counter-Drone Capabilities

As the use of tools such as drones continues to increase among criminal organizations, such as cartels, the President of Mexico recently submitted a preliminary decree to the Mexican Senate proposing increased penalties for individuals engaging in unlawful activities or causing harm to others.

The proposed decree introduces a sentencing range of five to ten years imprisonment for individuals who modify a drone to carry and deliver an explosive device. Additionally, it suggests a penalty of three to ten years behind bars for those who employ drones to monitor law enforcement officers or soldiers, aiming to evade or assault them.

A significant aspect of the proposal entails the possibility of a maximum imprisonment term of twenty years for individuals who employ drones to distribute explosive materials or harmful chemicals against individuals or structures or deliberately crash drones into such targets. If the intended victim is a member of the military or a police officer, the potential sentence increases to thirty years. These amendments align with the envisioned revisions to Mexico’s laws on firearms and explosives.

The draft decree is attached below.

Post Image- The large Mexican flag in the Zocalo, Mexico City (Image Credit: envatoelements by wirestock)