Mexican Soldiers Find Factory Producing Drone Bombs, Grenade Launchers

 January 19, 2024

In the heart of Mexico, a disturbing revelation has come to light.

Mexican authorities have uncovered a clandestine weapons manufacturing hub, alarming evidence of the escalating cartel warfare in the country.

The illicit factory, nestled in the rugged terrains of La Huacana, Michoacan, was unearthed during a coordinated operation. It was not a simple setup but a sophisticated plant equipped with state-of-the-art metalworking and machinery. The Associated Press reported the presence of a computer-controlled lathe and milling machine, suggesting the cartel's alarming technical prowess.

Advanced Weaponry in Cartel Hands

Authorities revealed that the factory was used for producing bombs typically deployed via drones and under-barrel 40mm grenade launchers that can be attached to assault rifles. The sophistication of these weapons is a worrying development in the ongoing conflict between cartels and law enforcement in Mexico.

The Jalisco cartel and local gangs, known for their brutality, have been waging a violent turf war in Michoacan for years. This ongoing conflict has led to a significant increase in violence and insecurity in the region.

Violence in Michoacan has not only involved the use of advanced weaponry but also homemade armored vehicles and fake military uniforms. Criminal groups frequently establish checkpoints on highways, posing a significant threat to civilians and law enforcement alike.

Travel Warnings and Rising Insecurity

The U.S. State Department has issued stern warnings against travel to Michoacan due to the high levels of crime and kidnapping. In a travel advisory last year, it highlighted the widespread nature of crime and violence in the state, including incidents involving U.S. citizens.

"Crime and violence are widespread in Michoacan state," the advisory stated, underlining the risks faced by travelers and residents in the area. This reflects the growing concern about the safety and security situation in the region.

Cartel violence has extended beyond Michoacan, affecting neighboring states as well. Just last week, a drone attack, believed to be orchestrated by a cartel, in the southern state of Guerrero resulted in five deaths. Guerrero, bordering Michoacan, has also seen escalating cartel violence.

Cartel Violence Spills Over to Neighboring States

The Guerrero state prosecutor's office confirmed that charred bone remains were found in a burned vehicle, victims of the drone attack. This incident underscores the reach and lethal capacity of these criminal organizations.

The Minerva Bello Center, a religious and human rights organization, indicated that the attack involved both drones operated by cartel members and gunmen. This highlights the multifaceted nature of cartel operations in Mexico.

The recent attack in Guerrero has been attributed to a confrontation between two criminal groups, La Familia Michoacana and Los Tlacos. These groups are engaged in a fierce battle for control of the area, often resulting in tragic outcomes.

Responding to the Threat of Cartel Violence

The discovery of the weapons factory and the recent drone attack underscores the challenges faced by Mexican authorities in combating cartel violence. The sophistication and reach of these criminal organizations pose a significant threat to national security and public safety.

This ongoing conflict has compelled Mexican law enforcement to intensify their efforts against the cartels. The discovery of the factory in La Huacana is a testament to the relentless pursuit of these criminal entities by the police and military.

The fight against cartel violence requires not only military and police intervention but also a coordinated approach involving intelligence, community engagement, and international cooperation. It is a multifaceted battle that demands a comprehensive strategy.

The Impact on Local Communities

For the residents of Michoacan and surrounding areas, the presence of cartels and the ensuing violence have become a distressing part of daily life. Extortion, violence, and fear are constant threats that undermine the stability and well-being of communities.

The imposition of quotas on agricultural producers by criminals, as reported in the agricultural municipality of Apatzingan-Nueva Italia, Michoacan, is a stark example of how cartel activities affect the economy and livelihoods of ordinary citizens.

As the cartels continue to wield power and influence, the impact on the local economy and the daily lives of residents remains profound and deeply troubling. The need for effective and sustained action against these criminal groups has never been more urgent.


  • Mexican authorities discovered a sophisticated weapons factory in La Huacana, Michoacan.
  • The factory produced drone bombs and grenade launchers, signaling a high level of cartel technical expertise.
  • The Jalisco cartel and local gangs have been involved in a violent conflict in Michoacan.
  • The U.S. State Department warns against travel to Michoacan due to high crime and kidnapping risks.
  • Cartel violence extends to neighboring states, with a recent drone attack in Guerrero killing five people.
  • Efforts to combat cartel violence must involve a multifaceted approach, including military, police, and community engagement.

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