Police raid on a house in western Mexico uncovers workshop for drone-carried bombs

Members of the National Guard patrol during an operation in one of the conflictive suburbs in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco State, Mexico, on August 29, 2023. Bloody handprints on a wall offer a clue to the barbarity that unfolded in a house where five young Mexican men were tortured and presumably murdered by drug cartel hitmen. The childhood friends aged 19-22 who vanished in the western state of Jalisco have joined the more than 111,000 people missing across the violence-wracked country, leaving their families fearing the worst. (Photo by ULISES RUIZ / AFP) (Photo by ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images)

(ULISES RUIZ / AFP via Getty Images)

Police raid on a house in western Mexico uncovers workshop for drone-carried bombs

Mexico & the Americas

Oct. 4, 2023

A police raid on a house built to look like a castle uncovered a workshop for making drone-carried bombs, authorities in Mexico’s western state of Jalisco said Wednesday.

State police distributed photos of 40 small cylindrical bombs with fins meant to be released from drones. Police also found bomb-making materials, including about 45 pounds of metal shrapnel and 15 pounds of gunpowder.


suspect man

was spotted running into the house but he apparently escaped out the back, and no arrests were made, officials said.

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The raid occurred Wednesday in Teocaltiche, a town in an area where the Jalisco and Sinaloa drug cartels have been fighting bloody turf battles. In August, five youths went missing in the nearby city of Lagos de Moreno, and videos surfaced later suggesting their captors may have forced the victims to kill each other.

In August, the Mexican army said drug cartels have increased their use of drone-carried bombs, which were unknown in Mexico prior to 2020. In the first eight months of this year, 260 such attacks were recorded.

However, even that number may be an underestimate. Residents in some parts of the neighboring state of Michoacan say attacks by bomb-dropping drones are a near daily occurrence.

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Attacks with roadside bombs or improvised explosive devices also rose this year, with 42 soldiers, police and suspects wounded by IEDs, up from 16 in 2022.

The army figures provided appeared to include only those wounded by explosive devices. Officials have acknowledged that at least one National Guard officer and four state police officers have been killed in two separate explosive attacks this year.

Six car bombs have been found so far in 2023, up from one in 2022. However, car bombs were also occasionally used years ago in northern Mexico.

Overall, 556 improvised explosive devices of all types roadside, drone-carried and car bombs were found in Mexico

this year

between January and August


. A total of 2,186 have been found during the current administration, which took office in December 2018.