Small Wars Journal

Mexican Cartel Tactical Notes

Fri, 05/27/2011 - 6:25pm

Here is a great 2 minute video ("Rival gunmen clash in Nayarit: 28 deaths reported") from a Mexican news station posted on YouTube via Borderland Beat. The video displays an engagement aftermath - that would be dead cartel foot soldiers in body armor/tactical gear.


We don't usually see many such body armor images. Since we are getting armored cars showing up more and more in Northern Mexico along with all the military infantry weapons (frag grenades et al) the need for body armor should come as no surprise.

Also -- apparently a Mexican Federal Police helicopter was engaged by Knight's Templar small arms fire and forced to land yesterday. See "Knights Templar attack Federal Police helicopter in Michoacan".

Dr. Robert J. Bunker



Tue, 01/17/2012 - 7:10am

Two to three years ago we were producing fairly regulr reports on the weapons and tactics the Mexican military was using in the CDJ area. It was pretty interesting and we quickly concluded that the Mexican forces were gaining enough urban warfare experience that they could train US forces heading to Iraq if they wanted. The Mexican Civil War will eventually require heavy armor such as tanks in some areas after 2012. As far as aircraft, I remember talking a group of trapped Americans out of an area by ground during heavy fighting when an air rescue was deemed impossible because the cartels just about shot down the Mexican aif force flying close support.

Utilizing a thumb nail sketch such as this is a good way to push the information out to end users.

Information from more formal sources may not reach as broad an audience as this will.

At least this is my perspective as a former narcotics detective who is back working street gangs.

JC988 (not verified)

Fri, 05/27/2011 - 8:11pm

Dr. Bunker,

Thanks for the posts and the articles with John Sullivan.

As LE-Intel in the Mountain West we've been following things south of the border and its connection to our jurisdiction for a while and every information source available is greatly appreciated.

Dr. Robert J. Bunker (not verified)

Fri, 05/27/2011 - 7:48pm

Re: "I like the updates, keeps me from having to read everything out there."

I coordinated a suicide bomber webbase project for an LE center some years ago and learned a bit-- esp when we made mistakes. I'm a big advocate of filtered information by SMEs-- it focuses the intelligence/information that you are consuming-- when working together as a network. I also think automated websites have utility-- if they vacuum information from specific sources but once again the SMEs should direct that process. Nothing is worse than an automated site that gathers all info via basic keyword/phrase searches. The consumer chokes to death on useless info. Also suggest that theorists and operators working in tandem is a deadly combination-- provides a great synergy/combined expertise approach.

Anymouse (not verified)

Fri, 05/27/2011 - 7:31pm

I'd like to see more of these types of updates, "alerts", especially concerning Mexico and the rest of LatAm. As the other commenter noted, we are on the verge of a failed state ON OUR BORDER and our government seems to have its head in the sand concerning this issue.

slapout9 (not verified)

Fri, 05/27/2011 - 7:26pm

Dr. Bunker I like the updates, keeps me from having to read everything out there.

Yes, it is startling. It is also begs the question why are we involved in some civil war in Libya, and not more involved with this war on our border. A failed state called Mexico, is far more of a threat to the US than a failed state called Libya.

Dr. Robert J. Bunker (not verified)

Fri, 05/27/2011 - 7:03pm

Please consider this a 'trial balloon' alert re
Mexican Cartel Tactical Notes. Would the readers find such updates useful? Do you desire short occasional alerts re tactical innovations/ incidents of note taking place in Mexico, Central America, and the US regarding the cartels? Or are you already finding this information on your own at other websites, getting it via Tweets/social networking & OSINT newsgroups, or really see no utility in being alerted to this information?


Fri, 05/27/2011 - 6:49pm

Well, at least the plane ride will be short when we have to go into Mexico.Though, I do like the stops in Germany.