Small Wars Journal

Mexico’s Drug Lords Ramp Up Their Arsenals with RPGs

Mexico’s Drug Lords Ramp Up Their Arsenals with RPGs by Ioan Grillo, Time Magazine.

… The rockets, found on Saturday, are part of an increasingly destructive array of weaponry wielded by Mexican drug cartels, like the feared Zetas, in reaction to attacks on them by police and soldiers. While security forces have taken down several key cartel bosses this year, gunmen have struck back, setting off five car bombs, hundreds of fragmentation grenades and several shoulder-fired rockets. Soldiers even seized one homemade three-ton tank with a revolving gun turret. When Mexican marines on Oct. 7 claimed to have killed Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano, he was also alleged to be found with an RPG-7. (Lazcano’s corpse was stolen from the morgue, and the Zetas are now believed to be led by his No. 2, Miguel Treviño.)…

Categories: El Centro



Sat, 10/27/2012 - 6:35pm

In reply to by CmdteMateo

Cmdte,you are spot on... Just because they have the hardware, doesn't mean that the tactics follow... I do have to admit that with the amount of money these guys make and the hardware they have I am a bit suprised they have not contracted mercenaries to train their forces... Although maybe they have... But I haven't seen much of an indication of increased tactical ability, though I will be the first to admit I havent seen every report. Were I in their shoes thats where I would be putting the money. I guess we should be thankful they have not at least on a large scale.


Sat, 10/27/2012 - 10:43am

Grillo seems to be coming a little late to the game on this issue. Mexican authorities have been recovering RPG-7 rockers and launchers in Mexico since at least 2008. I find it more interesting that these weapons--like the traffickers' stocks of Barrett .50 cal rifles and "car bombs"--have not translated into more sophisticated tactical capabilities.


Sat, 10/27/2012 - 7:31am

Well they didn't get those RPG's from a "Mom and Pop" gun store in Texas, LOL!

Yes some guns have come from the US... But drug dealers are business men of a sorts, and they are going where they get a deal. Why pay high prices for semiautos from the US, when you can get fullautos and RPGs, grenades etc, from farther south... Like the same places they get their hard drugs? Whats an AK-47 or RPG going for in Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama etc? I don't honestly know, but it is a damned sight less than an AR-15 from the US... And you can get all of Colts, FN's, Browning's etc goodies in fullauto, as well as RPG, RCR, grenades etc at cheap prices in those and other countries down south. These drug gangs are thugs, thugs with some business sense, they are going to go for the deal, like any businessmen would. They will get arms from wherever they can, but they are getting a majority from the same places they get their coke... Regardless of what the ATF, NBC or adminstation or the President of Mexico, would like us to believe...