Mexico sends Army and Air Force jets to take on cartel after narco tank attack

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    More than 1,000 Mexican Army personnel and two aircraft from the Mexican Air Force have been deployed against a drug cartel.

    The Mexican Secretariat of National Defence (SEDENA) has sent the forces to Teocaltiche, a municipality in the state of Jalisco, after an attack from armed criminals using custom-made 'narco tanks'.

    On Sunday (November 19) criminals in two armoured trucks opened fire on military personnel. The incident was caught on dashcam footage and shared online. Three Mexican Army officers were killed and three more injured.

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    A total of 1,086 troops, supported from the air, have been sent in to regain control and find those responsible. SEDENA said: "The main mission of these military forces is to collaborate with local authorities to investigate and locate those responsible for the violent events that occurred on November 19 of this year, as well as to preserve and guarantee freedom, order and public peace, performing tasks of dissuasion, prevention, patrols, reconnaissance and establishing military security posts that generate an atmosphere of tranquillity in the population."

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    Narco tanks are a common feature of drug cartel warfare. Criminals make them by converting large trucks that are often stolen in the US or Mexico. Chevrolet Silverados and Ford F-150s are used most often.

    The attack on Sunday comes following months of incidents between cartel hitmen and security forces in Teocaltiche. In September, two police officers were shot and killed in an attack.

    It is not yet clear which cartel was responsible for the incident last weekend. The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) – considered to be the country's most dangerous drug trafficking organisation – is the "dominant" force in the region, according to InSight Crime. The gang is led by Mexico's most wanted man, Nemesio 'El Mencho' Oseguera Cervantes.

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    • Cartels
    • Gangs
    • Crime
    • Shooting
    • Drugs
    • Military

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