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Latino Daily News

Wednesday August 25, 2010

Mexico Buys Drones to Aid in Drug War

Mexico steps up it’s fight against the drug cartels with the purchase of Israeli-made unmanned drones. The Defense Ministry has declined to say how they would use the drones and only made the information available when forced to comply with Mexico’s freedom of Information requirements.

Records show that Mexico’s defense ministry bought an unspecified number of Hermes 450 drones last year from Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd for $23.25 million.

Javier Oliva, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said the military was likely using the remote-controlled drones, which can fly for 20 hours and are equipped with cameras, to locate marijuana and opium in the northwestern states of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua.

‘These are areas that are very difficult for troops to reach,’ Mr Oliva said, adding that the military had started to use the planes over the past five or six months.