Police stand guard behind a parapet of sandbags, at the entrance to Santa Rosa de Lima, birthplace of a local cartel that goes by the same name, in Guanajuato state, Mexico on Feb. 12, 2020. Rebecca Blackwell / AP file

Troubling emails show how Mexico’s military traded with cartels

According to a number of government papers leaked by a hacking group, the Mexican military supplied tactical tools and hand grenades to drug gangs. 

The Secretary of National Defense’s (Sedena’s) files were breached, and it was discovered that weapons were sold to criminals from Military Camp No. 1 in Mexico City.

A soldier gave tactical gear, guns, and grenades to a drug cartel cell stationed in Tejupilco, State of Mexico, according to a June 10, 2019, intelligence report. The soldier also provided information on the movements and activities of the armed forces.

“On May 31 (2019), the military offered operators of the criminal group 70 fragmentation grenades at a cost of 26 thousand pesos each; the criminal cell confirmed the purchase of eight of them, which were delivered to Atlacomulco, State of Mexico,”

Military report

The authorities confirmed that the soldier’s base of operations is in the town of Villa de Almoloya de Juárez, close to the eighth mechanized regiment of the Sedena, through the metadata analysis of the telephone equipment used by the military.

Additionally, according to the Sedena’s private report, the supplier of weapons and tactical equipment is a different purported Army man who the criminals refer to as “old” and who, based on an examination of his telephone signal, is stationed in Mexico City’s Military Camp No. 1.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of Mexico’s troubles. The corruption of government officials in Jalisco and the State of Mexico with criminal organizations was also covered by the National Intelligence Center in previous reports.

An active agent of the Single Mixed Immediate Reaction Force assigned to the Guadalajara metropolitan area who “acts as a liaison between leaders of the Jalisco Cartel and authorities of the three spheres of government (federal, state, and municipal)” is one of the cases detailed in a January 2019 report.

“He has the responsibility of co-opting additional public officials to extend the cartel’s network of corruption,” the report continues.

A second report from January 2019 notes that a criminal cell operating in the State of Mexico participates in local public works projects as well

These recent email leaks indicate a troubling problem in Mexico and could land officials in hot-water given the devastating impact of the cartel on the lives of Mexican residents. The leaked emails and subsequent reports reveal an extensive network of cooperation between the cartels and Mexican officials; adding on to the pile of corruption cases.

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