Alleged cartel members fire at US drone along Mexico’s border [Video]

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Members of Mexican drug cartels are quite obviously disinclined to fret over breaking laws here and there as they go about their illicit business, but they purportedly engaged in a new sort of illegal activity in not just shooting at a peeking drone, but one flown as it surveyed activity along the US border to boot.

video circulating on social media shows what appears to be either a US Customs and Border patrol unit or private security company looking on as one, perhaps two members of an alleged drug cartel fire rifles at a drone monitoring their position about 300 yards inside Mexico’s territory. Just who those American observers were is as much a matter of debate as the identity of the shooters.

Those differences of opinion notwithstanding, the drone’s operator remains remarkably calm, almost amused as he peers into a DJI RC Plus screen while watching the video feed of a group of hooded individuals communicate from different positions before pulling out rifles and preparing to fire. 

“He’s got a rifle with him,” the operator says. “He’s going to shoot at me right now.”

After the pilot and other members of the group with him verify that the drone had come under fire from the first individual spotted, a second suspected drug cartel member is seen with a gun.

“Oh, there we go – that guy’s shooting at me,” he says as he zooms the video in on the second person aiming to fire. “Here we go…”

The footage has also been broadcast by hard-right channel Newsmax as part of a report alleging the shooters – who it unconditionally identified by members of the Sinaloa Cartel – were engaging  in what it called routine criminal illegal activity carried along and across the border, and described as “a war with the US government (that) the Biden administration refuses to do anything about.”

The report also identified the locality as being in Arizona, and stated the officials and drone under fire were from official US border protection services.

While there’s no doubt that Mexican drug cartels have used drones to transport narcotics into the US, and stage explosive attacks on rival groups and even police in the past, the video would be the first evidence of members shooting at official government UAVs. 

Yet despite the dramatic footage the video contains, commentators of the Reddit r/dji subreddit advised viewers to consider certain details that Newsmax ignored in making its politicized claims.

“FYI this appears to be border militia,” wrote Pretzeloid. “US Federal agents are not allowed to use DJI products last I checked.”

“Probably not Sinaloa Cartel,” echoed ApprehensiveSteak611, presumably referring the decidedly unwelcome treatment those rival members would be in for when present on the turf of gangs in Sonora that borders Arizona. “Definitely not US government. 100% fake news.”

Whatever the various identities of people filmed were, the video nevertheless does capture the brazen defiance of the shooters in seeking to take out a drone that – for all they knew – was an official US vehicle. And that can’t be good.

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