US Weapons Found in Mexican Cartels’ Hands

( – Mexico’s drug cartels are reportedly aiming to send a message to Mexico’s incoming President Claudia Sheinbaum with their sizable arsenal, which includes US-made anti-tank missile launchers. The infrared-guided FGM 148 Javelins are meant to destroy tanks, but can also be utilized to take out drones and helicopters.

Security consultant David Saucedo told reporters that the alarming news raised the question of who truly holds power and influence in the country. He suggested that the cartels aim to remind the current or incoming government of the kinds of weapons they have access to, and that they are willing to make use of them “if necessary”.

The revelation comes shortly after Mexico elected its first female president on June 2. As outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s successor, Sheinbaum vowed to continue the legacy of the populist leftist. She stated she will not let the country down. Sheinbaum received 58.3% to 60.7% of votes, according to the president of the National Electoral Institute.

Sheinbaum is also Mexico’s first Jewish president. Ilan Stavans, a professor at Amherst University of Mexican and Jewish descent and expert on Jewish diaspora in Hispanic countries, called the election result a “benchmark” for Latin America’s Jews.

Sheinbaum, 61, claims she identifies ancestrally as Jewish but that she was not raised as a practicing Jew. Historian Tessy Schlosser, who works in Mexico City, argued that expectations of the incoming president’s regime relate more to her political leanings than her Jewish ancestry.

Commentators have noted the considerable political clout the cartels have in Mexico. Leading up to the June election, gangs shot at campaign rallies, set fire to ballots and raised banners to try to influence the elections. In March 2023, Obrador dismissed claims made by the US that cartels control areas of the country.

President Joe Biden’s administration denied the cartels’ claims to have US-made missiles in their possession. According to reports, however, there are gaps in the Pentagon’s tracking of the Javelins; a Mexican security official told reporters that numerous Javelins had been confiscated from cartels.

Former President Donald Trump has promised to use the US military to clamp down on drug cartels, but a cartel source warned reporters that cartels would not hesitate to use the weapons against US armed forces if they crossed the border. The source added that the cartels did not submit to the Mexican military, let alone a foreign army.

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