In a shocking and brazen act of defiance, members of the Mexican drug cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel, were captured on video allegedly shooting at a drone that was surveying their activity along the US border. The video, which has been widely circulating on social media, appears to show a US Customs and Border Patrol unit or a private security company observing as one or two cartel members fired at the drone, which was located about 300 yards inside Mexico’s territory.
The identity of the American observers and the shooters is a subject of debate, and the video has also been featured in a report by hard-right channel Newsmax, which alleged that the shooters were engaging in routine illegal activity along and across the border, and described it as “a war with the US government (that) the Biden administration refuses to do anything about.” However, some commentators on the Reddit r/dji subreddit have advised viewers to consider certain details that Newsmax ignored in making its political claims.
The drone operator, in the video, remains remarkably calm and almost amused as he watches the video feed of the hooded individuals communicating and preparing to fire. He can be heard saying, “He’s got a rifle with him,” the operator says. “He’s going to shoot at me right now.” as he confirms the first individual spotted is shooting at the drone. After that, another suspected cartel member is seen with a gun and shooting at the drone as well. “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.
This is not the first time that Mexican drug cartels have been known to use drones to transport narcotics into the US, and stage explosive attacks on rival groups and even police. However, this video is the first evidence of members shooting at official government UAVs. The footage shows the brazen defiance of the shooters in seeking to take out a drone that, for all they knew, was an official US vehicle.