Hacking of Mexican Defense Ministry reveals military sold weapons and information to drug cartels

Mexican military sold weapons, ammunition and key information to drug cartels. This has been revealed by a group calling itself Guacamaya after hacking the country's Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena).

Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, which has published some of the hacked information, points to at least two soldiers, who have not yet been identified, as alleged contacts with the traffickers. According to the documents, the cartels referred to one of them as "Antiguo". Ongoing investigations have pinpointed his location at Military Camp 1 in Mexico City, thanks to the analysis of his telephone signal.

Grenades at 26,000 pesos per unit

According to a June 10, 2019 intelligence report, the Sedena already knew then that a military officer was offering tactical equipment, weapons and grenades, in addition to providing mobility and operational information of armed forces to a cartel cell based in Tejupilco, State of Mexico. That same year, "on May 31, the military officer offered operators of the criminal group 70 fragmentation grenades at a cost of 26,000 pesos each. The criminal cell confirmed the purchase of eight of them, which were delivered in Atlacomulco, State of Mexico".

Also in 2019, on June 24, the intelligence services drafted a document in which they revealed that the military officer who provided weapons to the criminals is the bodyguard of a military commander that the criminals call "new commander" and who has the rank of colonel. In the calls intercepted by the Sedena, the soldier informed a leader of the criminal group that he had had a new boss for two weeks and that he was part of his bodyguard. According to the conversations, he presented his superior as a colonel originally from Tepalcatepec, Michoacan, "who likes money, drink and is into everything.

Locating victims for the cartel

The leaks indicate that the business was not limited to the weapons the military might offer. The offenders also made their particular shopping list to their contact. In one of the intercepted calls, one of the criminal bosses asked the soldier for "two thousand rounds of ammunition for AK-47 rifles, five thousand for R-15s and 50 magazines of each type of rifle.

In addition, the military officer reportedly offered to provide the traffickers with the locations of those who might bother the criminals. The intercepted calls included the name of the regional prosecutor in Amecameca, whom the criminal leader planned to assassinate.