How the Mexican Air Force Hunts Narco Planes with Jets, Drones and Satellites

A few weeks ago several operations were carried out where aircraft loaded with drugs (two in Quintana Roo: Bacalar and Mahahual) were detected and seized in the Mexican territory, coming from Central and South America, which was carried out thanks to the technology of the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) and its division of the Command and Control Center of SIVA (Comprehensive Air Surveillance System).

The national airspace is protected by the Comprehensive Air Surveillance System (SIVA), the technology to detect aircraft via satellite without flight permits that carry drugs and illegal money.

It has 80 elements of its staff that work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

They carry out control, computation, communications, intelligence, recognition and allow real-time decisions in Mexican security operations.

This center allows to detect all the airplanes that fly over the country and are suspected of illegal activities, thanks to their actions they have been able to seize more than seven tons of drugs, weapons and millions of pesos so far from this administration.

In January, the 15th anniversary of SIVA was commemorated, the act was headed by the Deputy Secretary of National Defense Dagoberto Espinosa Rodríguez, in which an allusive plaque was unveiled.

Although the system has its beginnings since 1992, in 1998 the general strategy for drug control demanded to have an entity whose capabilities allowed it to integrate surveillance and air interception, intelligence and interdiction efforts, so the Integral System was projected of Air Surveillance.

In 2004, the current Command and Control Center of the Comprehensive Air Surveillance System would be created, as a body capable of integrating means of detection, interception, liaison, training and intelligence to strengthen the capabilities of the National Defense and the Mexican Air Force in the surveillance and control of airspace, using state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology.

They have satellite radars at the southern and northern borders and use diverse technology, among which the Flyr system stands out, which consists of an integral system of unmanned ships with infrared cameras (heat detectors) and converts it into an electronic signal, which it is then processed to produce a thermal image or video, on which temperature calculations can be performed.

Air Force intelligence centers that are in permanent communication with their counterparts in the United States, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Panama, Guatemala, among other countries to detect irregular flights, where drugs are frequently transported.

It is also equipped with technology that involves six airplanes, eight helicopters, three vehicles and 17 tactical employment units that operate in the EDT (Tactical Data System) system, which in turn connects with aerial platforms, interceptors, non-air systems manned, military computer radars.

The air material is made up of the three Embraer type aircraft platforms, two King Air 350e aircraft and unmanned ships such as the Hermes type.

SIVA Operations Area Chief Armando Ruiz Ayala told El Universal portal that drug traffickers are increasingly updating and using newer aircraft, already without engines and with turbines, Gulfstream and Learjet type to traffic in the shortest possible time; However, the military air forces have the ability to quickly respond and detect their capture.

The military said that during January this year they have detected nine cargoes of aircraft drugs, when they were usually three per month, which he considered atypical. So far this administration have detected 630 suspicious flights, of which 80 were illegal.

They have also seized more than 3,500 million pesos in drugs.

The National Defense Secretariat announced that they detected 1,356 flights in six years that are linked to drug trafficking in the Mexican territory.

According to the information presented by the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) on Wednesday within Mexican territory 1,356 flights were linked to drug trafficking.

It was between 2012 and 2018 when the flights were allegedly detected where 92 methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine and heroin were seized, as indicated by the report of the Comprehensive Air Force Surveillance System (SIVA).

Most flights were detected in Sinaloa and Durango, as well as on the southern border.

SIVA works with radars that track air raids coming from other places, once the country of origin is identified, the authorities are notified.

In addition, SIVA had an investment of 628 million 634,580 pesos that were paid from 2015 to 2018.

Elements of the National Defense secretariat carried out the assurance of an aircraft carrying packages with characteristics of cocaine. The drug has an estimated market price of 224,640,000 pesos.

Through the Comprehensive Air Surveillance System of this unit an illicit aircraft was detected in national waters, coming from Argentina that would stop to load fuel in Cozumel, Quintana Roo, and then go to Miami, Florida, USA, so aircraft were deployed of the Mexican Air Force in order to follow up.

During the flight, the crew of the aircraft noticed the presence of military aircraft, so they decided to land forcefully at the Mahahual airfield.

Military personnel on the ground made the assurance of said aircraft and approximately one ton of a white substance similar to cocaine, in 32 packages (the official weight will be determined by the competent authorities).


For this fact, two people of Bolivian nationality who were traveling aboard were arrested, who along with the aircraft and the possible drug were made available to the corresponding authorities.

Another plane landed on the Vía Corta a Mérida road in the municipality of Bacalar, Quintana Roo, and was later abandoned.

The incident, which occurred on January 27 in the morning, surprised people who were traveling on the highway and saw the aerial vehicle stranded.

According to local media, the event could be related to a conflict between drug traffickers and Army elements that Andrés Manuel López Obrador made known in his morning conference.

“Today at dawn there was a confrontation in Quintana Roo of a plane, a plane with drugs, and the one who heads the operation is the commander of the area, and unfortunately they shoot him. There was a confrontation, the driver was killed and he was injured,” the president said.

The injured element would have been José Luis Vázquez Araiza of the 34th Military Zone.

Moments later, the aircraft landed at the junction of the New Israel community and, so far, there is no report of witnesses who have seen the people who descended or the direction in which they fled.

Elements of the National Guard and the Army guarded the vehicle while an operation was deployed in the area.

The authorities have not given information about detainees or the contents of the plane.





Source: Infobae