The Mexican military and law enforcement community has drastically stepped up efforts in recent months to hunt down leaders of drug cartels, even if those efforts include extreme measures.
Case in point, earlier this week, the Mexican military used a military helicopter, complete with a mini-gun to rain down thousands of rounds on the home of drug kingpin Juan Francisco Patron Sanchez.
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Evidence points to Sanchez running the operations in Nayarit for the Beltran Leyva cartel.
When Sanchez and his minions barricaded themselves inside a home in a residential area, they likely thought they were safe from military grade weapons. However, they would come to find out they were wrong.
According to a Daily Mail report:
A Mexican Navy official who was not authorized to be quoted by name said Friday that Patron and seven accomplices had opened fire on marines and had barricaded themselves in the upper part of a house in the Nayarit state capital of Tepic.
The official said that a helicopter gunship had been called in to provide ‘dissuasive fire,’ to suppress outgoing gunfire from the structure on Thursday.
Use of such ‘minigun’ weapons from a helicopter gunship is extremely rare in urban areas. They apparently have been used before by Mexican police, but usually only in rural areas.
The Navy said the helicopter gunship was used in accordance with its rules of engagement, ‘with the aim of reducing the level of aggression and reducing the risk of civilian or federal casualties’.
The end result? Sanchez was killed, along with seven other members of the cartel. Several cartel vehicles were also destroyed.
According to Mexico News Daily:
Patrón Sánchez is presumed responsible for killing five military personnel in Culiacán last September.
He and an associate are believed to have taken control of the Beltrán Leyva cartel after the capture of Héctor Beltrán Leyva in San Miguel de Allende in 2014.
Also yesterday, the former sister-in-law of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, ex-leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, was gunned down and killed in Zapopan, Jalisco.
Here is video captured of the helicopter gun battle captured from a distance: