Video footage captured the moment a drone dropped several small bombs onto a small camp of people in Michoacán, Mexico. After the first bomb explodes onto a makeshift tent, about a dozen people can be seen running away from the site.
Moments later three small bombs drop from the drone in the area surrounding the camp and explode in small fireballs, lighting a blaze amongst the nearby foliage.
The attack is believed to have been carried out by the New Generation Cartel, which operates out of Jalisco, Mexico.
The cartel is known for its brutality. The group has reportedly torn out the hearts of its victims or dissolved them in acid. The group also reportedly targets pregnant women.
— CNW (@ConflictsW) January 11, 2022
Local reports have confirmed that the cartel has carried out at least two bombings in towns in the region in an effort to take them over.
The group is now reportedly using drones with bombs attached to secure their position in the region.
According to local police reports, some of the cartel's drones were shot down by other armed groups vying for the territory.
The violence has caused a mass exodus of residents from nearby towns, hoping to avoid being caught in the gangs' crossfire.
Turf wars are nothing new for the Mexican cartels, though the violence between the groups has increased in recent years, even spilling over into usually safe areas, like beach towns on the Yucatan peninsula.
The New Generation Cartel, started in 2009, is now a global operation. It is a constant adversary for Mexican authorities struggling to thwart the group's efforts, and has even drawn the attention of the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
The DEA has gone so far as to offer a $10m reward for information leading to the capture of the group's leader, Nemesio "El Mencho" Oseguera Cervantes.
El Mencho launched his group after the Sinaloa Cartel - with which he was affiliated - splintered in 2008, sparking a civil war among the cartels. His new cartel aimed to fill the power vacuum left by the formerly dominant cartel. The group briefly allied with Los Zetas, another hype-violent cartel that was warring with the Sinaloa cartel in the late 2000's, but that partnership was short-lived and soon turned violent.
The group made its existence known through a grisly triple murder, leaving a message for police that they were the Mata Zetas - Zeta killers - and went on to declare war on all of the other cartels in the country in 2011, kicking off two-year wave of massacres in Veracruz. The group has since engaged in massacres in several other Mexican states.
New Generation is believed to control up to $50bn in assets, making it the most financially powerful cartel in Mexico.