A major leak of Mexican government documents revealed that members of the army were selling weapons and information to cartels.
“Sedena [Secretariat of National Defense] reported in his confidential report that the supplier of weapons and tactical equipment is another alleged member of the Army, whom the criminals call “antiguo” and who, according to the analysis of his telephone signal, is based in Military Camp no. 1 of Mexico City “, according to the documents.
The information emerged following a security breach at the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), in which hackers from a group calling itself Guacamaya acquired more than four million confidential government documents, the Mexican newspaper reported. Vallarta Daily.
One of the documents was a June 2019 intelligence report claiming that a military officer was offering tactical equipment, weapons, and intelligence on military operations to drug cartels.
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At one point, a cartel leader asked the military for 2,000 rounds of ammunition for the AK-47 rifles, 5,000 for the R-15, and 50 magazines for each type of rifle.
The report also mentioned a colonel known as the “new commander” for whom the cartel acted as an escort for about two weeks. The report described him as a man with a love for “drinks, smoke” and is “in everything”.
The data leak also revealed that advocacy groups opposing the cartels received training from allegedly Russian-born contractors. Emails dated August 24, 2022 identified four men who trained the Tlacotepec community police over a period of nearly two weeks in May of this year.
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However, the secretariat also identified a relationship between the group’s leader, Salvador Alanis Trujillo, and the Sierra cartel, the Mexico Daily Post reported.
Sedena has identified one of the Russian men as Bogdanov Rustam, who is linked to the European Association of Bodyguards and Security. Despite Rustam’s more official affiliation, Sedena has opened an investigation into its possible links to organized crime.
Rustam would serve as an operator in Russian special forces and counter-terrorism units.
Officials identified another of the instructors as Antonio Rullan Dichter, a businessman and honorary consul of the Russian Federation, as well as the criminal group Los Rusos, an opponent of the Sierra cartel.
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The men do not appear to have direct ties to the Russian government, but Mexico has previously raised concerns about Russian influence and presence within its borders.
A report by Air Force General Glen VanHerck, commander of the US Northern Command, told the US Senate Armed Services Committee in March that Mexico was home to “the most GRU members in the world,” Business Insider reported.
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VanHerck was unable to specify the number of spies, but noted that agents in Mexico “were keeping a close eye on their opportunities to influence US opportunities and access.”