On Air: Inside Mexico's DIY Cartel Radio

By Brian Anderson

As the Mexican drug wars rage on into a sixth year the cartels may only just turn even further against one another in bids to out-tech the competition. Because it’s not just about drugs anymore – well, yes, a great portion of the fortune out there will continue being made off supplying Americans with ample weed, cocaine and meth. But then there’s also the kidnappings and extortions and money launderings, often in cahoots with some of Mexico and Central America’s biggest banks.

All this requires legitimate tele- and digital-communications. Whichever syndicate can manage the most reliable, impenetrable, guerilla peer-to-peer radio or online network stands to gain stupid amounts of money. The key to such a robust system will be highly coveted, ensuring more spilled blood, potentially even a radical shift in cartel influence. Just imagine news last Friday of the capture of Felipe Cabrera Sarabia, a top strongman to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Sinaloa cartel leader, going out over the Zetas or Barrios Azteca radio networks.

Read the rest at Motherboard.

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