Necessity is the mother of invention but this really is quite extraordinary. The cartels have a history of innovation to try and thwart the efforts of the DEA and Mexican authorities, my favourite creation being the smuggling submarines. But what's incredible about this is the level of investment in infrastructure. They're clearly long term.
A network that was dismantled just last week provided cartel members with cellphone and radio communications across four northeastern states. The network had coverage along almost 500 miles of the Texas border and extended nearly another 500 miles into Mexico's interior.
Soldiers seized 167 antennas, more than 150 repeaters and thousands of cellphones and radios that operated on the system. Some of the remote antennas and relay stations were powered with solar panels.