The Homeland Security Department (HSD) of the United States confirmed on Monday that it will activate a fleet of drones over the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, with the alleged purpose of monitoring drug traffickers.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved new air routes to be used by the unmanned spy planes, known worldwide for their military actions in the wars undertaken by the Pentagon in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The perimeter specified by the FAA covers a radius of about two thousand kilometers and overflies countries like the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, the associated state of Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.
This decision of the HSD will double the use of drones in the Western Hemisphere and the number of square miles covered by these air monitors controlled by the U.S. government.
The first drone base for the Caribbean will be set up at Corpus Christi, Texas, and the next will be built at Cocoa Beach, Florida, reported sources from the Department of Defense.
The devices to be used will be the Predator B, the same model the Central Intelligence Agency used in Pakistan and Yemen with the official claim that it was to pursue supporters of Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups.
For more than five years Washington has already maintained a surveillance system in the Caribbean with ultra-high altitude spy aircraft known as the Global Hawk (Global Hawk), which experts say covers more maritime space than traditional drones.
UAV are less safe than traditional aircraft and tend to crash more easily. Washington is not considering the consequences of its plan, stressed Chris Coles, from Drone Wars UK forum, a critic of these systems.